No matter what the topic is there will always be people on opposing sides. Affirmations are no different.
There are self-help experts who swear by them, and there are self-help experts who don't. And, if you've been a member of the “improve yourself" community for any appreciable length of time, you've probably heard all the arguments, pro and con.
The thing to really understand here is that we are dealing with language. Whether you believe in making declarative statements or in asking assumptive questions, all we are ever working with, all we can work with here, is words. And, it is the skillful use of words that can either draw us closer to what we want or move us farther away.
Words are symbols. They are not the thing; they stand in for the thing in our speech.
As symbols, words serve to generate images (visualizations) and sensations (feelings) that can then be used to motivate us to go after certain goals. Or, words can stimulate neurons in our brain to make it possible for us to have new ideas that will enable us to bring about the changes we want in our lives.
Now, add this understanding to the fact that we make declarative statements out loud ("I will see you at six. "), and give commands to ourselves silently ("Call mom. "), all throughout the day, every day, and you will realize that we really do use affirmations, in some form, all the time. So, they do work.
The whole reason behind this teaching of affirmations for self-improvement in the first place is to get an individual to take conscious control of self-talk that long ago went on automatic (subconscious).
So, the true task now becomes the precise manipulation of the words we use so that we create the correct images, sensations, behaviors, and beliefs within ourselves that are needed to either draw the right circumstances to us, or us to the right circumstances, so that we can get our dreams realized. Enter the art and craft of composing affirmations.
Let's use an example. . .
Suppose you want to earn a really good living trading stocks and you start out by affirming, “I now earn $10,000 a month as a stock trader. "
Now, if you already earn $7,000 a month as a trader, then this affirmation will probably work well for you. However, if you currently earn $8.00 an hour as a clerk in a bookstore where you just read about stock trading, you will most likely run into some resistance from your deep mind
So, you might want to try this one instead: “I am willing to do whatever is necessary to earn $10,000 a month as a stock trader. " Or, “I am highly motivated to earn $10,000 a month as a stock trader. " Or, “Everyone and everything aids me in earning $10,000 a month as a stock trader. "
Use whichever affirmation works best to produce the feeling/belief/image of yourself as already being/doing/having that which you desire.
Remember, affirmations are not magical spells. They don't make stuff happen. They make stuff possible. They create a place in your mind where something can become a possibility for you. It is then up to you to be on the lookout for the unique opportunities and to take the appropriate actions that will lead to the manifestation of your dreams.
Thomas Lomax is a personal success coach who specializes in helping people line up what they say with what they want. Visit his website: http://www.successwithaffirmations.info/