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Affirmations Don't Work. And You Knew That... But They Can!


Okay, I probably lied a bit in the headline. I’m sure positive affirmations work a little bit. Maybe? Listen, I didn’t have much of a choice. Negative headlines just perform better. Negativity sounds objective, right? I could have made that fact up. You would probably still believe it.

I suppose that’s exactly where our problems lie. Negativity sounds so empirical. It’s so captivating. Let me ask you something. Does a shockingly negative occurrence in your life ever go unnoticed? (hint: it doesn’t) If someone said something horrible to you right now, do you think you’d just forget about it? Probably not right?

We remember negative events much more vividly than positive events. Much much more. Do you ever randomly remember something cringy and awful you said 10 years ago and grimace in pain? How often does your brain do the same thing with positive memories that make you beam with joy?

Okay okay, so what’s your point? What does this have to do with the efficacy of positive affirmations?

I'm glad you asked!

Assuming you want to shift your mindset into a positive one (which you do) you need the contents of your mind to be more positive than negative. Profound, I know. I should have been a scientist.

But how do we accomplish something of this nature when negativity is so much more vivid, so much more enticing?

Saying a nice positive affirmation over and over again feels pretty good, but any life event that challenges it will produce a feeling so much stronger, so much more primal. Your repeated mantra won’t even come close to competing when the hard times come. But I’m pretty sure you’ve figured this out for yourself by now.

The only way to make meaningful change is to change the actual way you think and feel, but not as some vague concept. Firing off positive affirmations aimlessly into your mind will not “reprogram your subconscious mind”. The only way to truly reprogram the way you think and shift your mindset is to change the way you see yourself at a truly deep level. You need to completely uproot the person you think you are. You need to break the habit of being yourself.

Try your best to put 100 words or so into the affirmation field below.

If you can’t think of anything, just make it up.

Don’t skip this part. It’s important.

Why am I such a ridiculously happy person?

Do you see how your brain just immediately takes that question as the truth and starts to explore your mind searching for data points to explain it? For the first few moments, it may feel like you’re lying but eventually, your mind just latches on and says, so this is what we’re doing now? Let’s go!

That is the power of your mind in action. And with practice, your subconscious mind will soon begin to follow. Force your mind to think a certain way for long enough and soon you will have reprogrammed your subconscious mind with it.

Your subconscious mind follows behind like a dog on a leash, except it is irritatingly slow and you have to keep pulling at it or it will run off into traffic.