The Flip Side of Affirmations


Are you aware that affirmations have a flip side ?

A flip side that will weigh down the manifestation process ?

There’s no shortage of self-help gurus who swear that repeating positive phrases to yourself can change your life. They tell us that if we simply tell ourselves “I am strong and successful”, your fears  about self strength and success will simply disappear.

If you’ve tried using positive affirmations, you know that it can be a difficult habit to maintain. You may spend five, 10 or even 20 minutes reciting your affirmation, but the other 23 hours of the day? Chances are that your mind drifts back to old, repetitive thoughts  that have burned deep grooves in your brain.

The problem with positive affirmations is that they operate at the surface level of conscious thinking and do nothing to contend with the subconscious mind where limiting beliefs really live.

It goes without saying that if you command yourself to think “I am abundant and attract wealth”, yet your deeply held core belief is that you are never enough or unworthy of your success, your brain will be quick to incite an inner war. If you are trying to tell yourself “I am successful”, but you struggle with insecurity regarding your skills and accomplishments, your subconscious may likely remind you of the many times you’ve embarrassed yourself in front of your boss or made a mistake at work (trust me, we’ve all been there!).

Control your thoughts and you create your reality. A positive mindset begets positive end results. These popular tenets are espoused by the likes of Louise Hay, Napoleon Hill, Anthony Robbins and countless other self-help gurus. The problem is, they often don’t actually work for many people.

Consider the last time you really wanted something to happen… It could be a dream job, an ideal relationship or even a parking space in the city.

Having learned from the best, you used positive affirmations in the ways suggested. You wrote your desired outcome on a card, kept it on your person at all times and repeated the phrase over and over in your head. The end results of your efforts were probably not the ones you were looking for.

Having failed, you might have berated yourself. You didn’t do the affirmations correctly, you were somehow undeserving, or even: “it was meant to be.”

The reason positive affirmations often don’t work is that they target the conscious level of your mind, but not the unconscious. If what you are trying to affirm is incongruent with a deeply held negative belief, then all that results is an inner struggle. This belief may feel deeply and irrevocably true, no matter what the actual reality might be.

If you deeply believe and feel that you are ugly and worthless, it will set off an inner war. With each positive declaration, your unconscious will cry out, “it’s not true, it’s not true!”

This conflict uses up a great deal of energy and creates massive tension in the body. The end result is that the negative belief becomes stronger as it fights for survival and what you really desire fails to manifest.

But, we have certainly learnt that we can bring in whatever we desire for ourselves. We simply need to be intentional, focus, affirm it and state, in the present, that it already exists. This is how the law of attraction works, right ?

My experience is that only half of that is correct. And the other half…….

We all have a little voice in the back of our head that says: “Ah, no, not for you, never going to happen.” That little voice needs to be attended to before our manifestation process will fly. This little voice comes from our subconscious.

If we want our affirmations to work, it is absolutely essential to listen to that small, inner,  negative voice first

That sounds completely counterintuitive but it’s the only way to get the positivity moving.

Because, the negative voice – the part of you saying “No! In your dreams!…”, is actually a deep-seated belief.

When you have deep core beliefs about yourself, THAT is the energy that you’re actually putting out into the world and what is being attracted back to you.

If you can’t feel IN THE CORE OF YOUR BEING that your affirmations are true, then no amount of chanting it and repeating it will help.

You have to hit the negative voice head on, first.

You have to, HAVE TO, clean away the hot mess first.

How do you deal with the negative voice?

You might not hear an actual voice scoffing at your affirmations. You might, instead, have a sinking feeling or a sense of dread, maybe even just a feeling of defeat or ‘why bother?’ attitude. All of those are the same thing.

They all represent a negative belief about yourself or the situation, but all of them, no matter how they show themselves to you, are where you need to start in order to bring in the positivity you’re looking for.

You really have to listen to the voice behind your affirmation or feeling/sense. Negative beliefs are blocks that need to be cleared.

One way you can do this is to make a list of all the key parts of your life:

  • Health
  • Wealth/Money
  • Vocation/Job
  • Family/Friends
  • Partner/Love
  • Emotional Health
  • Spirituality
  • Personal Development

And for each one of these, write down your beliefs about them. Both good and bad. Simply start  your sentence with “I believe” and write down whatever comes to you. Don’t filter a thing! You can then check for patterns that form throughout your list and you will come up with a list of your core, negative beliefs.

Start to work with your negative beliefs to clear them. The good news is that there are some simple methods you can use, apply immediately and have instant and excellent results. You can use techniques like EFT, EMDR and NLP.  You can also journal and get into the habit of reframing your beliefs:

Research has shown that asking ourselves questions is powerful. When we reframe, we start with questioning the evidence we have for our core beliefs.  Questions are powerful because they probe for answers. They remind us of the resources we do have and they activate our curiosity.

You may well find there is a memory or event that is linked to a negative belief and in many cases you’ll find many of them are from your childhood AND are possibly not even yours. They have been passed down from generation to generation.

However, if you are unsure of yourself, anxious, ambivalent or even depressed, then research has shown that affirmations are not only useless; they can actually cause more damage than good.  Canadian researcher Dr. Joanne Wood and her team at the University of Waterloo published a study in the Journal of Psychological Science. They concluded that “repeating positive self-statements may benefit certain people, such as individuals with high self-esteem, but backfire for the very people who need them the most.” If you think you are dealing with poor self esteem then those beliefs about your unquestionable value would be where you would start.

Once you start facing, working on and releasing your core, negative beliefs, you will feel much lighter. You will feel calm yet incredibly aware of what is going on inside of you. You develop a stronger connection with yourself.

Once you’re clear of all the clutter you’ll find that your intentions and affirmations start to work. You’ll feel it. There will be no doubt. Because there is suddenly nothing in the way of the energy flow.

And once that happens, you’ll then understand and finally get it when people say “give it to the Universe and then let it go”. In other words, ask the Universe for what you want, once, and then simply trust that it’s coming.

If you can’t do that then there is more work to do on the negative voice. If you can, then you are in what many people call the flow of the Universe.

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