Affirmations: to use or not use?

Affirmations. They seem like such a staple of the new age community. But do they really work for people?

It turns out that the science would say that affirmations work well for people who already have high self esteem, but they can actually make things worse for people who don’t, that is, to actually lower their self esteem. The mechanism seems to be that if they can’t really believe in what they are saying, it can make them feel worse about the very thing that they are trying to affirm.

Here’s my take on where I think the scientific view and a New Paradigm understanding converge: to me, this researching is saying that if you can’t reach escape velocity on your negative beliefs, then when you say your affirmations, you will actually feel negative emotions, and these negative internal experiences will only attract more negative experiences in the external world. This is Law of Attraction 101 – that our beliefs are the driver of what we experience in external reality.So until we heal areas that we are really struggling in, and really shift our views, then affirmations are probably best avoided.

An interesting way to shift your view that I think often goes undervalued in the healing world is to actually take an action and set up circumstances (such as a success spiral) in service of creating an experience that reflects the point of view that you want to move into. So in this way, new experience in reality can show us that that what we’ve been believing might not be so solid.

For example, let’s say you want to be more productive on a project that you care about. Even taking the smallest action that will begin to create the reality you crave can start to move you in that direction. This works especially well when you set up one achievable action after another. This is called a success spiral, and it’s the sort of thing a good coach will help you to set up for yourself to help you build momentum towards your goals.These kind of basic skills have actually helped me tremendously, especially after I found myself in a crashed out place with my health and after a difficult period when I left a healing community I had been deeply invested in a couple of years ago.

On the other hand, if you are someone who has spent a lifetime of achieving through action, and you are in a really good place with your expectancy when you do something new, then I think that learning to tap more into the energetic levels of reality creation have a lot to offer. From what I’ve seen with people who master methods to work at a higher level of reality, this really allows them to create from less effort and instead from greater alignment with manifestation and support from Source. If you are in this camp, I would love to hear more of your thoughts on this topic!

Discussion on facebook.

Sources: Erin Baker talks about the science in this video: