These Simple Tricks Will Make Your Affirmations Deliver

Aug 06, 2022

These simple tricks will make your affirmations deliver

(Photo by cottonbro)

Have you ever, after using affirmations for a while, started to feel like you were doing it wrong? You might even feel less energized or less positive than you did before. However you're feeling, the results just aren't showing up. Part of the messaging of affirmations is that it works if you will it hard enough. In other words, "it's your fault if it fails."

There are quite a few problems with that kind of thinking. But the basic point is this: You aren't doing it wrong, affirmations just don't work. But there are a few ways to position positive statements to give you energy, rather than sapping it.


Unlike affirmations, visualization has been shown in studies to have real-world benefits.[166]

It can help people perform better at almost any task. From sports to public speaking. From inventing something new to just trying something new to you. Everyday you're surrounded by objects that once were just pictures in someone's head. They may have "built it" in their minds first before making it a reality.

Many books on the market recognize the power of visualizing. But they often fail to emphasize the most important part of it: follow up. Visualization is a first step, what follows is deliberate and defined action. 

For example, you should try to "see" your goals in your mind as much as you can. How achieving them feels, sounds, smells, looks, anything you want. And then what follows is the work you put in to make those thoughts a reality.

How to use it

Visualize what you want out of life. How you want to feel or how you want it to be for you. What does it look like, smell like, taste like, sound like, feel like? Think about it as clearly as you can until you can start to see how you got there or how you could get there.

What steps can you take to work towards it? Make a list from beginning to end, if you can. If you don't know everything it takes to achieve it, list as many steps as you can. You can always learn along the way but try to see how far you can get.

We wanted to also mention that there is a small percentage of people that are unable to "see" in their minds. This phenomenon is called aphantasia and it's not a disorder. People with aphantasia are still able to think of course, it just doesn't come with an accompanying image. If this describes you, don't worry. Even though "visual" is the first part of the word, seeing it in your mind isn't the only part. You can focus more on the other sensations and less on the "seeing."


Christy Gibson, self-proclaimed TikTok Trauma Doc, has pioneered something called "iffirmations." It's subtle yet revolutionary.

An affirmation is something like "I love my body," "I am a strong person," or "I am rich." These are declarations. They are supposed to convince your brain that these things are true, or will be true if you think them enough. They're positioned to make you believe that the statement alone is all you need.

The difference here is that with iffirmations, you ask yourself a question. What would it look like to turn the affirmations above into iffirmations? Like: "What if I loved my body more?" "What if I'm stronger than I think I am?" or "What if I had more financial security?" 

How to use them

Let's look at the example, "What if I loved my body more?"

Asking yourself this question leads to other important questions. What would help you to love your body more? What steps could you take to reach a point where you are happier with your body? Would that be a healthier diet? Exercise? More water? Healthy sleep? Some combination of these? 

Doing this allows you to explore the issue and gain a specific understanding of how to change things. It helps you to ground your feelings and actions in the real world. Instead of trying to trick your brain into believing something, you can think about how to make it true.

Another really important question when talking about physical goals: Is what you want healthy or unhealthy, and is it something that's possible for your body type? Some people are naturally lean and have trouble building big muscles. Some find it hard to lose weight and keep it off. We're all different so make sure you don't set an unhealthy goal for yourself. Whether you want to lose weight, gain weight, gain muscle, or maintain, you have to make sure to do it in a healthy way. Make sure you contact your doctor before starting a new routine.

Making sure your goals are SMART

S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. 

First, get specific. That is what the techniques above encourage you to do. To be clear about where you are now and where you want to go. From this, you'll begin to see the incremental steps that you need to take to realize your goal. This is the measurable part.

Set goals that you can actually reach. "What if I was a millionaire?" is a big step for most of us. Try for a more achievable goal like, "I will set aside __ each month." Breaking down your goals into smaller ones will build up your self-confidence as you go. 

Relevant refers to whether this goal aligns with other goals in your life. Time-based is the time frame you wish to accomplish your goal within. Write all of this down on a sheet of paper or in a notebook or journal and look at it often. Revise it as needed, you may learn things through the process that change the goal trajectory.

(For a link to our free downloadable SMART Goals worksheet, click here.)

Creating positive changes in your life

As you start paying attention to how you think and making changes to keep it positive, you will build up your confidence. And that confidence will help you to realize the power you have to choose in your world. And that feeling of power to change things will help give you the motivation to achieve your goals. It's the best kind of spiral. A spiral upwards.

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