I got a comment the other day from a person who said, “Affirmations are a load of bollocks. They don’t work”.
I have to admit you’re right!
Affirmations don’t work – if you don’t allow them to work.
If you think that they don’t work – then they don’t work.
For me, they work.
They work because affirmations are my antidote to my own negativity.
When I have negative thoughts, I’ve got a whole load of different affirmations that I use.
Ones that I can say to myself over and over again.
I can brainwash my own mind into believing something different.
And that’s all we do anyway.
Self-talk: What we say to ourselves in our own heads, is the biggest influence over our lives, whether we like it or not.
You can give yourself negative self-talk or you can give yourself positive self-talk.
It’s all up to you. It doesn’t make a blind bit of difference.
You’ve got the opportunity to sit down and carefully think out the sentences that you are using – the words that you are using.
Words are powerful.
Sentences that you say to yourself over and over again are so powerful.
They can alter the course of your life, not just in the long term – but in the short term.
When I started out on this journey
When I first quit drinking, I had a load of different affirmations that I used.
I used to get up in the morning and the first thing I’d do would be to drink my water.
Then I’d sit down with a cup of tea and I’d take out a pad I had – it was an A4 legal type pad.
I’d write my twenty affirmations out and as I was writing them out I’d say them to myself.
I would do the same thing in the evening.
I had a list of those affirmations in my pocket, in a plastic folder and I’d take those out when I was feeling crap about myself, feeling crap about my decision to quit drinking, or whatever.
I would just take out this list of affirmations.
One of the affirmations, in particular, was –
I am not grieving the death of alcohol. Alcohol is my enemy and I won’t grieve its passing.
It was something along those lines. I can’t remember exactly what it was now. I don’t need it anymore and so I don’t use it anymore.
I have completely different affirmations that I use for myself now.
Over time those affirmations changed from being: “alcohol is my enemy” to “alcohol is a bastard”.
The language that I used, got worse and worse.
It doesn’t make a difference. Nobody else is going to hear these things. Nobody else is going to see them.
So you can use whatever you want.
What I am saying is that you have your own opportunity to do this.
When I did it for myself
It worked because I repeated them over and over in my own head.
Just as you are brainwashed by all the marketing that goes on out there, by your mates, all your peers – you are also going to be brainwashed by yourself.
As I said you’re mostly going to be influenced by the words that you say to yourself over and over in your own mind.
Whether you want to say positive things to yourself; or whether you want to say negative things to yourself, they both work equally well.
If you want to consistently be negative and repeat negative statements, that’s what going to happen in your life.
If you bring negativity into your life, then, unfortunately, that’s basically what you are going to have.
Negativity all over.
So you might as well bring positivity.
Affirmations are just carefully structured lines of good brainwashing, that you sit down and think about for yourself.
That you want to bring into your own life.
You need to tell yourself over and over again that I’m a self-confident person; if that’s what you want to get in life; if you want to get self-confidence.
In order for these affirmations to be effective, they’ve got to be:
They have got to be about a specific thing you want in your life.
They’ve got to be personal. So, they’ve got to be about you.
They’ve got to be written in the present moment, so that you’re writing them as if you have already done the thing, as if you are living in the present. You are doing it now. You are doing what you are trying to achieve in your life.
This is just another tool for you to use when you want to self-direct your own behaviour.
That’s the bones of it.
It’s no more, no less than that.
As with any tool, if you use it in the wrong way or it you don’t think it’s going to work – then it’s not going to work
That’s basically it. This channel is all about that.
My philosophy is all about self-directed behaviour.
The more you can direct your own behaviour, the more control you’ve got over yourself.
The more you say to yourself – “I might be an alcoholic” or “I’m susceptible to the alcohol disease” – the more you should think about yourself in recovery…
If you put yourself into a box and you label yourself into certain different cul de sacs, then the less control you have over yourself.
So affirmations are just one way of bringing you control.
It’s no more or no less than that.
If you want to use these things, then use them.
If you don’t want to use them, then no skin off my nose.
They work for me, they don’t work for some people.
My own theory of why they don’t work for some people is because people don’t believe they work.
But I am telling you they do work.
If you say them to yourself over and over again.
Have you ever seen someone who is going to take a bungee jump?
Not that I would ever take a bungee jump, it’s not my thing.
If somebody’s stood there on the edge of the platform.
Looking out over the chasm below them. They’ve got a piece of elastic tied to their feet.
Everyone else is saying to them “you will be alright”. When you go down there.
There is always somebody, there are people who will go “no worries” and just dive off the thing.
Take the risk and take the consequences as they come.
And there’s always going to be somebody who is there and they’ll go – “I can’t do it, I can’t do it, I can’t do It, I don’t want to”
No matter how they have wound themselves up to be in that position, on the edge of that precipice.
At that moment they have gone so far as to get themselves into the harness, they’ve got the elastic tied around their feet… but they don’t do it.
They talk themselves out of it.
That is an affirmation.
It’s the same thing.
It’s self-talk whether its positive or negative.
You can talk yourself into something or you can talk yourself out of something.
So if you believe that you can talk yourself out of something, then why can’t you believe that you can talk yourself into something.
That’s all it is.
It’s given this label – affirmation – but you can call it whatever you want.
Positive self-talk is probably a better way of doing this, but I like affirmation, because it means that it’s structured.
It’s the structured sentence that you use, that you repeat to yourself over and over again until you memorise it. Until it is a part of you.
That’s how it was my twenty affirmations.
I wrote those so many times, morning and night.
As I was writing them, I was speaking them.
Then after I’d written them down, I went through them again and spoke them out loud again.
I did the same thing in the evening.
Every time I needed to bring out my affirmations I’d do it
I had committed them to memory.
At the end of a month, I could write those affirmations word for word, without looking at what I had written down before.
They really stuck in my mind.
If you get a craving or you have a symptom and you can pull out an affirmation that says …
I am no longer a drinker. Alcohol is an evil bastard. I am never going to put the stuff in my mouth again,
Affirmations do that.
Just sentences that you use for your own benefit – that’s all they are.
If you want to use them – use them.
If you don’t want to use them – don’t use them.
If you believe that they don’t work – then they are not going to work.
If you have any questions at all about this, any comments, any stories about your own affirmations or how you use them in your own life or what affirmations you use.
Then that would be very helpful for everyone.
Please leave them in the below in the comments section.
“We cannot always control our thoughts, but we can control our words, and repetition impresses the subconscious and we are then master of the situation – Jane Fonda”
Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!
You seem to now your stuff on positive thinking, could you reccomended some good reading material? I’m on my second quit attempt since I started listening to you back in April I’m only 3 weeks in last time lasted 4 but I am much more confident this time. I exhausted all my excuses going back to alcohol for a while they were lame and I now realise it’s crap and I don’t need it. There are however still some other areas of my life I find I’m quite negative in, I’ll give the affirmations a go but I’d really like to do so in depth reading on positivity so any pointers are much appreciated.
Totally agree about affirmations. I set my intention nearly every day.
I choose to be happy
What can I do today to make me feel good. Could be something very simple.
Firstly I would like to say to Jon, well done on the 3 weeks.
I am only just ahead of you 3 months into my new life style.
My view of quitting alcohol so far:
I quite smoking years ago, I can remember it well and 3 months in I started to have nights/days where I never thought about smoking. I can see thats beginning to happen with the alcohol.
If it follows the same pattern as the smoking in 12 months I expect to start noticing Ive gone a week or so without thinking about the alcohol. Then in 18 months or so, thinking why did I ever drink that shit. Don’t get me wrong intellectually I always knew the fags were shit, but they had a pull on me because they are addictive shit.
I really don’t know how much was physical addiction or mental addiction. If your internal mantra says have a fag/drink you know you want one, but the rational you says don’t have one there killing you. This is the discomfort of quitting a sort of schizophrenia and thats the real discomfort I think we feel when we stop smoking, or drinking, or to a less an extent eating biscuits, a sort of mild schizophrenia.
When the internal mantra that says have a drink dies or becomes very faint then the chance of lapse becomes nil, if fags were free and came with free heath care insurance I wouldn’t smoke them, no will power involved, my internal mantra matches my external one. No conflict no mental pain.
My Mantra method:
My external rational self has a strong mantra on not drinking, I try not to use it to argue with my internal mantra/thoughts that say have a drink. This would be internal conflict and mental pain. I try to use it to say I have quit that shit so whats the point of thinking about it.
Sometimes I have the internal conflict, buts those times are generally becoming less frequent. I am also increasingly confident they will pass, even if they last a couple of hrs.
My own view is mantras work if they are believable. Eg “I quit that shit because its fucking me up”.
This is totally true, I am not trying to convince myself of a false hood.
To help clarify her is an example a mantra that will not work, “I am a great footballer”, “I am a great footballer”, brain no your not!!
Internal brain will override with no effort, which is good thing, this means I am not crackers ha ha
Another example that wont work “I don’t want alcohol”, “I don’t want alcohol”, brain says yes you do!! Brain will override with no effort, this can at first glance look like a bad thing but if it didn’t this would probably be very dangerous. eg what would happen if my mantra said “I can fly” ha ha
Brain default is always what it believes is true. Use this to your advantage.
Eg of a mantra that works.
“I have quit that shit so whats the point of thinking about it” Brain thats true, so no conflict!
Brain might say yes, but!! If there is a but!!, say mantra louder followed by I,m not having an internal debate I quit that shit because its fucking me up, end of.
I quit that shit because its fucking me up could also be a good answer for a twatty mate who keeps trying to get you to have just a couple of pints. Ha Ha Ha
Hope above makes some sense and is of some help. Sorry if my manta is a little aggressive, sometimes it really needs to be.