Positive Thinking and Affirmations are quite popular off late, but there is very little statistical information in the public domain as to how effective they have been. Stay in touch with this blog for a series of articles on affirmations and how and why they dont work for a larger number of people.
If you take the time to browse what several psychologists have to say including various organizations and associations, right uptil what are known as Third Wave Psychologists, you will find that are unanimous in the conclusion that random affirmations do not always work for you. Self-esteeem plays a very important role and whereas positive affirmations can benefit those with high self-esteem, it could even be counter productive in case of people with low self-esteem.
Ideally, a coach or therapist would focus on acceptance and commitment clarifying your values and committing your behavior to them. At a time when more and more people are looking for answers outside the traditional medical model, there is no doubt that there is an overdose of information that is available to the people at large and most of it is superficial. Third Wave Psychologists agree that affirmations work best when they are congruent and concomitant with other interventions like Life Coaching, Hypnosis, NLP, etc., which help bring about an alignment of behavior and values. Ancient Indian and Buddhist approaches are validated now by reinforcing the concept of acceptance of negative thoughts and emotions which are born out of past and present actions and behavior before attempting to override them.
Whatever you resist, persists – Carl Jung
Whatever you fight, strengthens – Eckhart Tolle
The first step to change, is awareness. The second is acceptance – Nathaniel Branden
The reason for writing all of the above is to ensure that readers are not misled into believing that random positive thinking will create miraculous results. Most people would have tried it and quite often given up. It is abundantly clear that awareness, mindfulness and acceptance play a significant role before affirmations can create transformation.
At the same time, I must also add that a remarkable study conducted in 2002 found that 80% of the people tested who took the six most popular antidepressants of the 1990's got the same results when they took a sugar pill placebo. 80%!
Your subconscious mind is incredibly powerful! Far more than you can imagine it to be. Awareness, mindfulness, acceptance and effective affirmations are possible only when you are able to connect with your subconscious mind. Thus I go around imparting the Nirmiti Nidra technique to people across diverse sections of the society. The program is offered free to all schools and institutes so that the youth can derive an early advantage. In the workshop, participants are also taught to formulate affirmations for themselves. It is extremely important that affirmations are formulated by you personally, because the same words can mean different things to different people. The 12 laws of the subconscious mind are also explained to the participants with examples.
Mere thought conditioning will not suffice, behavioural conditioning is equally important. You can read more about this here, the article also briefly touches upon why affirmations fail. Stay tuned to this blog or our facebook page so you do not miss out on future posts. Over the next few weeks, a series of articles will provide you with positive affirmations that you can use for inspiration. Do not use them as is, but use them as inspiration to formulate your own which are intricately aligned with your own values, objectives and goals after becoming aware of the challenges you face by way of negative thoughts and behaviour.