Originally published by Robert Beisert at fortcollinsprogram.robert-beisert.com

The Affirmation Pattern: Rewire the inner voice

Pattern:

for (days=1; days <= 30; days++)

    if (designated_hour)

        for (i=0; i<30; i++)

            Say("I am a happy person, and people enjoy spending time with happy people")

 

 

One of the common problems we have is negative self-talk. That means that the little voice in your head is exceedingly critical of you and tends to hold you back from certan positive actions. Common examples of negative self talk would include:

“They wouldn’t want to talk to me”

“I’m just overweight, and nothing I do ever helps”

“I couldn’t do that because of these reasons”

“I wish I was rich/better looking/more fit. Then people would like me.”

If you do as I once did and write down every negative thing you say to yourself, you’ll probably find that you are meaner to yourself than anyone else has ever been. Now it is true that some people don’t experience much negative self-talk, and these people tend to be naturally happy and charismatic because they don’t have anything in their brains that would make them otherwise. But, because we have mechanisms for influencing our subconscious patterns of behaviour, we can make ourselves more like them by rewriting our internal voices.

The subconscious is the “status quo” machine, which uses patterns you have established over time to preserve the kind of person you are. If you are the kind of person who naturally tends to be happy, confident, and charismatic, your subconscious will maintain the patterns that make you that way. On the other hand, if you are stagnant, negative, or unhappy, your subconscious will maintain the patterns that make you so miserable. It’s a habit, and like all habits it can be changed.

Affirmations

An affirmation is a positive, beneficial statement that you repeat over and over for a substantial period of time. It is a conscious action on which you directly place influence through repetition and force of will, and as a consequence it becomes relevant and important to the subconscious. Over time, the pattern-forming and pattern-replacing functions of the subconscious will adapt to the affirmations, effectively making a habit of whatever your affirmation is.

For example, if you make a conscious effort to stand in front of the mirror right after your shower, look yourself in the eye, and confidently assert, “I am a confident man who is becoming more confident and charismatic every day,” you will naturally become more confident. Your subconscious will begin to treat the affirmation as more significant and more true than any patterns it has established, and over time it will eradicate any habits which conflict with the new truth. Basically, affirmations allow you to rewrite your inner reality, which in turn will rewrite your external reality.

When your subconscious inner voice says, “I am confident and charismatic,” you will begin to act as though it is true even if part of you still believes it to be false. The result is that you will naturally begin to stand taller, look people in the eye, and connect with them on a deeper emotional level than before. In turn, your belief that you are more confident will be reinforced by the confident actions you take, which will in turn drive out your less-confident actions and behaviors. It’s a positive feedback loop powered by a small conscious action and a small application of willpower.

Call to Action

Pick one aspect of your life that you want to change. It could be that you want to get to the gym more, or that you want to be more confident, or that you want to be happier.

Whatever aspect you have chosen, you need to construct a positive and progressive statement out of it. By positive, I mean that whatever your affirmation is must not contain any negative words such as “not”, “less”, “never”, or “no more”, because whatever follows will reinforce whatever it is that you are trying to eradicate. By progressive, I mean that the statement should contain both the final state (“I am confident”) and the path of development of that state (“and I am becoming more confident every day”). This allows any progress to be seen as a reinforcement of the final state, even if that state isn’t as real as you would desire.

Then, you should pick a particular time of day and state of mind in which you will repeat the affirmation. I tend to recommend looking yourself in the eye through the mirror while you are fresh and relaxed (after your morning shower or morning calisthenics), because you will have more willpower and conviction than if you are tired or depressed – the positive feelings will reinforce the positive truth you are trying to create.

Finally, you must make a habit of repeating your affirmation many times over while in that state. The pattern above says that you should repeat it thirty times a day for thirty days, because repetition builds significance, but you can repeat it as few as ten times for as few as twenty days if you so choose, even if that means that the effect might be less strong than if you repeat it more often for a longer period.

 

As you realize the powerful effect that affirmations has in your life, you can begin to add more affirmations to your habit and let old affirmations fade once the effect has been realized. It’s a powerful technique that sounds a bit silly, but the effects are clear to everyone who has put in the effort.