why affirmations don't work

Why Affirmations Don’t Come True (and how to make them work)

Guest Post By Christopher Butler

Spawning from the likes of spiritual sages like Louise Hay, Esther Hicks, and Doreen Virtue, affirmations have become a part of mainstream culture.

Repeat your intention and it will magically come to pass; this is supposed to be easy peasy, right?  Wrong. Unfortunately we aren’t all miraculous manifesters with the ability to obtain abundance before our very eyes.

However, there are a few tweaks you can make to your mantras to increase your chance of actually making what you want to happen, well, happen.

Formatting the Affirmations

Most people use affirmations to change their personal lives, and often begin them with the words “I AM.”   Because of our own critical nature, many of our self-beliefs may have stemmed from what others believe about us.  We have allowed others’ thoughts about us to have so much power over our own influence that we believe that is who we are.

This can lead to a change in how we create our affirmations and what can sometimes follow is a statement that may actually take people away from where they desire to go, instead of closer to it.

For example, instead of stating “I am not going to allow any negativity to bring me down”, you can affirm “I am strong and centered.  My positive spirit uplifts others!”

In one instance, the focus is placed on people trying to spread their negativity and bring others down.  In the other, it’s about confidence in our ability, and how we bring others up with our positive attitude.  These two statements are similar in intent, but have opposite perspectives, and create different results.

Affirmations and the “Law of Attraction” go hand in hand, so it’s crucial to keep the format of the affirmation in line with YOUR desires, and to focus on where you want to go, not where you want to go away from.

Focusing the Affirmations

The opportunity to use affirmations and create a life you desire is a big one, and takes a lot of energy to accomplish.  When we see that affirmations really do work, we want to start affirming everything under the sun, in hopes that it will manifest itself into what we want.  While it sounds good to repeat affirmations in every area to quicken the result of our desire, spreading ourselves too thin can often take away from our creative ability.

Much like accomplishing goals in “real-time life”, if something is to be accomplished, a focus must be placed on it and that focus must not be permitted to stray. If too much focus is placed in other areas, goals are not met.  The same goes for affirmations.  Affirmations create results in the future, and if they are scattered you’ll see scattered bits and pieces of your desires coming through, rather than a complete manifestation.

My Personal Example of a Successful Affirmation

A personal example I’ve seen of focused affirmations bringing the desired result was our process of having a child.  Throughout the entire pregnancy, my wife had repeated a few dozen affirmations that were sharply focused on a completely natural, well flowing, problem and drug free child birth.  She repeated these affirmations every day while pregnant.  She would read them in the car, in the tub, and most importantly, before bed. During this time, these were the only affirmations she focused on, and surely enough, the birthing process went EXACTLY as visualized – down to every detail.

Fulfilling the Affirmation

When you begin to consciously utilize the power of “I AM” statements, your life will transform. This isn’t something that works for some and won’t work for you; it works when you WORK IT!  What I mean is that affirmations don’t actually bring you what you want.  Instead, affirmations bring you the opportunity to take action; to build your desire from the ground up.  And do the opportunities always come?  You can bet on it.

Here are some extra tips to help you along on your manifesting journey:

Start Small

Affirmations take some time to get used to if you’re not used to them.  Start by affirming the small things that may already be in your life, but you don’t always realize.  Affirmations like “I find and enjoy the simple pleasures life is offering right now,” work great in helping you see new perspectives.  To put it another way, it’s going to be a bit easier to focus on and manifest a good parking space than to have a Porsche in your driveway tomorrow morning.

Repeat, repeat, repeat

It’s said that a habit takes twenty-one days to catch on.  When you create affirmations, repeat them daily.  You’ll be amazed at how quickly things come together when you’re constantly repeating the affirmation of your desired experience.


Since you’re repeating affirmations to create the future, it may sometimes feel like you’re not telling yourself the truth or that you’re not worthy to deserve what you desire.  What is the truth of the future?  It’s what you make it to be, starting right now.  Who is worthy?  Who decides to feel worthy, starting right now.

Let your Affirmations be Supported

Surround yourself w/ people, places, and experiences in alignment with your desires – choose to take part in the lifestyle that suits your future desire best.  After all, you’ve got to feel comfortable in a setting you desire.

I’ll refer to our pregnancy once more here.  My wife surrounded herself with specialists for exercise during pregnancy, practiced belly dancing, and spoke with those who have experienced what she desired.  Not only were they supportive, they also helped add to her list of focused affirmations.

When you set out with the intention of your affirmations being supported, it may come easier than you think. The right people will show up to help you with your progress – just realize the opportunity and take the right actions.

So what are your desires?

Where can you start now to build the stairway to your future?  Join in on the discussion below with questions and comments – I look forward to discussing your future!

Christopher Butler is co-founder of The Power of Positivity, a website devoted to helping the world through the power of positive thought.

iNLP Center Staff
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