Wednesday, 12 August 2015

What is Affirmation?

You have probably heard the term "affirmation", but exactly what is affirmation?

Dictionary Definition

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, affirmation is a statement made emphatically or publicly.  Although the meaning of affirmation in the context of personal development is different from the dictionary definition I do find the latter helpful.  The two key words there are "emphatically" and "publicly".

The other dictionary definition of affirmation is that it is a formal statement made in a legal context in place of an oath.  This is usually allowed in a court of law where a witness has a conscientious objection to taking an oath.  In England this right was first given to Quakers in the Quakers Act 1695.  Quakers believe wholeheartedly in telling the truth at all times, and object to giving an oath in court as that would imply that the truth they told there is somehow truer than the truths they speak in every day life.  The courts recognized that Quakers did indeed speak truthfully all the time, hence the exception made for them in 1695, although now anyone who objects to giving an oath has the right to affirm embodied in the Oaths Act 1978.  I myself am a Quaker, and when I registered my overseas marriage in my embassy I gave an affirmation to the consular official rather than an oath.

We will come back to these dictionary definitions in a moment.  But first, let us look at how a personal development coach would view an affirmation.

Affirmation in a Personal Development Context

The purpose of an affirmation is to help you move towards a particular goal.  It works by sending a signal to the Universe (or God, or your subconscious, depending on your own particular beliefs) that this is what you want to achieve and then asking for help in achieving it.

You may have a goal, for example, of becoming wealthy.  One of your affirmations may then be something like this:

"I have $1 million dollars in my bank account."

See how it is constructed in the present tense, not the future tense.  This is very important.  If, for example, you say "I will have $1 million dollars in my bank account" this does not signal any urgency.  It may be you will be happy to have that much in 50 years time, when it may only be worth ten thousand dollars in today's money, or even less!  But it is also no good saying something like "I will have $1 million dollars in my bank account by next Tuesday".  Firstly that is a very big ask if you only have a thousand dollars in your account right now and no clear idea where you are going to get the remaining nine hundred and ninety nine thousand.  Secondly, believe it or not the Universe will hear "next Tuesday" and will therefore assume nothing need be done about it until then - so you will miss any opportunities that might otherwise have arisen between now and then.

Now let us go back to that dictionary definition of "public" and "emphatic".

Making your affirmation public in some way can be very helpful as long as you do it with care.  Be selective in who you define as your public audience.  You should gather around you a group of likeminded people who will support you in achieving your goals (and, of course, you must support them too).  Make your affirmations to them so they know what they are supporting.  When doing this do not be surprised if you find your family members and friends (even very close friends) are not very supportive and should not be included in your affirmation support group.  I would go as far as to say it is quite rare for family or friends to be suitable for this.

The second word is extremely important.  Emphatic.  Say it out loud in a strong, confident voice.  Believe it with all your being.

Clearing Blocks

When you try to be emphatic and believing you may find a tremor comes into your voice.  You may feel silly saying it.  If that is the case (and it often is) you will know you have some blocks you need to clear before your affirmation will really be able to work properly for you.  These blocks can be any of a number of things.  Sticking with the million dollar affirmation, one block may be that somewhere inside of you is a belief that having lots of money is evil.  Consciously you may know that it is not evil, but that does not mean you don't have that belief somewhere deep inside you.  This block may have arisen when you were a small child.  Perhaps you heard your parents arguing about money and you came to believe that money causes arguments and therefore must be a bad thing.  Try to dig into your subconscious and find out what your blocks are.  Once you have exposed them you will probably find they wither and die - they cannot survive in the light of truth which you will focus on them.

Finding and clearing blocks associated with your affirmations is not an easy task.  I have given you one technique which I hope you will find helpful, but many of these blocks are so deeply ingrained and so deeply hidden you may need more help unearthing and dealing with them.  Try using the following free tool to find what blocks may be hindering you:

When you have cleared any blocks that may be there you should find a big difference in the way you are able to use your affirmation.  You should now find you can attach some strong positive emotions to it.  If not, then perhaps you are aiming at the wrong thing and need to change your affirmation!

Affirmation Replacing Oaths

Let us look again at the second dictionary definition of affirmation.

You will recall Quakers were first allowed to affirm rather than give an oath because they tell the truth at all times.  The affirmation of a Quaker in court is accepted as a powerful statement which should not in any way contain any kind of falsehood.  This, too, links to the way you need to use your affirmations.  There should be a kind of purity in them.  You should know as you state them that this is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!  Don't worry about the fact that you don't actually have $1 million dollars in your bank account right now.  Don't imagine for one minute that there is any conflict between that material fact and the underlying truth that you DO have this money.  Know that you have it, and that the power of absolute truth is behind it.  This is the way to apply your affirmations and find that they really do work!

Finally, where can you find good, positive affirmations to help you achieve your goals?  I have an mp3 with a set of perfectly framed affirmations in a calm female voice with relaxing background sounds, which will ensure your mind is properly attuned to achieving whatever goals you have set yourself. Listen to this when you wake every morning and you will soon be well on your way to achieving all your goals!  You can obtain this mp3 here:

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