There has been some speculation as to whether using affirmations is
helpful in pursuing personal
development and setting goals.
In a word, yes.
are repeated positive statements designed to bring about a desired
result. The repetitious aspect is meant to influence and trigger the
subconscious mind into positive action.
It's no surprise that on a daily basis we often unconsciously
repeat negative statements to ourselves about different situations in
our lives. In doing so we often bring about the undesirable
We might say to ourselves "I can't do this", "I'm
not good enough for that" or "this will never work".
Needless to say, our proclamations become self-fulfilling
The reverse can also be true.
If we were to turn the negative statements we frequently utter into
positive ones, we would bring about more favorable outcomes.
Ali as an example. Who hasn't heard his famous declaration?
"I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I
was." Muhammad Ali
Is there any question in anyone's mind that Ali's repetition of
that phrase helped him achieve the status of being "the
Another one of his famous maxims was "I float like a
butterfly, sting like a bee". No doubt his opponents shuddered
at the mere mention of it.
Another interesting illustration for the effectiveness of
affirmations comes from the auto suggestion work of Emile
Coué (1857-1926) the French psychologist and pharmacist who
introduced the now famous phrase:
"Every day, in every way, I'm getting
better and better".
As a tool for self-improvement, he recommended that we begin each
day by stating it firmly and convincingly.
Coué felt that, as stated in his "Law of Concentrated
Attention", whenever attention is concentrated on an idea over
and over again, it spontaneously tends to realize itself. In working
with his patients he utilized this law to help them build their
Since then affirmations have also been used in cognitive therapy
and found to work quite well. Needless to say, there's no magic to it
and there are limitations. Certainly you wouldn't make an affirmation
that is unrealistic or makes no sense. Ultimately, they are meant to
serve as another helpful tool in furthering your personal development.
When used properly, the use of affirmations can change your
attitude and behaviors.