Working Affirmation? Why? What? How? (Part 1)

A working affirmation? These questions came across my Facebook feed: why isn’t my affirmation working?  what can I do to make it work?

I laughed and then threw away all the judgment thoughts I was having. Most of them anyway.

As a devout applier of affirmations for 30+ years, I really liked the opportunity to write some more about affirmations, about the why, what, and how of working affirmations.

The phrase “working affirmations” offers two interpretations: those affirmations that work (like a working theory) and putting those affirmations to work (as in I am working the theory). The poser of the Facebook questions would probably prefer both: to work with working affirmations.

Why an affirmation?

I take issue with the several online sources that suggest that the reason for an affirmation is t to replace a negative thought. Certainly, one answer to “Why use an affirmation?” is to help you (and me) get beyond doubt, feelings of weakness or uncertainty, or dissatisfaction. However, it is a shame to limit affirmations’ why only to what is negative.

Affirmation working

Working affirmation

An affirmation can boost our positive thoughts. And who doesn’t want more of what’s good? Who doesn’t look for ways to improve a feeling, an ability, or an attitude? I believe an affirmation exists to produce more positive thoughts than to remove negative ones because it doesn’t have to achieve a 180° turnaround. It builds on an existing belief.

There are quite a few website offerings that view affirmations producing a positive frame of mind, no matter what your start-state is. And here’s what I wrote at the very start of my book Affirming What Matters

An affirmation shows or expresses a strong belief. An affirmation, in its spiritual sense, states a truth
which one wants to absorb in their life.

That truth may serve to correct something negative by stating the positive. If you procrastinate (I do!), an affirmation like this may counter that negative behavior:

I do what needs to be done when it needs to be done, without hesitation.

You may want to affirm a truth to increase something already positive. If procrastination is not on your short list of shortcomings, but you want to be even more efficient, this affirmation may serve you well:

I am becoming better at completing tasks quickly and accurately.

What does an affirmation do?

Sounds glib but I believe an affirmation does what you want it to do. Of course, to be a working affirmation, it must have someone working it. A car doesn’t move by itself. For the car to take you where you want to go, you have to drive it. (Although, technology may be rapidly changing that truth.)

A written affirmation that no one speaks aloud or they repeat silently is just words on a page. Merely speaking the words is not enough. That’s like sitting behind the wheel and not putting the car in gear or pressing the accelerator. So, there has to be faith that the affirmation is true for you.

The powerful, effective affirmations that really work are the ones that state an expected goal in its already fulfilled state. Those affirmations are not in future tense. “I will become…” is as futile as trying to reach the end of a turned-on treadmill. Learning is a pathway to believing. The human mind learns by repetition. By repeating to myself that I am becoming better at completing tasks quickly and accurately, I believe it. If I believe than I have the comfort and confidence to do those tasks with more gusto. Procrastination, be gone!

How do I use an affirmation?

The in-a-nutshell answer is Anyway you want to.

That is true because you know yourself better than anyone else does. And the more you work with affirmations, the better you will know how to make them work for you. But the truth beneath that is we all sometimes need assistance getting started. So here are 5 easy-to-follow steps that are intended to help you find comfort and confidence using affirmations. That means enough comfort and confidence for you to move on to your own personal way to make them work for you.

  1. Determine what you want to affirm. Think positive even if it means you have to get rid of some nasty habit.  Hint: don’t use negatives in your affirmation.
  2. Remember to express your affirmation in present tense. Hint: think I am or I do instead of I will be or I will do.
  3. Cut your affirmation down to an easy-to-remember and comfortable-to-repeat length. Hint: shorter is better.
  4. Practice speaking your affirmation aloud. Several times. Does it sound right? Do you feel good saying it? Does hearing it make you feel good? Hint: if your answer to any of those is “no”, repeat steps 1-3.
  5. Repeat your affirmation either x number of times (20 is a good number) or y number of minutes (5 is a good length of time). Say your affirmation that many times or that many minutes twice a day: wakeup and bedtime. Hint: commit to the number of reps or minutes because you must hear it to believe it and that may take repetition. Commit to two times a day because it will make your day better and your sleep sweeter.

Do that until you see and feel yourself being and doing what you’ve affirmed. Congratulate yourself. Frame your affirmation or put it on your monitor wallpaper. Then start another affirmation. Here’s to your working affirmation.

Praying to Our Affirmations

Loving Spirit, thank you
for the many ways and reasons we have
to affirm what we are,
what we do,
and what prospers in our lives.
With ease and joy we can know an endless bounty
of blessings that affirm our Oneness
and our spiritual essence and our mental activity
and our physical vitality.
We celebrate by reminding ourselves
through affirmations of our grace and fullness
of all that we can be
to realize all we are.
We love and bless that we are all we are
and that we are part of the All.
Thank you, God. And so it is. Amen.

Love & blessings,





19 March 2021

Posted on March 19, 2021 at 8:47 am by Tim · Permalink
In: Affirmation, Praying · Tagged with: