A Better Life / Featured / Practices

4 Reasons Why Affirmations Aren’t Working for You


Want to know why?

Okay, okay, you caught me!

I did just recently get through telling you how valuable affirmations are… but the way most people use them make them completely useless.

In the email I send only to my list, I even jokingly referred to the classic SNL skit of Stuart Smalley.


They can seem silly, and can be absolutely useless.

Yet, the biggest successes out there use visualization, mantras, intentions or simply choosing to believe they are capable of anything despite their circumstances, and telling themselves this over and over. It got them to where they are now – Oprah, Tony Robbins, Jim Carrey, and so many others.

They are all just different forms of affirmations.

So why in the heck am I saying they are useless???

Simple – people don’t really believe, really see, and really feel what they say. Affirmation without feeling is useless. And simply going through the motions of repeating some words you don’t believe will not change your circumstances.

How do you get the life-changing affect it had for people like Oprah and Jim Carrey?

Well… ever heard of fake it ’til you make it?

Of course you have! There’s a reason this concept has persisted and everyone knows exactly what it means – it is true.

There is a simple kernel of truth right at the core of it. You have to choose to suspend disbelief and practice believing your affirmations for them to later become true.

You may be thinking… easier said than done, right??

As soon as you start saying an affirmation, you feel your inner child snickering. You may even feel silly, and find yourself giving up. You may feel like a fraud. Or you may feel like nothing is changing.

“Sue,” you say, “I feel like a total fake saying these.”

It happens to everyone.

But it’s okay.

Like I said, affirmations are useless… until you learn to fake it ’til you make it!

Don’t ignore who you’ve been. Just acknowledge who you could become. You are setting intentions, not trying to delude yourself. You are setting the stage and forming the mental neurons that enable you to become who want to be to allow what you want to enter your life.

So let’s start on how to fake it ’til you make it with affirmations…

#1 – Commit to Yourself

First you have to make a commitment to yourself. Don’t half ass it right from the beginning. Make a commitment to yourself right now that you will put your whole being into the practice and into being open to the belief as you say it.

#2 – Feel it!

Next, you work on feeling it. Feeling the sensations of what it will feel like when it comes true. Feel it in your body with positive sensations.

See, we are already in fake it ’til you make it mode.

We are imagining what it feels like for it to already be true… Feeling the confidence. Feeling the love. Feeling the joy. Feeling the ease, energy, inspiration… whatever it is. Just feel it.

#3 – Just Imagine

Then start visualizing it. What does it look like to already be there? Imagine yourself living and acting as if it is already true. Visualize what you are doing, how you got there, and how life is different.

#4 – Action Time

And finally, if you are not setting goals towards actually attaining your affirmations, you won’t get there.

It’s time to take action on what you visualized. Look at how you got there and start taking tiny steps and setting goals to get there.

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For example, for “I am powerful” – that could be translated as being confident. What am I doing to be confident, to feel powerful, to feel self-aware and self-assured?

Try turning it into an open question and look for opportunities to be confident and powerful. “Why am I so powerful?”

You are giving your brain a problem to solve. An unanswered question will keep it looking for the answer as you go about your life.

Instead of your default negative thoughts asking “Why am I so unconfident?” and constantly looking for ways to affirm that thought, you will be shifting to the positive and looking for ways you can be confident.

You’ll be able to see the opportunities to truly start faking it ’til you make it.

Maybe you are talking with your boss and you start to see opportunities to be more firm with your value, with your boundaries and workload, with your abilities to outperform and deserve that promotion.

Maybe you are at a party and see opportunities to turn down a ridiculous request you would otherwise have said “yes” to just to be polite or to avoid confrontation.

What you do defines who you become. Start taking action and being aware of opportunities to make your affirmations true.

And as always, leave your comments and questions below! I want to hear them and I read all of them!