Affirmations Are Still the Workhorse for Self-Improvement

This article was originally written in 2008 and posted to ezinearticles.com

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in blogs and information within the self-development community. In an effort to promote their own paths, some seem more than willing to tear down other self-improvement approaches.

It’s hard for me to imagine how tearing each other down builds anyone up or helps shift people or the world in the best directions.

Someone truly wanting to help people would admit that there are many approaches capable of helping people improve themselves, their life status, and their thinking. Each person should evaluate different options and determine what works best with his or her current situation.

Recently, I’ve read blogs by practicioners of several self-help methodologies just raking affirmations up one side and down the other. The bloggers called them “delusional”, “wasteful”, and “dangerous”.

I’ve seen stinging criticisms blaming affirmations for manifesting a state of denial. These strawman characterizations paint every user of affirmations as an 87-year old woman wanting to be an Olympic athlete or a depressed person trying to create a fictitious happiness.

Mostly, people who use affirmations are salespeople wanting to build their skills and confidence to make or exceed quota this month. Which salespeople do you suppose make quota? Those whose minds are filled with thoughts of “I can” or those whose minds are filled with “I can’t” or “I’m not sure if I can.”?

Athletes use affirmations to gain that razor thin margin of victory that having the mental edge can bring. Writers who face a blank page every day to earn a living use affirmations to keep them inspired through rejection letters and writers block. Dancers trying be mentally prepared for that big audition or looking to advance their careers use affirmations.

People use affirmations to stay motivated to exercise, to stay focused on a big reward they are giving themselves for their hard work, or to remain committed to their diets. People use affirmations to counter the volumes of negative information that works its way into their brains every day from mainstream media.

And yes, depressed people, like I once was, use affirmations to pull themselves up out of the hole they find themselves in. It’s easy to criticize from the relative safety of a happy, prosperous life. However, when you’re really down and out all you have is the thought, the hope of a better day.

Are all these people delusional? Have they bought into some destructive ideology of happy thoughts that hold no meaning in reality? Hardly.

I’ve said often in this blog that affirmations are just one tool in your self-development toolkit. Like any methodology they are extremely effective for some people and less so for others. There is no debate, though, that affirmations are very effective at doing one simple, but critical thing. Over time, they replace limiting, negative, and unproductive thoughts with empowering, positive, and productive thoughts.

I’m not sure why affirmations have become the favorite whipping boy for some supposed leaders in the self-development world. Maybe because so many people use them successfully. Maybe because they have a track record of success many other approaches aspire to. Hey, isn’t that kind of positive thinking delusional? :o)

What I do know for sure is that affirmations will keep motivating people to be their best (whatever that is for them at this moment) and aspire to more. Those who want to tear affirmations down should really consider whether that serves their inferred goal of helping others.

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.

Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot. He’s spent more than 25 years studying personal development and especially writing, recording, and using affirmations to achieve his goals. His eBook – The Power to Be You – offers 416 life-changing and original quotes, ideas, and affirmations to take you to new levels of achievement and reflection.

anunnaki_cover_full_colorAnunnaki Awakening: Revelation, Ray’s first novel,  is turning heads and opening minds. Humanity’s past is checkered, secret, and dangerous.

White House Correspondent Maria Love is on to the story of her life and with the help of an Anunnaki leader seeks to unravel and reveal history’s biggest conspiracy. The Awakening has begun!

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Affirmations: Repetition and Belief I and II

Affirmations are a powerful tool to effect change, transform our thoughts and behavior, and generally enjoy a better life. I receive more questions on how to make them work than any other topic. Today I am posting links to a two-part article I wrote a while back discussing the role both repetition and belief have in successfully using affirmations.

Affirmations: Repetition and Belief Part I
Affirmations: Repetition and Belief Part II

Many have found these two articles helpful in understanding affirmations and using them in their lives.

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.

Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot. He’s spent more than 25 years studying personal development and especially writing, recording, and using affirmations to achieve his goals. His eBook – The Power to Be You – offers 416 life-changing and original quotes, ideas, and affirmations to take you to new levels of achievement and reflection.

anunnaki_cover_full_colorAnunnaki Awakening: Revelation, Ray’s first novel,  is turning heads and opening minds. Humanity’s past is checkered, secret, and dangerous.

White House Correspondent Maria Love is on to the story of her life and with the help of an Anunnaki leader seeks to unravel and reveal history’s biggest conspiracy. The Awakening has begun!

Be the Driver in Your Life – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday December 16, 2009

Check Out These Affirmation Apps. 15-minute meditative affirmations or workout tracks with affirmations.

Check out our affirmation apps for Apple devices or search i-mobilize on the iTunes store. The Affirmation Spot is developing these motivation apps in partnership with i-mobilize. Click an app to view it – Love Magnet, Business Success, Make A Difference Affirmation, or Full Body Scan, Rising Star Cardio Affirmation, and many more.


Today’s Affirmation:

“A new day dawns…I am a new person today; a better person, a healthier person, a happier person.”

captains_wheelIf your strategy is to let life happen to you; it will. It’s time to put you back in the driver’s seat in your life in 2010. Ask yourself, honestly, “Am I the driver or the passenger in my life?” Yes, I know we can’t control everything that happens to us. I also understand the wisdom of just being and going with the flow.

Neither is a reason to not be the driver in your own life. Things out of your control are going to happen whether you are the driver or the passenger in your life. That’s no reason not to be steering the things you can control. There is wisdom in “just being”, but it is so much more beneficial when done as a conscious choice to enhance your life rather than as the result of sitting in a rudderless boat.

Wayne Dyer talks about being not only the actor in your life, but also the director and producer. Actors are just given scripts that they then play out. They have no say in how the story line progresses. Directors make conscious choices about how the story is going to be told. Producers select the ideas that become the storylines created by directors and actors.

CHOOSE your storyline in 2010. It’s not enough to just tell or act someone else’s vision of your life. Put yourself in the driver’s seat.

Here are a few tips for putting you in the driver’s seat.

  1. Be the driver – stop seeing yourself as the passenger in a life where things “just happen” to you. You have a say and you have a lot of control over what happens in your life and how you react and adapt to it.
  2. Make the decisions – if you have become a passenger in your life, you have probably given control to someone else. Take it back. Be ready to accept advice from others (many heads are better than one), but make your own decisions.
  3. Take credit and responsibility – give yourself the credit for your achievements and take responsibility for your failures. Others play a role in successes and failures, but you are ultimately responsible for the results and choices in your life.
  4. Get back up – getting knocked down or facing a setback is an event not a way of life for people driving their lives. Life is full of bumps and bruises. Adapt and move on.
  5. Empower your thinking – practice empowered thinking. Here are the three aspects of empowered thinking.
    • Thought aspect – you have to think positively. Belief and commitment are important in any endeavor. Show me two people of equal talent – one who believes in his or her ability and one who does not – and I can tell you with high accuracy who will succeed. Positive thinking is imperative to maximize success potential in any endeavor. As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t; you’re are right.” Positive thinking is the basis for empowered thinking, but empowered thinking is more than just positive thinking. It incorporates two more elements.
    • Knowledge aspect – you have to be informed. In achievement pursuits, know what you are trying to achieve and be informed on what is going to be involved in succeeding. Knowing that ahead of time can help you prepare mentally for it. When empowering your thinking to critically evaluate information you need to know as many of the facts as possible. Positive thinking without information does not allow you to take powerful action. When you combine positive thinking with information you lay the groundwork for powerful action in your life.
    • Action aspect – empowered thinking is more than just thinking and knowing. Empowered thinking includes action. If you have incorporated the first two elements, your actions can be motivated and informed. Until there is action, informed positive thinking is just wishful thinking. Your world is supported by intentions, but it is built by actions.
  6. Take action – the driver’s seat is a place of action. The passenger’s seat is a place of passivity, paralysis, and fear of moving forward and making change. Take action. Some actions don’t work out, but you cannot allow that fear to stop you from being the driver in your life.

If you’ve been the passenger for too long, make 2010 your year to shift back over into the driver’s seat. Take the wheel and start steering! If you’re already the driver in your life, keep the momentum going into the new year!

Stay inspired!

Ray

2009 Affirmation

“This year I am absolutely committed to being the person I came here to be!”

How to Benefit from Listening Passively to Affirmations

Today’s Affirmation:

“Today I make a bold statement. The world deserves the real me and today it gets me.”

woman-1733881_640

Let’s face it. You live in a multi-tasking rich world. You juggle multiple projects at work or school. You have to get the kids to soccer practice and dance practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Tae Kwon Do on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Or is it the other way around? You care for your aging parents. You take the dog for a walk. You try to be a part of your community.

Somewhere in the middle of all of that you try to find time to better yourself and understand the meaning of this crazy world.

I understand. I live that life too. That is why I started The Affirmation Spot. I’ve written, recorded, and used audio affirmations for more than 15 years. The reason I preferred audio affirmations over saying them or reading them is because I could listen to them wherever and whenever I wanted. With the advent of digital media that is more true than ever.

Over the years, I’ve found that passive listening is very effective. You’ve had the experience of hearing a song or a commercial many times – without paying conscious attention – and suddenly one day you’re singing the song or saying the words to the commercial. That’s the result of passive listening. You have unconsciously learned it through repetition. That’s why advertisers run the same commercial on a radio station 20 times a day. That’s why they play Top 40 songs over and over. It’s to unconsciously put them into your head. Passive listening is powerful!

You can use your affirmations the same way. Put your headphones on and listen while you work or play them in the car on the way to Tae Kwon Do. You don’t have to really be listening to get the benefit. Your mind is absorbing them. Sometimes it’s even better than conscious listening because you’re not really questioning as much.

Pretty soon you’ll find yourself saying the positive words to an affirmation when a negative situation arises because, like the song, you have unconsciously absorbed it. Unlike the song, though, it brings real benefit to your life.

Be positive Be peaceful Be prosperous!

Ray

Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot, co-founder of 6 Sense Media, and author of Anunnaki Awakening. For tons more motivational content, please visit the TAS website and YouTube channel.

Our World is Our Creation – The Affirmation Spot for Tuesday December 16, 2008

Today’s Affirmation:

“Recession proof…I have the skills and the confidence to compete in a tough economy.”
(click the affirmation to hear it in mp3)

earth_space1The world is not an accident. It is our creation. That’s a pretty bold and, to some people, controversial statement. Controversial or not; it is the truth. Individually and collectively we are consciously or unconsciously creating the world where we live.

There are four questions you need to answer to maximize your role in that conscious creation. Answering and living to these questions is not easy. If it was, we’d all be doing it. They are, however, worthy goals as we approach the new year.

Question 1 – Are you creating your world consciously or unconsciously?

Are you making conscious choices about the world you live in or are you allowing the world to happen to you? Are you simply cruising through on auto-pilot and “going with herd”? Are you falling in line with conventional wisdom even though you don’t buy it for a minute? These behaviors lead to unconscious creation and unconscious creation is what creates so many of the problems in our world.

Yes. The world is a better place when there is conscious democracy about its direction. It works better when you are making conscious choices about the world you are collectively creating with the other inhabitants of this planet. Conscious choices have the potential to create more desired results. Make the choice to be as consciously aware as possible of the world you are helping to create.

Ask yourself: Are you consciously or unconsciously creating today?

Question 2 – What are you choosing to create?

When you understand that a consciously created world is a step up from an unconsciously created world you are left with the question of what kind of world to consciously create. Look around. Is the world what you would want it to be, if you had a say? The problems in our world are the result of two things – unconscious choices and negative conscious choices.

Yes. If you want more happiness in the world, you need to choose to be more happy. If you want more peace, less war, closer families, cleaner energy, more freedom; then you have to make those choices. The world really is a mirror simply reflecting back to us the image of the choices we have made. If you want a different world, you have to make and help others to make different choices.

Ask yourself:  If everyone impacted the world the way you do, would it be closer to the world you would choose to create?

Question 3 – Have you been convinced that you have no power?

Do you believe you can’t fight city hall? Do you believe decisions of war and peace should be made by politicians because they know more about it than you? Do you believe matters of the spirit should be left to clergy because they have studied more than you? Do you believe the financial experts should run the economy because they are smarter about those things than you? Are you content to let someone else set the agenda?

Worst of all, do you believe there is nothing you can do about it? Do you think you are the only one who feels this way? There are a thousand yous, a million yous, a billion yous out there in the world who could change things in a moment if only you recognized your power.

Yes. The world is a better place when you feel empowered to truly participate. Don’t let anyone tell you that you have no power to make change or make a difference. That is the biggest of the biggest lies. You have undiscovered, untapped talents and knowledge that can contribute. Never assume the experts know how to run the world.

Ask yourself: Am I content to let others make the decisions or am I empowering myself to have a say and make a difference?

Question 4 – Will you choose to participate?

This is the only one of the four questions you have to answer for yourself. I can remind you to be conscious about the world you are helping to create. I can remind you to push for better solutions and a happier planet.  I can remind you that you are a powerful force that can make a difference in the world. I cannot, however, force you to act.

What does acting mean? Do you have to run for office, make speeches, or write blogs? No. Acting is simply about really thinking about why you are here on this planet in this time and place. Finding your real purpose and passion and following it to its logical end.

Joseph Campbell liked to label it, “following your bliss”. Follow your bliss, dear reader! If you do that and every other person on this planet does that, I guarantee you that the first three questions will be rendered meaningless. We will have a conscious world full of empowered people making good choices.

Ask yourself: What is my bliss? What brings me true happiness?

When you find it move towards it immediately and we will see changes on this planet that we cannot even imagine now.

Stay inspired!

Ray

Metta: Turning Your Positivity Outward – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday September 3, 2008

Step one in creating a positive world is to become more positive within. Our own ability to create a more peaceful, centered self helps us contribute that kind energy in the world. Step two is to radiate that positive energy out into the world. One ancient practice allows us to do both simultaneously.

Some of my readers may be familiar with the meditation practice known as Metta. Metta is a Pali word generally translated into English as “lovingkindness”. The word itself is derived from the ancient Sanskrit word Maitri.

Metta was first practiced by Buddhists, but the meditation has become popular with many other people for its ability to create a strong sense of well-being. While a standard seated position with legs crossed and back straight is recommended for meditation, you can easily do Metta sitting comfortably or even lying. Any position is fine as long as you can maintain focused attention.

Metta meditation is an active meditation. Its purpose is to develop positive mental states within and then expand those positive mental states out into the world in concentric circles. Metta meditation is believed to create a peaceful environment and well, for lack of a better phrase, “positive vibes” in an area.

The practice wisely recognizes that you cannot spread peace, love, or kindness into the world until you have created it within yourself. Metta meditation begins with the self. The meditator usually quietly repeats or thinks a phrase (an affirmation) similar to:

“May I be happy. May I be peaceful. May I be free from suffering.”

This continues until the meditator feels this assurance rising within. You want to continue until you reach the point where the phrase feels like:

“I AM happy. I AM peaceful. I AM free from suffering.”

If you are starting from a place of great distress in your life, you might spend several meditation sessions focused strictly bringing these feelings into reality for you. That’s OK. Keep at it and soon you will experience these feelings more rapidly.

Having developed a sense of peace and loving-kindness within; you are now ready to share it with the world. Next, you focus on the person closest to you in your life – a spouse, a child, a parent. This is because this person is the next easiest person for you to feel these feelings towards.

Transition to a phrase such as:

“May April be happy. May April be peaceful. May April be free from suffering.”

As you say these words about your loved one, feel yourself sending these feelings of affection to him or her as you visualize them. Move on when you feel you have completely embraced your loved one with these thoughts.

Repeat this process through the following stages:

  1. You
  2. Closest loved one (someone you love deeply)
  3. Friend (someone you feel positive towards)
  4. Acquaintance (neutral feelings towards)
  5. Difficult person (someone you have negative feelings towards)
  6. Enemy (someone you have strong negative feelings towards)
  7. The world

You can include as many people as you wish, but maintain at least this minimal pattern.

When you practice Metta regularly you begin to develop a more constant state of lovingkindness towards yourself and the world around you.

Back in my sales days, I used to include customers I knew I would be calling the next day. I cannot tell you how many times meetings, presentations, and closes went far more smoothly than expected after Metta meditations.

Metta is a way to take the positive you are developing within you and spread it out into the world. You may experience a new sense of peace for you, see old tensions with people in your life fade away, and even break down barriers with your most persistent “enemies”.

You might even use the practice to dispel negative thoughts and feelings or develop a greater capacity for acceptance.

I’m sharing this with you today because I have not practiced Metta regularly for several years. The benefits are so apparent I cannot imagine why. I am going to take up the practice and I hope you might consider it too. Along with affirmations, Metta brought me up from some pretty low times.

I know it can add value to your life and help you turn your positivity outward.

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.

Ray

Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot and an advocate for the potential of the human race.  He’s the author of the breakthrough novel Anunnaki Awakening: Revelation – order your signed copy today at AATrilogy.com

anunnaki_cover_full_colorAnunnaki Awakening: Revelation is turning heads and opening minds. Humanity’s past is checkered, secret, and dangerous.

White House Correspondent Maria Love is on to the story of her life and with the help of an Anunnaki leaders seeks to unravel and reveal history’s biggest conspiracy. The Awakening has begun!

16 Keys to Happiness and Success

Today’s Affirmation:

“I enhance my happiness and success by making smart, positive choices about my life.” 

Here are 16 things you can do right now to drastically enhance your happiness and success.

  1. Eat right
  2. Exercise
  3. Get enough rest
  4. meditate/pray
  5. Be thankful
  6. Be enthusiastic
  7. Think positively
  8. Be patient
  9. Let go of fear and harmful attachments
  10. Engage life fully in this moment
  11. Choose happiness
  12. Accept what is
  13. Keep improving yourself
  14. Make people not things and tasks the priority
  15. Share your life and yourself with others
  16. Never, ever give up.

Remember that your world is created in your mind long before it becomes visible. You are the director of your life.

Be peaceful Be positive!

Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot. He’s spent more than 25 years studying personal development and especially writing, recording, and using affirmations to achieve his goals. His eBook – The Power to Be You – offers 416 life-changing and original quotes, ideas, and affirmations to take you to new levels of achievement and reflection.

anunnaki_cover_full_colorAnunnaki Awakening: Revelation, Ray’s first novel,  is turning heads and opening minds. Humanity’s past is checkered, secret, and dangerous.

White House Correspondent Maria Love is on to the story of her life and with the help of an Anunnaki leader seeks to unravel and reveal history’s biggest conspiracy. The Awakening has begun!