Incremental Affirmations

sun in handsOne of the biggest obstacles faced by people using affirmations is the conundrum of the big dream and the humble beginning.

You might say, “I have big dreams, but they are hard to believe right now. When I use an affirmation in support of those dreams my mind tells me my affirmation is impossible.”

That rejection of your big dream by your logical mind is called cognitive dissonance in psychological circles. Cognitive dissonance is your natural reaction when a thought or an idea does not match your perception of how the world operates.

You see this concept at play in the mother of an accused murderer. When that mother is interviewed she cannot reconcile her image of her baby boy with that of a murderer. Denial sets in and she rejects the accusation. Her mind searches for a more comfortable belief.

stepping stonesIn your every day goal/dream setting, you face a similar challenge.

Let’s say you are a technical writer for a manufacturing company. In your spare time, you are working on the great American novel. “One day,” you dream, “I want to be land on the New York Times Bestseller List.”  You can use an affirmation like:

“I am a New York Times Bestseller List author.”

I would call this an aspirational affirmation for the writer in question. Aspirational affirmations are effective, if you can overcome the cognitive dissonance. They are about embodying your dream long before you arrive – “fake it until you make it'”

However, many, if not most, people get hung up right there. Your logical mind quite rightly reminds you that you are not a best-selling author and your thinking takes a negative turn instead of the positive turn the affirmation was intended to provide.

Many people find this hard to overcome. Nothing causes more people to try and quit with affirmations than cognitive dissonance. It is a real challenge.

You could use a future tense affirmation such as:

“I will be a New York Times Bestseller List author.”

However, this violates another basic tenet of affirmations – that they are most powerful when phrased in the present tense. Putting an affirmation in future tense steals the power from it. The key to changing your thinking is to affirm that something is happening right now.

This solution is what I call incremental affirmations.

Incremental affirmations are the affirmations you use in the early stages of your journey towards your big dream. They simultaneously place the affirmation in the present tense, while scaling it to believability. The focus is on the same goal and there is an ever-important impetus on action happening now.

Incremental affirmations are created by using words like “on my way” or “in the process of becoming”. These phrases imply that I am taking all the necessary steps and doing all the necessary work to reach for my dream, while acknowledging that I am not yet there.

So, our friend the technical writer with the small book and the big dreams can succeed with an affirmation like:

“I am on my way to becoming a New York Times Bestselling author.”

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!

Enjoying Life on the Way to Your Dreams

Today’s Thought:

“Love the moment. Flowers grow out of dark moments. Therefore, each moment is vital. It affects the whole. Life is a succession of such moments and to live each, is to succeed.”

~ Corita Kent


I spend a lot of time on this blog talking about pursuing goals and dreams. It’s a critical part of life and a significant part of what I believe we are here to do.

However, there’s a possible casualty in our undying drive towards those goals and dreams. That casualty is NOW. We can become so determined to reach some future finish line that NOW becomes nothing more than an expendable commodity to be consumed in that pursuit.

We begin to think that we can sacrifice NOW in the pursuit of this gigantic future we are planning. To some extent, we do have to use NOW as a stepping stone towards our desired accomplishments. If we don’t align our thinking and actions with our goals and dreams in the NOW, we will never achieve them.

We just need to be careful not to discount NOW. NOW is a beautiful place in its own right and, as many wise people have pointed out, it’s all we truly have.

The prolific and award-winning American author Ursula K. LeGuin once said, “It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end.”

The journey is NOW. That’s all the “fly over country” you are covering on your way to your goal or dream. The problem is that NOW is more than merely “fly over country”. It’s the time you sacrifice with family. It’s the opportunities you miss to stop and smell the proverbial flowers. It’s even taking a moment to stop and enjoy the milestones you reach on your way to the big goal.

Don’t forget do enjoy NOW! Your goal or dream will be hollow when you get there, if you have sacrificed too much for it. It’s not an either/or choice. You can enjoy NOW and still be driven to summit your Everest.

For years, the late radio personality Casey Kasem ended his broadcasts with the aphorism, “Keep your feet on the ground (NOW) and keep reaching for the stars (your dreams and goals).”

It’s good advice for us all as we walk the road to our personal promise land.

Stay inspired!

Ray

Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot. He’s been studying and practicing personal development for 30 years. He’s also studied many of the world’s spiritual traditions and mythologies.

Find more TAS motivational content.

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How to Know Affirmations are Working

world musicI get these two questions a lot from people who are using affirmations. When are affirmations an effective tool? How do I know that an affirmation is working?

Affirmations are an extremely effective tool for self-development, behavior modification, thought substitution, or skill enhancement when you do three things:

  1. Decide and commit to change.
  2. Set realistic goals.
  3. Clearly define your goals.

You have to decide and commit to change. Until you do that, your affirmations are just wishful thinking. Without action and belief, your affirmations will fail. So will other methods. Counseling, visualization, and any other technique require some commitment on your part.

Secondly, your goals should be realistic. To use affirmations effectively, you need to separate reality from hyperbole. There is, in my opinion, a lot of misinformation circulating in the positive thinking arena right now.

Modern technology smartphoneThere are some popular programs around that promise that if you believe something, anything hard enough, it will be yours. They create an impression that thoughts are the key to some cosmic ATM that will leave you rich and healthy…somehow perfected…if only you believe strongly enough. These, to me, are reminiscent of an “eat anything and lose weight” diet.

Your thoughts are the most powerful tool for improving your capabilities, but a 65-year old man is not going to think himself into winning an Olympic gold medal in the 100-meter dash. If you’re 65 and you want to run the 100-meter dash, wonderful! Work on being the best you can be. Aligning your thoughts with that goal will allow you to achieve far more than you ever imagined.

Your thoughts are a tool for improving not perfecting yourself. This topic could be several additional posts, but the point is to be realistic. Once you reach early goals, stretch yourself a bit further. The change is organic, not instant.

Thirdly, it is not possible to know how well the affirmation or affirmations are working unless you have a clear picture of what you are using them to achieve. You need to have a picture in your mind of what success looks like. Then you use carefully selected affirmations that target or support that goal.

Let’s say you are football quarterback who wants to improve game performance. You need to first identify what aspects of your game need improvement and then use affirmations that specifically support the mental and physical behaviors that will help you achieve that change.

So, how do you know the affirmations are working? Let’s take thought substitution as an example. Let’s say you have some very old self talk that says, “You’re so stupid,” or “You can’t play baseball,” or “You’ll never be an actor.” Usually, these thoughts were planted by someone else at some point in our lives. Because the tape has never been replaced, it plays on cue each time you face the situation.

A typical affirmation to overcome any of these thoughts is something positive like, “I am so smart,” or “I am a great baseball player,” or “I am a great actor. I really connect with my audience.”

An easy way to know your affirmation is working is when you face the situation and the old thought comes up; but your new positive thought immediately answers the old negative thought.

For example, “You are so stupid,” is immediately answered by “No, I am so smart.”

Repetition, belief, and the desire to change all play into how well affirmations work. They are simply a tool that can help you improve an area of your life.

Empower Your Mind!

Ray

Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot. He’s been studying and practicing personal development for 30 years. He’s also studied many of the world’s spiritual traditions and mythologies.

Find more TAS motivational content.

Website | YouTube | Facebook | Twitter

Keys to Success and Happiness

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
  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.

Make today a great day!

Peace…

Ray
Ray Davis is the Founder of The Affirmation Spot and focuses on empowering minds to think positively, achieve goals, and live dreams.

anunnaki_cover_full_colorCheckout Ray’s breakout speculative fiction novel, ”Anunnaki Awakening: Revelation (2015) White House correspondent, Maria Love, discovers a shocking secret about alien intervention in the distant human past. That discovery puts her on the path of an even more stunning revelation.

One reader wrote, “I’m loving the book. There’s only one problem. I was so into the story that I missed my bus stop.” Another reader emailed to say, “My mind is officially blown!”

Is it fact or is it fiction? You decide!

The Journey Not The End

Today’s Thought:

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.
~Ursula K. Le Guin

IMAG0536Another week of wondering and wandering as we humans are prone to do. We can, at times, go about our business in a most mechanical way.  We “fill our roles” , ” do our jobs”, and “live our lives”  in the manner we are expected; mundanely and without a touch of our personal flare.

Secretly, we wonder if we are on the right track.  We question if we are doing what we really want and, in our most sober moments, ponder if it matters at all.  Today’s quote reminds us and encourages us that it is not the shining city on the hill for which we strive that makes it all worth it, but rather the flowers along the road.

Goals are a wonderful thing. They are necessary for us to progress from one station to the next in life, but it is what we learn and experience on our way to the goals that really makes their attainment meaningful.  If we take a moment not to simply smell the flowers, but to fully  experience them  and understand them; our lives will be richer. Maybe…..when we reach the shining city we will find it was about the flowers all along.

Have an amazing day!

Ray

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

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!