What is an affirmation?
An affirmation is a statement of something that is true or that you want to be true.
It is a sensory impression that you expose your mind to over and over again.
The goal of using affirmations is to reinforce a mental model that you have or to build a model that you would like to have going forward.
The stronger the mental model becomes, the more you begin to perceive reality through this new lens.
Sample affirmations are:
- “I love myself!”
- “Every day, in every way, I am becoming better and better and better.”
- “I take responsibility for my life. I lead instead of following.”
How do affirmations build mental models?
You do not perceive reality as it is but as it is processed through your mental models.
Mental models get shaped through sensory impressions. Your current reality is perceived through the mental models you have constructed in the past.
This means that how you perceive reality tells you a lot about the mental models you are running. It’s like seeing something on a computer screen and realizing what software version the computer must be running.
You do not perceive the physical world with your five senses, they are used to send information to the brain, and the brain has to ‘make sense’ of all this information. It does that through your mental models.
How do affirmations build new mental models?
Your mind will perceive new sensory impressions and will store them subconsciously. The more you expose yourself to an affirmation, the bigger the overall impression.
The stronger the existing mental models are, the more effort it will take to replace them with a new mental model.
However, once the new model starts to take root, you will notice that your experience of reality will change.
How to expose your mind to affirmations
Affirmations are easy Magic Moves, because it’s easy to administer them:
- schedule them as reminders on your phone
- record an audio track where you speak these affirmations to yourself, and listen to this audio track over and over
- write down empowering affirmations on a piece of paper
- print these affirmations and put them as a sign on your work desk
Affirmations are low-impact impressions
It has to be noted here that affirmations are a relatively low-impact form of sensory impressions. Their strength is in their frequency of repetition.
There are other ways to rewrite mental programs, such as hypnosis or deep meditation, but these require more experience and ‘effort’.
A word of caution
Although it is impossible to live without mental models, please realize that you are not your mental programs.
Yes, your perception of reality changes when mental programs are modified. However, you are still just replacing one program with a better one. If some future event shakes your new mental program, this can still cause a lot of inner turmoil.
Suppose you successfully conditioned yourself that you are confident, and something happens that challenges that belief; what happens? At times like this, it’s easy to doubt the firmness of the construction that you have mentally built.
The only way out of this scenario is by raising your awareness to get out of your mind, to put some space between reality and the mental models that you have built = your perception of it.
You can connect to the dimension of who you are that lies way beyond your mental models. That is where you can be truly free of any mental constructs.
So, by all means, use affirmations to build constructive mental models, but be aware of what you are doing.