change your thinking

Why Positive Affirmations Don’t Always Work

I love positive affirmations but I’ve come to see them as a reinforcement of positive thoughts and not as a tool to erase stressful thoughts.

 

What Are Positive Affirmations?

 

Positive affirmations are positive statements that you repeat to yourself over and over to change your blue print by changing the way you think so you can change your behavioural pattern.

These statements are written down or said out loud as though they’re happening in the present moment.

 

How Positive Affirmations Work

 

The blue print of our behaviour is stored in the subconscious mind, which records and stores all events and experiences we’ve had since childhood.

Every time we experience an event the subconscious mind sifts through our past experiences and sees how we’ve behaved in the past and, to save time, tells the conscious mind to behave the same way whenever we’re faced with the same situation again.

Positive affirmations reprogram the subconscious mind to sift through information in a different manner, in order to get different results.

It’s almost like reprogramming a computer (that’s what the mind is) to play different games or run different software.

Affirmations are always recited or written as though they are happening in the present moment because the subconscious mind has no concept of time.

If you say you’ll be something or somewhere, the mind will constantly delay the event to some future date that never arrives.

The best way to do affirmations is in front of a mirror or by writing them down every day.

For example: if you have self-esteem issues you can create an affirmation to help you become more confident by telling yourself:

 

In time you’ll notice that you actually do become more confident every day because the subconscious mind will start to sift through information differently so that you become aware of your virtues.

 

Why Affirmations Don’t Always Work

 

1. You have to say them everyday

 

They take a long time to work - you need to say them with emotion and you have to believe that the things you’re affirming are true, which is difficult to master if you have deep depths of despair of depression. They don’t change negative thoughts

If you really want to change negative thoughts and beliefs you have to confront them by questioning their validity or through meditation.

Affirmations don’t erase the old thoughts or question their validity, they’re just positive thoughts you add to the mix, so you always have to affirm the new thoughts and fight the old ones.

It’s like writing a new code without erasing the old code, which makes for an interesting (ish) software

 

2. You can’t affirm everything

 

We think so many thoughts, positive and negative, in a day; you can’t affirm all of them every day for a month.

When you’re going through hell, how do you know which thought is the one that’s causing you the most stress?

This was something I struggled with for years, because I was dealing with family issues, money issues, relationship issues and self-esteem issues at the same time, I had like 20 affirmations at a time, so doing affirmations actually took time and work on my part.

If you do affirmations, I suggest 7 affirmations for 30 days morning and evening.

I like 7 because it signifies completion (again this is all personal preference. Do what feels right for you).

 

 

Have you used affirmations before?

Have they worked for you?

Let me know in the comments section below...

Why We Make Bad Financial Decisions

Stress in ufficio segretaria

It took me years to be able to talk about money or even negotiate my salary.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to, it was just that I couldn’t; it felt very wrong to talk about money.

Whenever the topic of money came up, I always asked for less than I deserved just so I could get the topic out of the way.

I’d ignore my bills and my bank statements. I convinced myself I was too enlightened to earn money.

When I did eventually go business school and force myself to talk about money – I developed health issues.

I started suffering from a tail bone pain that made sitting unbearable, got eczema and suffered from constant acid reflux.

My mind tried to protect me by making me sick.

 

Earning Money made me physically sick

 

Making money and getting paid made me ill.

I'd have violent shivers and have to fight off panic attacks whenever I had to go to the bank or talk about money.

I gave away most of my money (that I needed to live) to good causes or friends (including ex-boyfriends) and chose to starve instead (after all I didn’t need money and was too good to make money).

I had no clue I was giving away my money or that I had these limiting beliefs.

I managed to convince myself I was bad with money until my life coach made me keep track of every penny I spent for a month.

Keeping track of my expenses taught me that at I was starving and broke because I was giving away my money, not spending it recklessly!

This was like a light bulb and it instantly helped me change my behaviour.

Change Behavior

 

If you want to change your financial decisions, you have to change the way you think about money

 

The root cause of our behaviour is our thinking. 

If you believe that money is bad then you’ll spend your life avoiding it or running from it because that’s what we do when we think that something’s bad.

Psychological theories on emotions tend to differ on the order in which emotions and behaviour occur during or following an event.

Do we first think a thought, then feel an emotion and then take action?

Do we think yay I have money to burn, feel excited and then use our credit cards?

Or do we first take an action, feel an emotion and then think a thought?

Do we use our credit cards, feel excited about spending and then tell ourselves we have money to burn?

Whatever the case, most psychological theories agree: there’s a link between mind, body/behavior and emotion.

 

The psychology of money

 

Economists define money as a measure of value.

The first thing that all Economics students learn is that money has no value except the value that we give it.

Neoclassical Economists have always believed that people make rational economic decisions, this assumption works well in theory, but it doesn’t hold up in the real world as can be seen by the economic booms and busts that characterize the global economy.

 

The underlying cause of bad financial decisions

 

We live in a world of quick fixes and credit cards; we’re not encouraged to explore the underlying causes or to look at the mind-body connection or the external-internal connection behind our financial behaviours.

Dawney & Shah claim that when it comes to decision making there are 7 factors that affect financial behaviour:

 

1. Other people

 

People will behave in a way that wins the approval of others by making themselves look good, like spending money they don’t have to win their friends’ approval.

 

2. Daily habits

 

People’s behaviour is based on past experiences and is preconditioned.

Even if you know that using your credit card to buy clothes will only land you in debt, you’ll go ahead and swipe your credit card because it’s habitual.

 

3. People want to do the right thing

 

People will often make irrational decisions with their finances if they perceive their actions to be morally correct. Like donating your last penny to save the Amazon or Rhinos.

 

4. Self-expectations

 

People will behave in a way that aligns with their view of themselves. If you believe you’re bad with money, you’ll behave in a way that aligns with this view of yourself by mismanaging money.

 

5. Risk averse

 

People don’t feel comfortable taking risks with their property, which affects investment behavior

 

6. People are bad at computation

 

People worry too much about how problems are presented and have a hard time thinking long term. This affects savings in the long term because we tend to focus on financial problems as they arise in this moment and forget about tomorrow

 

7. People need to feel involved in decision making

 

Even if there’s enough of a financial incentive to do something, people won’t be satisfied with the end result unless they’re involved in the decision making process.

 

How to make good financial decisions

 

You’re most likely to engage in negative financial behaviour, when you don’t feel well emotionally.

For example: when you're depressed, you want to feel better so you go out shopping, which leads to increased credit card debt.

You can change your financial behaviour by making the conscious decision to change the way you think and feel about your life at any moment.

To change your thinking, you have to change your focus, which changes your emotional set point, which in turn changes what you attract into your life:

To quote Abraham Hicks, “By paying attention to the signals of your emotions, you can understand, with absolute precision, everything you are now living or have ever lived. And, with a precision and ease that you may have never before experienced, you can use this new understanding of your emotions to orchestrate a future experience that will please you in every way.”

 

What do you think leads to bad financial decisions?

Let me know in the comments section below.

How To Get Out Of Your Own Way

Get out of your own way

Everything in my life started coming together and making sense when I learned to get out of my own way and let life unfold naturally with ease. 

A breakthrough happens when you surrender to the journey and stop sabotaging your own success.

 

How To Get Out Of Your Own Way

 

1. Determine who or what you want to be

 

The first step is to determine who you want to be (forget the voice that tells you it’s impossible) and then see where you actually are and determine what actions you need to take to be that person.

 

2. Change your thinking

 

Actions are influenced by our underlying beliefs.

My breakthrough came the day I realized that I didn’t want to be a writer because I didn’t believe that what I thought was important or original.

This thought demotivated me and discouraged me from writing.

Changing my thinking, changed the way I saw myself.

 

3. Find your own truth

 

It’s easy to believe our thoughts about ourselves, no matter how painful they are.

If you can find just one thing to disprove the beliefs you have about yourself, then you can change your self-perception.

For a thought to be true, it has to be true every time in every situation.

Suppose you believe you aren’t good with money.

You can easily prove this thought to be false if you can find moments in your life when you've managed money well.

 

4. What do you have to believe to be the person you want to be?

 

Faith is a powerful thing. Believing in a God or an idea can give us strength but the most powerful thing is to believe in ourselves.

What do you need to believe about yourself to be the person you want to be?

When I decided to be a writer I had to change my thinking and believe that my thoughts were important and that what I had to say mattered to someone somewhere.

 

5. Reinforce your positive beliefs

 

Our beliefs are deeply embedded and it takes a while to get rid of them.

You have to have a strategy to keep reinforcing positive beliefs about yourself and your situation to break through.

I reinforce my positive beliefs about myself and my abilities by writing down all the good things that happen to me every day and celebrating major milestones.

This helps when I’m going through a major bout of self-doubt.

I leave you with a quote by Steve Carlton, “You’ve gotta find a way to get out of your own way, so you can progress in life.”

 

How do you stand in your own way?

Let me know in the comments section.