Friday, August 29, 2008

Affirmations, Part 2

An affirmation is 100% believable.

This is my own first rule and the one least often addressed (to my satisfaction, anyway) in articles about affirmations.

Now, there is a big difference between something being believable and something being true. Something can be believable but untrue (urban legends are a great example; go to Snopes for a myriad of things people believe that simply aren't true.

Other things can be true but unbelievable, like the proper spelling of Cincinnati (two Ns, one T -- you have no idea how many arguments I've had with people over this) or the fact that Los Angeles is south of Las Vegas.

Whether something is believable or not depends on the individual. Some people easily use an affirmation such as, "I drive a brand new Lexus." I don't find it believable, because I drive a Camry. For me, believable affirmations would be:

  • I am (or I see myself) walking onto the car lot, pointing to the car I want, and paying in nice, crisp, $1,000 bills.

  • I am (or I see myself) driving off the lot knowing that the only pavement these tires have touched is the pavement in the car lot. I'm the first person to ever drive this car on the street.

  • I get more and more excited about how easily I'm able to get around to help people.

  • Every day, my new car is getting 100 miles closer to me.

Now, a couple of these are obviously false statement, but they are believable to me, in my imagination. They make great movie clips in my mind. They crank me up and get me excited. That's what counts. Is it true? Don't care. Is it believable? Use it.

For those who worry about Truth with a capital T, or how it's important to be honest with yourself, well... sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn't. Look how many times we tell lies when we talk to ourselves: I can't learn anything new. I'm never going to lose weight. All men/women are liars. One little bite/puff/drink won't hurt.

Why is it okay to lie to yourself if it makes you feel bad, but not if it keeps you inspired and focused? Makes no sense to me.

You can use the same technique to develop a more positive attitude about things you currently dislike, to make a situation (or person) more tolerable. What's good about that? Efficient use of energy. "I can't stand this anymore!" becomes:

  • I can stand anything as long as I'm working to change it.

  • I'm taking steps toward a powerful, permanent solution.

  • When I acknowledge and appreciate the things that are good and useful, it gives me courage and energy to keep working on the things that aren't perfect yet.

  • I learn something from every challenge and it gets me closer to my goal.

What does this have to do with comedy hypnosis? People often ask me, "Why would anyone enjoy acting silly in public?" The answer is, because they are tapping into the power of affirmations. "This feels great! That would be fun! I can't wait to do that! Can I do that again?" They are experiencing the positive -- in the moment -- in a personal, powerful way.

1 comment:

tom said...

There's an old saying of my mother's that anything one says about another person should have a test applied to it:

1. Is it true?
2. Is it kind?
3. Is it useful?

If it's not at least two of those, don't say it. I think this might be a good rule for affirmations, as well.

If it's true, but neither kind nor useful, don't use it. If it's useful, but neither true nor kind, it's probably less useful than you think. If it's kind, but neigher true nor useful -- why bother?

Your post talks about how well kind and useful affirmations can work. True and kind together have an inherent usefulness ("useful for what?" "Well, for helping me feel better about true things about myself.") True and useful doesn't really have to be fully kind, though it's nicer if it is.

The best ones, of course, are all three -- and I'd only want to use the 2/3 ones as a stopgap.