Positive affirmations are all over the internet (specifically social media sites like Pinterest and Facebook)

But they’re not just some fancy saying.

People believe that if affirmations are used properly, they can change your life.


Well, according to theory, if you say them over and over again your mind will start believing them;

And belief is one of the most powerful predictors of success.

But do affirmations really work?

Well the answer is a little more complicated than a simple yes or no.

Tony Robbins, Life Coach and Self-help guru extraordinaire doesn’t think so.

He personally attests to incantations which are essentially affirmations combined with movement, intended to get an emotional charge out of you.

In fact Tony has personally been using Incantations for over 30 years and is a big part of his personal success; which at a net worth of $480 million dollars (as of April 2015) is no small feat.

But there is another way

A secret way of using affirmations that is supported by academic research. It’s called the REINFORCEMENT AFFIRMATION TECHNIQUE (or R.A.T. for short)

The academic community calls them self-affirmations and according to research, it’s all about HOW you use them that make all the difference.

So in the academic World many studies have been done on self-affirmation and its impact but instead of trying to figure all of that out for yourself, here are the important points and how it can help you change your life.

In order to achieve lasting change through Affirmations, three items are absolutely necessary:

Accepting what you’re affirming. If you affirm the following:

"I am amazing at spotting and acting on all opportunities that come my way"

Are you going to believe it?

If the answer is no then put a big X on accepting what you’re affirming. Suddenly your affirmation becomes nothing more than meaningless words you tell yourself. You might as well say:

"I'm a green banana that leaps tall buildings in a single bound"

Motivation for Change –

Okay so you believe what you’re saying, but are you going to do anything about it?

It would definitely be a big fat no if you’re not accepting what you’re affirming, but you’re much more likely if you do.

Subsequent Behaviour –
So you believe you are amazing at spotting and acting on all opportunities that come your way (or that you’re a green banana!) and you’re motivated to use that in achieving financial freedom for example;

Will you follow up with the appropriate behaviour?

Well the good news is that if you affirm correctly you’re far more likely to accept, be motivated and act on it then if you don’t.

So what does this all mean?

How exactly do you do proper self-affirmations?

Well, two things are needed.

You NEED to believe it and you need to build support around it to move from belief to motivation to action.


In order to believe an affirmation, you have to believe it to be true in at least one aspect of your life.

It doesn’t even have to be in the area of your life you want to improve (at first).

So let’s say;

You want to lose weight but cannot find the motivation to exercise. Saying “I’m motivated” over and over in the context of losing weight won’t be very effective.

But what if you stop for a moment and think about another aspect of your life where you are or have been motivated.

For example, you are very successful in your career and you’re motivated to do the best you can in your job.

Well doesn’t that mean you are motivated in at least one aspect of your life?

And if you can be motivated in one aspect, isn’t it entirely possible to be motivated in other? Absolutely!

Now the affirmation doesn’t seem so unbelievable, does it! Of course not.

Is that enough to actually motivate you into action? Maybe. It depends on the person. If you’re like most people, it won’t be enough. Fortunately there is another step.


What the academics have discovered is that in a lot of cases it’s not enough to simply say it.

What they have found is that you’re much more likely to alter your behaviour with the proper support around that affirmation.

And that means taking that affirmation (I’m motivated as evidenced in the pursuit of my career) and write down the details behind that.

Specifically examples of times when you were/are motivated.

What that does is it opens your mind to the possibility that this affirmation can apply in other areas of your life and now you have real-life examples to support it.

And that’s it! Instead of taking the 10 minutes you would use to say something you don’t believe over and over again, take the time to try the Reinforcement Affirmation Technique (R.A.T.) and see if it works for you.

It has a much better chance of positively affecting you.

Now there are some additional tips I’d like to offer:

If you can’t find any aspect of your current life where the affirmations seems to ring true, then search your past and try and find examples that provide support.

If you’re having trouble figuring out an affirmation to explore further, read them out loud and see which ones touch a nerve. If one of them does, it’s your subconscious nudging you to look into it further, because there is some truth behind it.

Finally, if nothing is working, enlist the help of someone who you can trust and have them shed some light on which affirmation(s) are true in some aspect of your life.

I hope you found this useful and I would love to hear your feedback.

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