What to do when your affirmations don’t work? There are some people out there who will argue with me about this, but I don’t for a second believe your affirmations aren’t working because you don’t “want” it enough or you’re not screaming it loud enough for the universe to hear.
I like to approach mindset and goal setting from a psychological, scientific point of view. Meaning affirmations aren’t some kind of magic, but they are indeed a useful tool to help you get the life you want.
What affirmations actually do is reframe your thoughts, your overall perspective on life. How? Well, when you purposefully think about or visualise something, it keeps it in the front of your mind. By having this thought or vision front of mind, you start to see and hear more around you that relate to this.
I don’t believe it’s the universe responding to you, but rather you’re tuning in to the world around you.
When you’re tuned in to a specific part of the world, let’s say your focus at the moment was to have more money, you’ll start to see a lot more around you relating to wealth. Maybe it’s overhearing coworkers talking about a new Kiwisaver scheme that’s doing really well, maybe you see an ad for Sharesies on facebook about investing, or you might even have an “aha!” moment for a fantastic business idea.
Table of Contents
So, why might affirmations not be working for you?
1. Are they yours?
2. Are they realistic?
3. Are they empowering?
4. Are they being read/said/referred to multiple times throughout your day?
5. Is there a part of you that doesn’t believe it’ll work?
1. Are your affirmations your own?
A lot of people out there in the self-help world share affirmations for you to use, as it helped them achieve what they wanted. Which is great, I’m grateful they want to share their affirmations with the world – but they may not be for you specifically.
Your affirmations need to sound natural and believable to you.
The affirmation, “I believe in myself” may work for some, but for others it might feel a bit weak or vague, And when that happens the affirmation itself doesn’t hold much power for you.
> Read What Are Affirmations & How Do You Use Them? to learn how to write affirmations that mean something to you.
2. Are your affirmations realistic?
When I was first getting into the whole mindset thing in my early twenties (after watching The Secret), I decided I was going to be a millionaire, living in my dream house, with a loving husband along with our 3 angelic children.
A nice outlook for sure, but to achieve all that within a few years… highly unlikely, especially based on my lifestyle at the time (big debt, big spender, toxic relationships).
So, take a closer look at your affirmations, are they realistic for you right now?
If you had the same dreams as younger me, I’d recommend dialing it back a bit. Focus on a well paying career, look at additional ways to make money, and make sure I focus on finding someone who is respectful, loving, and has the same dreams of marriage and children.
3. Are your affirmations empowering?
Not all ‘positive affirmations’ or quotes are good for you, some can actually hinder your progress, and sadly, Pinterest is full of them. One in particular being: “
Self Confidence, God Confidence”. These are what I like to call pseudo-affirmations. They’re like back-handed compliments.
I don’t have a problem with faith or God, but when somebody suggests to not believe in yourself and to put all your power, success, or confidence in something else other than yourself… that I have a problem with.
Whenever I post a quote or affirmation on The Daily Goalgetter, I always make sure it sends the right message – that its intent is to empower, not to take away someone’s personal power.
Of course there’s the argument that to have confidence in God IS to have confidence in yourself, as you are connected to God on a spiritual level. But why does self-confidence need to be crossed out? Can they not co-exist?
If you find this kind of quote motivating, then by all means, continue to use it. Just be mindful of what you’re telling yourself.
> Shop Printable Positive Affirmations that have been put through the ringer to make sure they are a source of personal empowerment.
4. Are your affirmations used frequently?
To actively work towards a goal, it needs to be at the forefront of your mind. For something to be front of mind, it needs to be referred to multiple times a day. (Your brain has a lot it needs to focus on!)
I noticed after I had been staying at my boyfriend’s house for a little while, my mindset was starting to shift. I realised it was because I no longer had my vision board or affirmations around me on a daily basis. It was at this point I realised how important it is to frequently refer to your affirmations!
If you’re in a similar situation where you can’t really make the space your own, set affirmations as your phone/laptop/tablet’s background. You can have different ones for the home and lock screen.
I’d also recommend journaling at night, to reflect on the day just been and to use as a platform to start writing your own affirmations based on your current challenges. For example, if you had a challenging day at work where you had to present something but your confidence was shaky at best, writing some positive affirmations around confidence and self-belief will help you with the next time it pops up.
> Read Affirmations for Anxiety – Do They Work? for more info around using affirmations to help manage those pesky, destructive thoughts.
5. Is There A Part Of You Holding Yourself Back?
When you’re not used to thinking with purpose, those automatic negative thoughts can sound like the truth. “I can’t do this, god I look awful, I don’t deserve xyz”.
But they’re not. Just because they’re there, doesn’t make them right.
That’s what I love about using positive affirmations. They put you back in the driver’s seat. You take back the control of your thoughts. You consciously decide to be your own cheer leader, rather than someone who put’s themselves down.
I won’t lie, it does feel weird and phony when you first start using affirmations. But within a week or so you’ll start to notice the difference, and more positive, supportive thoughts become automatic.
> Read The Answer: How to Take Charge of Your Life & Become the Person You Want to Be for a book that shows you how to believe in yourself, in a naturally, genuine way.
What to Do When Your Affirmations Don’t Work Round Up
- Are they yours? Make sure you’re using words you’d normally use, so the affirmations sound natural to you.
- Are they realistic? Sometimes we can get a little overzealous when working towards our dream life. Maybe reel it back a little to something you can achieve in the near future.
- Are they empowering? Sometimes affirmations we find online on the surface sound great, but take a deeper look. Is it truly supportive & empowering?
- Are they being referred to multiple times a day? The key to making affirmations work is to use them constantly. Before soon it’ll become an automatic habit.
- Is there a part of you that doesn’t believe it’ll work? Affirmations feel like a phony at first, but persevere and you’ll start to notice a difference within a week or so.
> Looking to use affirmations in your daily routine but not sure where to start? Check out our wide range of Printable Affirmation Cards on Etsy!