Have you ever wondered why positive affirmations don't work?
Have you used affirmations in the past and they haven’t yielded results? Have you experienced using the law of attraction to try and manifest a desire into your world, and though you thought positive thoughts, you felt it, you meditated, created a vision board etc it still didn't happen? If so, you're not alone.
Research has investigated affirmations - asking are they as powerful as the spiritual community says they are and do they work? And the evidence is in. In a study titled, Positive Self-Statements: Power for Some, Peril for Others, the researchers state:
“Positive self-statements seemed to provide a boost only to people with high self-esteem—those who ordinarily feel good about themselves already—and that boost was small.”
A recent groundbreaking study illuminates the ineffectiveness of affirmations, and instead suggests interrogative self-talk instead. (Senay, Albarracín & Noguchi, 2010). In this study, they examine that most people use affirmations to replace negative beliefs. The reason this doesn’t work is that they are targeting the conscious mind but not the unconscious, and all that results is conflict between your conscious mind wanting to believe and your unconscious mind that knows that the statement isn’t true.
This inner war drains you of energy and creates tension on all levels of your being. The deeply held negative truth that your unconscious believes only becomes STRONGER as it fights for survival and that is why your positive affirmations fail to manifest.
From this study, they found that asking ourselves is far more powerful than telling ourselves something when we wish to create successful end results. This is where interrogative self-talk comes in.
By interrogative self-talk, we mean asking questions to probe the underlying beliefs in our unconscious. This powerful strategy works better than affirmations because it acknowledges your negative thoughts and feelings. It asks them to share and you can begin to question the story, memories and experiences associated with it. The more awareness you can bring to the beliefs the more you can dismantle them.
Katie Byron developed a simple inquiry model called “The Work.” It involves asking four simple questions about each belief that causes us pain:
This can be a wonderful way of deeply releasing long held painful and negative beliefs about ourselves.
And the good news, once you’ve released negative beliefs then you don’t need affirmations because you now truly believe whatever it is you were trying to convince yourself of originally.
If you want more information about why affirmations don't work check out the full video here: