AFFIRMATIONS: Using Affirmations to Uncover
and Transform Negative Beliefs and Attitudes

Douglas Bloch
November, 1988


          Part of reprogramming the mind involves uncovering those unconscious beliefs that are blocking expression of the desired state. Remember, your conscious mind is only the tip of your mental iceberg. The beliefs that create your inner and outer reality are located below the threshold of conscious awareness - known as the subconscious mind. It is here that your childhood memories, experiences and reality-creating beliefs are stored. The power of these subconscious attitudes is illustrated in the following example.

          Suppose you wnat to work with Muhammad Ali's affirmation, "I am the grestest," in order to build your self-esteem. But perhaps your conditioning has led you to believe that you are incompetent. Thus, every time you tell yourself how great you are, your subconscious directly contradicts the statement with what it KNOWS to be true. A typical dialogue is depicted below:
 
Most Appropriate Questions On Chalice Garden Tapestry by Chris Pringer 9'12(background) & 7'16
"Most Appropriate Questions On Chalice Garden Tapestry"
by Chris Pringer 7'16 (Background of Sept'12)


      Affirmation                                     WHAT COMES UP

      I am the greatest.
                    I'M AFRAID YOU'RE NOT.

      I am the greatest.
                    IN FACT, YOU'RE A REAL LOSER.

      I am the greatest.
                    YOU CAN'T DO ANYTHING RIGHT!

The pattern is all too clear. Because your subconscious beliefs portray you as someone who can't get it together, your affirmations fall on deaf ears. Here is another example:

      I deserve to be prosperous.
                    MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL.

      I deserve to be prosperous.
                    MONEY WILL CORRUPT YOU.

      I deserve to be prosperous.
                    YOU CAN'T HOLD ONTO ANY MONEY.

What makes this process so insidious is that you may not even be aware that your subconscious mind is sabotaging your efforts. Fortunately there is a way out - Make the subconscious conscious {in bold}. In other words, bring your most deeply held assumptions about life to the light of day where they can be transmuted into new beliefs.

Using affirmations, the process is amazingly simple. Divide a sheet of paper into two columns. Label the left-hand column "Affirmation" and the right-hand column "What comes up." Then after putting yourself in a relaxed and receptive state of mind, write your affirmation. Afterwards, be still and notice what bubbles up from the subconscious mind. Then write the material down, no matter how irrelevant it may appear. The process is similar to free association.

After you repeat this six or seven times, your column will contain a list of the major negative beliefs and assumptions you hold regarding your affirmation. Here is how it worked for Carol, whose goal was to open a fashion boutique specializing in used clothes.

      Affirmation                                     WHAT COMES UP

      I am successfully running my own business.
                    I CAN'T DO IT.

      I am successfully running my own business.
                    IT'S TOO MUCH WORK.

      I am successfully running my own business.
                    YOU NEED TO BE WORKING AT A REGULAR 9-TO-5 JOB.

      I am successfully running my own business.
                    THERE'S NOT ENOUGH MONEY IN IT.

      I am successfully running my own business.
                    YOU NEED SOMETHING THAT PROVIDES MORE SECURITY.

      I am successfully running my own business.
                    NO ONE IN YOUR FAMILY IS AN ENTREPRENEUR.

As you can see, Carol now has a clear knowledge of her core beliefs that tell her she "can't" own and run her own business. However, the process does not end here. If Carol continues to repeat the affirmation, the negatives will eventually exhaust themselves, to be replaced by positive thoughts and feelings that emanate from her Higher Self. For example:

      I am successfully running my own business.
                    I HAVE EXCELLENT TASTE IN CLOTHING.

      I am successfully running my own business.
                    I KNOW OTHER PEOPLE WHO OWN THEIR OWN BUSINESS.

      I am successfully running my own business.
                    IF THEY CAN DO IT, SO CAN I.

      I am successfully running my own business.
                    IF THEY CAN DO IT, SO CAN I.

      I am successfully running my own business.
                    WITH GOD, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.

      I am successfully running my own business.
                    I KNOW I CAN SUCCEED.

Now we're getting somewhere. Just as dropping stones in a pail of water displaces the liquid, Carol's negative beliefs are being replaced by positive attitudes that will draw to her the good that she desires.

Dealing with Getting Stuck

As old habit patterns are particularly ingrained, this process may have to be repeated a number of times before the new beliefs can be firmly established. The amount of time required will depend on the strength of the old belief, your motivation to change, and how often you use your affirmation.

Sometimes, however, the negative responses refuse to go away. When this occurs, ask yourself the following questions: How did I obtain my self-defeating beliefs: (Most of our negative beliefs were learned in early childhood). Who communicated them to me? Is there any truth to them? Do I still want to hold onto them?

Once you realize that you have a choice in the matter, you can keep the beliefs which are supporting you, and release those which are causing you pain. If, however, you continue to stay stuck in old patterns, you may need to seek out a therapist, counselor, priest, minister, rabbi, friend -- anyone who can serve as a guide to assist you through the process of growth and change.

Ultimately, you will emerge victorious. Your being is continually taking you in the direction of expansion and spiritual growth. Affirmations are a catalyst that will speed up the process and make it a smoother and more enjoyable one.



Douglas Bloch is an author, counselor, and teacher. He is the author of a recent book on affirmations, Words that Heal, the first in a series of books on spiritual healing.


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