Designed beliefs are commonly referred to as affirmations. And just in case you are about to tune out with, “Affirmations?! Does that fluffy, weird stuff even work??” give me a couple minutes. You’ll thank me afterward.
Whether you are already on board the affirmation bandwagon, or think it is a bunch of bull-pucky, you are already participating in belief design, even as you read this.
“What!” … Yes its true. Sorry. You are already one of ‘those people’ that do affirmations. Consider this story.
Not so long back I had a meeting with a client and it didn’t go like I hoped it would. Ok, I felt it was a disaster! Hours and days after that meeting I brought back the meeting to my memory and felt the pain of it all over again. My most painful thoughts were things like “I really blew that one” and “I screwed up again” and “I won’t get that business back” or “I wish I would have…” or “I can’t believe I said that!” or just “Uhhhhh!” I think you get the picture. Depending on how much I wanted to suffer, I would think these thoughts over and over and be so focused on that one event that I missed experiencing every other wonderful event going on in my life.
Can you relate in some degree to this? If so, your beliefs set you up to win or lose. If you can’t or haven’t ever experienced this, you either lie like a rug, or should be my next guru. Please contact me if you are the latter.
Our repeated thoughts, AKA beliefs, control how we engage in the world around us. A strong belief that people will accept me and a belief that I will win sets me up to ignore contrary evidence. These beliefs help me engage in life and keep on engaging until I get what I want. In contrast, a strong belief that I will be rejected and I will probably lose sets me up to see the abundant evidence that this is also true. This set of beliefs can lead me to quit. At best, I may say, “This is just how it is for me.” It is common to submit to a life that is merely tolerable and slap a label of “happy” on it. This is not happy.
So how do you design a new belief? One answer is affirmations.
A belief is a thought or idea that past the filter of the conscious mind to the subconscious mind. Once there the subconscious will repeats that idea over and over and over. This unconscious repetition creates what we call a feeling or a belief. If the thought or idea focuses on what we want it is a good feeling. If the thought or idea focuses on what we do not want it is a bad feeling. It is that simple.
A thought gets through the conscious to the subconscious in three main ways.
- The First Way: Your first ideas get to the subconscious. As a kid you didn’t know any better. You didn’t have prominent beliefs yet. Your well intending authorities, helpful or unhelpful, gave their ideas as true and were accepted fully by you as “True”. This is a scary, since the only barrier to entry to get to this position of authority is to be able to procreate.
- The Second Way: Emotionally Charged Ideas get to the subconscious. Any thought consistently feared or revered becomes a belief and ends up unconsciously guiding what you see.
- The Third Way: Repeated Ideas get to the subconscious. This is the self-talk that we do all the time.
Belief design focuses on the 2nd and 3rd way. It is a chosen thought that is repeated enough times to over-power former ideas that didn’t work as well. Note the old belief doesn’t go away. This explains a lot about curious human behavior. I will write more about that at a later time.
The idea behind using affirmations as a tool to getting-what-you-want is to consciously overpower subconscious beliefs that are not working for you with new beliefs that work.
Another way to say all this is, choosing who you are will influence what you do, which in turn influences/creates what you have. This order creates fulfillment and full engagement and being READY now. This is a great alternative to continually striving for some vague criteria to accomplish, so that “one day” you will be ready.
HOW TO MAKE AN EFFECTIVE AFFIRMATION
8 Criteria To Effective Belief Design:
#1. Have an affirmation for each of your clear goals.
I cannot stress the importance of having a clear goal. A tool I use to make sure goals are clear enough to be helpful is the S.M.A.R.T. acronym.
- S: Is your goal Specific?
- M: Is it Measureable? Or can you know for sure if you do or don’t accomplish it. (“Be happier” is a tough one to distinguish. I wouldn’t settle for that one.)
- A: Attractive. Do you really want this goal? Are you willing to go through the pain of transformation to get this?
- R: Realistic. Is this an attainable goal with your current skill set, time and resources?
- T: Timely. Is this goal possible to accomplish in a small enough time frame? Maybe you can chunk it down to smaller peaces of that main big goal.
I like to add Unprecedented (never happened before for you) and Bold (Daring) as well to the mix. This leaves you with “U B SMART” to remember the whole thing.
#2. Start with “I am” to bring into present tense.
This is what made my negative rant I opened this with so powerful. I’d say to myself, “I can’t believe (present tense) I did that!” over and over. Here is a positive version. “I am making $100,000 a year” not “I will be making $100,000.”
#3. Make it a positive declaration.
“I don’t want to hate my wife”, doesn’t work. The subconscious does hear negatives. So it would just hear the request to, “Hate my wife”, which is most likely not a useful belief.
#4. Use Action Verbs.
“I am living, making, earning, loving,” etc.
#5. Keep the statement brief.
#6. Include at least one feeling word that reflects the emotion of having achieved the goal.
“I am excited to, thankfully, gratefully, happily,” etc.
#7. Design your beliefs for yourself only, not others.
“I am so happy my wife massages me daily and is actively learning how to serve me better every day,” doesn’t work. You make goals for you to do.
#8. Repeat for 30 days… AT LEAST 30 DAYS.
According to a NASA study, it takes 25 to 30 days to create the new neural pathways necessary to see the world differently. It’s best to say your affirmation in the morning when first get up and evening as go to bed. And when you do it, make sure to imagine how great it will be. Emotion AND repetition is the perfect recipe for new creation.
Here is an example.
I am so thankful to easily and effortlessly be making $100,000 a year as a keynote speaker.
Now it is your turn! Get clear on what you want and go through the eight steps to get an effective affirmation that will set you up to win. Email me or post your affirmation on this blog when you finish.
My affirmation that I say every morning before I get up and every evening when I finally lay down is:
“God is my infinite supply. He easily sends large sums of money to me as I easily and effortlessly make $100,000 a month speaking and coaching.”
Thinking about that one feels great! Can’t wait to hear yours. 🙂