How to Use Affirmations

When I first encountered affirmations, I understood them as a way to make something that you didn’t really believe was true, become true. It was a “fake it ’til you make it” technique, which totally sometimes works under all the right conditions. The idea is that if you say the affirmation enough, you believe it, and if you repeat it while believing it, you attract it… so the affirmation becomes true. There are lots of ways to see this concept. Perhaps the affirmation is already true, and saying it helps your brain to understand that it’s true. Or you are training your brain to understand its truth by repetition. Or that it’s the law of attraction at work.

But that’s not how I use affirmations anymore. I now use affirmations as a key to uncover my limiting beliefs and unlock the door to my personal growth.

For example, if I take the affirmation I love myself completely and I repeat it aloud, some of my limiting beliefs are going to show up.

I may resist the affirmation, thinking No, I don’t.

or Yeah, except for that failure from yesterday, or how you aren’t growing fast enough, Lizzie. You should be making more money by now.

But since I am using the affirmation I love myself completely,

I’m going to apply that medicine to the wound. 

I’ll ask myself these questions:

  1. Can you love yourself completely even though you aren’t living up to the high standards you’re setting for yourself?
  2. Isn’t it true that the parts of your that aren’t excelling right now may need some nurturing and love to grow and work in harmony with the rest of you?
  3. Can you step outside of yourself, see your inner child, or whatever part of you is needing some love right now, and love her completely?



Another example…

The affirmation from yesterday’s Daily Magic was I am ready to start my journeyThe daily magic was about taking a single step toward what you want.

Some inner responses might be:

I’m not where I need to be to begin this journey or I’ll never be ready. There’s always something more to be done.

I’m not even sure which journey I want to be on! What journey?

I’m very comfortable right where I am. I don’t need to go anywhere, thank you very much!


The questions you might ask yourself are:

  1. Am I satisfied with where I am right now? Do I want to grow?
  2. What path of growth excites me?
  3. Could I take a single step and then assess the journey as I go?
  4. If I were ready to start a journey, what would that feel like?


I like to treat affirmations first like a litmus test:

Let me try this one on, and see what comes up. Maybe there’s something more for me here, or maybe this one doesn’t spark anything in me.


And then if there’s a spark, let the affirmation be a key.

When I have the key in my hand to unlock this door to my personal growth, will I actually use the key and walk through the door? What can I learn from the resistance that shows up here?

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