By: Josh Bryant
“The law of floatation was not discovered by contemplating the sinking of things, but by contemplating the floating of things which floated naturally,” said, arguably, the greatest mental scientist of all-time, Thomas Troward.
Contemplating is what you place your thoughts on and thoughts are things! Thomas Edison would never have discovered the lightbulb had he been contemplating darkness. Over time, positive thoughts manifest into positive things and negative thoughts into negative things. You are responsible for your thoughts!
Inside your subconscious mind, you have a constant dialogue going on. This dialogue is helping bring forth your desired purpose, be it good or bad, be you aware or inept.
Your thoughts and self-talk build up or drag down your personal life, relationships, career, mental health, physical health and goals. One of the best ways to program your subconscious mind for success is by affirmations. I have used these in my own life for personal, athletic and business goals. I have also used them with many of my clients that have set world records in strength sports and other professional endeavors.
It’s your choice! You can live a life of abundance or one of self-imprisonment; natural laws are impersonal.
So, what is an affirmation?
Affirmations are positive, specific statements that help you achieve goals. Affirmations will help you become a better you, regardless of the goal, if properly applied.
I first learned about affirmations years ago after reading a book from 1922, by Emile Couse, called Self-Mastery Through Conscious Autosuggestion. Coue was a pharmacist and observed that when he made positive suggestions about the medicine he gave customers the results were exceptional when compared to just filling a customer’s order with no suggestion. This sparked Coue to study psychology and hypnosis.
Coue set out to develop a universal affirmation he could give to his patients that can be used by anyone for any reason. He struck gold with one that is still popular to this day; it goes, “Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.”
This affirmation was simple, short, optimistic, and would apply to anyone. And, more importantly, the results were astounding and since then have been endorsed by the likes of Maxwell Maltz, Napoleon Hill, Norman Vincent Peale, Joel Osteen and Robert Schuller.
When asked about his healing powers Coue responded, “I have never cured anyone in my life. All I do is show people how they can cure themselves.”
Affirmations program you for success.
Properly-stated affirmations can program your mind into believing the stated concept. Watch a fiction movie and you can very easily be happy, sad or scared. If someone in a bear suit jumps out of the woods unexpectedly, you will be terrified. Your mind doesn’t know the difference between fact and fiction and affirmations use this to your benefit.
When you fear failure, you overestimate the risk you’re taking and imagine the absolute worst possible outcome. In turn, you won’t even try and will inevitably avoid opportunities for success; then you will subconsciously present yourself with the negative affirmation that “success is just not in your cards.”
Positive affirmations combat this and will program you for success.
I have learned extensively about the application of affirmations from hypnotist and Coach William C. Smith. Will has been instrumental in helping me and teaching me how apply this tool to my clients.
As Will says, “Affirmations are USELESS – if you DON’T use them! But very USEFUL when you DO use them!”
A key point he has taught me is affirmations need to be personalized for you – for your purpose / goal / or whatever change you want to make.
So, to personalize further on Coue’s affirmation, you could say this: “Every day, in every way, I am getting more affluent.” Don’t say, “Every day, in every way, I am getting less poor.” To make affirmations work, you must focus on what you want, not what you don’t!
The reason is consciously you know what you mean by “don’t” – but your subconscious doesn’t.
If I tell you don’t think about the pink elephant, guess what, you will focus on the pink elephant.
For Steve Johnson, before his 909 American Deadlift record, he said the following, “I give myself permission to deadlift 909.” You can use this affirmation for anything. “I give myself permission to _______.” Then fill in the blank. Growing up it was necessary to get your parents’ or an adult’s permission to do about anything, as a child it may have been to go to a friend’s house, or, as a teenager, to borrow the car. As an adult, you may have to ask your boss for permission; bottom line is, you only ask for permission because you want to do something. The beauty of this suggestion lies in the fact that you can now give yourself permission to do what you need to do to achieve your goals.
Steve Johnson 909 Deadlift Raw
Another one of my favorites I had Peter Edgette use before he became the youngest person in the world to bench press 600 pounds raw. He said, “As I close THE doors to 500 pounds, I open MY doors to 600 pounds.” This can be used for anything if you fill in the blank. “As I close THE doors to ______, I open MY doors to _______.” The specific meaning of this affirmation I personalized after learning from Coach Will the words “THE” and “MY” and their capitalization. THE means it does not belong to you, no ownership! MY means you take ownership. So, this helps discard what you do not own and take ownership over the trait you wish to possess. This is made even more effective when you say it every time you see a door.
Peter Edgette 600 Pound Raw Bench Press
Affirmations are totally personal and I encourage you to make your own. Some guidelines to make affirmations most effective are:
- • Stated in the present tense, they are already happening.
- • Most effective when said with feeling.
- • State it in the positive. Affirm what you want!
- • Be concise.
- • Be specific.
- • Make affirmations for yourself, not others.
I recommend saying affirmation at least 20 times a day out loud. To make them even more effective, say affirmations to yourself to help you drift asleep; in this context, say them slowly and drawn out to expedite the sleep process. If you are the type to hit the pillow and immediately end up in a state of slumber, say your affirmation to yourself 10 times before lying down. Initially, in my first experimentation with clients, I suggested they say, “Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better,” when urinating throughout the day and it worked very well. William C. Smith suggests saying your affirmation every time you see your reflection.
To get faster and even more effective results with affirmations, write your personal affirmation out 10 times in the morning and 10 times in the evening. Also, put up a sign or card that reminds you of your goal, if it is to bench press 300 pounds, tape an index card with the number “300” on your mirror or wherever.
Daily affirmations can start to take effect immediately, in a couple days the change can be pronounced, in a couple weeks it can be life changing! Start off by focusing on just one affirmation at a time.
To a more successful you!
Transform your mind in 2019 with Grounded in Gratitude