In this article we look at positive affirmations and their role in your spiritual growth and soul journey. People sometimes confuse positive “affirmations” with “mantras“. It is for this reason that a good starting place is to understand what a positive affirmation actually is.
An affirmation is a phrase that you say to yourself to “affirm” something you desire, wish, or believe. An example is “I am better every day in every way“. Although positive I will explain later in this article why that probably doesn’t work well. We will also introduce a powerful guided meditation helping you find your own personal affirmations.
A mantra however is simply one or more sounds you repeat in a rhythmic way within meditation. The sounds used in a mantra do not have meaning and work by resonating your energy system and chakras.
This highlights another key difference between affirmations and mantras. Mantras are more about energy vibration whereas affirmations are about thoughts and your mind.
Differences aside, they are both beneficial and can help you as you begin your soul journey and spiritual growth. If you seek higher spiritual awareness then it is important to understand a mantra cannot take you beyond your mind. Similar to mantras, affirmations cannot take you beyond your mind either.
Both affirmations and mantras are made by your mind, which is why they cannot take you beyond your mind.
That said, positive affirmations help at any stage of your journey as they help overcome limitations within your personality. You see, as you move into more spiritual awareness you can go beyond personality awareness. But everyone, even an enlightened person, has a personality and disharmony between your personality and true nature holds you back.
Although your true nature is loving and limitless your mind is not. You can have thoughts that are supportive and loving or you can have thoughts that are not. These “negative” thoughts, stemming from ego, create problems in your life that may manifest as illness, dis-ease and unhappiness.
You mind is like a big bag holding all the concepts that your thoughts have made over time. When you are unconsciously thinking your ego makes you think more of the same. Think of it like your ego reinforces your dominant thoughts and attitudes so you don’t change.
Affirmations, which are consciously thinking a positive thought, put new positive concepts in your mind. The more you consciously repeat an affirmation then the stronger that concept becomes in your mind. In addition, when you say it out loud then it becomes even stronger since you heard yourself say it! But you can say affirmations in your mind if needed.
Whatever you are thinking affects your emotions, your energy and ultimately what you manifest and attract into life. Change your thinking and you change your life!
So much of what holds people back in meditation is their thoughts, attitudes and beliefs about themselves. The Six Virtues show how being judgemental, disrespectful or unloving towards yourself can really hold you back.
Whenever thoughts or beliefs are holding you back you can use positive affirmations to bring about more harmony in yourself. The more harmony you have between your mind and your soul, the more ease you have at letting go.
The words you use to create affirmations are very important. As a result of this we give you some helpful guidance to avoid the common mistakes people make.
The more specific you are then the more power you have to change that part of your life. The example above “I am better every day in every way” lacks substance. If for example you want to be more assertive in life then say it. “I am more assertive in my life”.
Another common mistake is to have affirmations that require other people to change. As an example you might say “I respect myself and my friends will treat me better”. But you are only responsible for yourself. You cannot dictate how other people react to you. A better affirmation might be “I respect myself and welcome people into my life who respect me”. Notice the difference?
This is especially true in relationships. There’s a huge difference between “my partner will treat me better” and “I value myself, rejecting negativity from others”. You can’t change others, only yourself.
This is probably the number one mistake people make when setting affirmations, they forget to be positive. Consider the affirmation “My partner will not take me for granted”. A good way of understanding negative intent is to remove the word “not” from any statement. So now we have “My partner will take me for granted”. Wait! That’s not what you meant. But that’s what you are creating.
You see in order to use “not” to negate something you first of all have to imagine what it is. So you are putting more energy into being taken for granted. The other problem with this particular example is it breaks the rule above and focusses on other people.
You can there improve it in two ways by focussing on what you actually want and making it about yourself. So the easiest way is to ask yourself “what is the opposite of what you don’t want?”. In this example, what is the opposite of “taken for granted”?
You could go with “appreciated” or “valued”. Let’s also turn it into about you rather than about them. So now we have “I am worthy of being valued and appreciated”. An alternative might be “I welcome into my life being valued and appreciated”. Although I like to keep things simple so I would just go with “I am valued and appreciated”.
So let’s look at another example. “I don’t want to be poor anymore, my boss will value me and give me a pay rise”. We see it is focussed on poverty and requires another person to change. How would you improve it? How about something like this? “What I do has value and I welcome wealth in return” – Yes! Much better and much more positive.
One of the reasons we teach about HUMILITY and GRATITUDE is because sometimes things will not go your way. Be humble and understand there are things like karma, life-lessons and timing which you are not in control of.
Using positive affirmations is worthwhile, but it is not a magic wand and nor does it put you in control. However as the saying goes “if you don’t ask, you don’t get”. Affirmations help the universe know what it is you would like to manifest. If your desires are aligned with your life-plan and karma then affirmations will help you get there.