How To Create Effective Positive Affirmations – 1


How To Make Affirmations That Help You Achieve Your Goals

Remember that affirmations program the mind as you would program your computer.

In the computing world there is an acronym: GIGO. It stands for: Garbage In, Garbage Out.

This means that your computer can and will only respond to what is input into its system. If your machine is running cleanly, but then you download and install a new program and your computer crashes, it’s likely that the program had a virus.

If you put garbage into a computer, you can expect to get garbage out. If you program your mind with garbage, then it’s garbage that will come out.

You Must Be Genuinely Positive

You cannot consistently program your mind with negativity and expect that good things will be the result. When you approach the affirmations process, you must make certain that you do so with a positive frame of mind.

Making successful affirmations is far more than speaking a few words in a set order.

You may speak ten different affirmations each morning and evening, but if you don’t really believe that the whole affirmation process can work, you will most likely follow each one with a negative thought or comment that screws up all your good work.

For example:

  • You affirm: “I am a happy and successful person.”
    You think: Yeah, buddy, in your dreams.
  • You affirm: “I am a wealthy individual.”
    You think: Sure, once I win the lottery.
  • You affirm: “My mind is at peace with the world.”
    You think: When I’m half-cut perhaps.

You get the idea. Making positive affirmations is not enough. You must believe them to be true to the exclusion of any and all counterproductive thoughts or feelings. Cynicism is a sure fire way to negate positive affirmations.

You Must Use Positive and First Person Wording

Although it may seem silly even mentioning that positive affirmations should be positive, this is an essential part of framing a positive affirmation and refers to the specific words you choose.

For example, to quit smoking, you should not say: “I don’t want to smoke any more.”

Instead, you could try: “I am free from smoking”, or “I live a smoke-free, healthy life.” Your affirmations should be about what you desire to happen, not about what you don’t want to happen.

You Must Use the Present Tense

We live our lives in the present moment.

It may not seem that way when you are worrying about the future or regretting the past, but there is really nothing more than what is happening now.

We hear people say that you have to live in the moment, and we understand the sense in doing so, but it remains a notoriously difficult practice to master.

However, in positive thinking and in positive affirmations especially, the present tense is paramount; if not your ability to actually live in the moment, certainly your willingness to accept its importance in reprogramming your mind.

Your mind works in the present tense.

It knows no other way to think. We create a past for ourselves in our memories and the emotions attached to them. We build a future for ourselves with our hopes and desires, or fears and sorrows.

But our mind lives in the now. This means that any negative thoughts about your past that you carry with you at this moment create your present reality. You are perpetuating your past. You know how this works.

If you recall a very sad situation, even from many years ago, it can make you cry. Your mind is interpreting this memory as happening now, and creates an appropriate response.

It cannot differentiate between what happened ten years ago and what happened ten seconds ago; it can only react to what is in your mind right now.

The upshot for your positive affirmations is that they must be phrased so that the mind can act upon them at this moment in time, therefore you must use the present tense.

Let’s take the obvious example, and assume you want to have a rich life. You have three options as to how this is phrased:

  • The past tense – In this case you might say: “I always wanted to be rich.” Your mind takes this to mean that you did want to be rich but not any more, therefore it does not take the required actions to bring it about.
  • The future tense – In this case, you might say: “I will be a rich person.” This might seem the obvious choice because you are planning for your future, but this is also the wrong way to phrase your affirmations. Your mind interprets this as meaning that you will be rich in the future, but not now, so fails to take any action.
  • The present tense – In this scenario, you might say: “I am a rich person.” Don’t worry, your mind is not going to take issue with you on this because you may not actually have very much money; rather it will respond by attempting to create the circumstances to match the affirmation. You have, in effect, given your mind an order that must be acted upon now.

If this smacks of a little self-delusion, this is just something you have to cope with. You are programming your mind in the way it must be programmed. Breaking the habitual thoughts can be extremely frustrating.

Clearly, you have to exercise a little caution here. Telling your mind you are rich does not instantly put money in the bank.

Talking in the present tense is not about deluding yourself or ignoring your current reality; it is about giving your mind orders in the language it best understands. You must give it commands it can take action on NOW!

Part Two on How To Create Effective Positive Affirmations


  1. I am grateful for this reminder and I love the GIGO! I was introduced to positive affirmations many years ago and the first one I learned is still my favourite:
    Every day in every way I’m getting better and better.
    I like your computer analogy, too. It’s a fair warning to be aware of our thoughts.

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