“Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; unbelief, in denying them.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Power Of Affirmations
Part 6 of a 7 part series by my friend Nancy Barry-Jansson
The first 5 myth’s we’ve covered:
MYTH #1: “I don’t do affirmations.”
MYTH #2: “Oh, I’ve tried affirmations…they don’t work.”
MYTH #3: “I’ll start doing affirmations when I figure out how I can meet my goals.”
MYTH #4: “Affirmations are a form of brainwashing.”
MYTH #5: “Affirmations are too ‘new-agey’ for me.” Or similarly, “Affirmations are only for highly religious people.”
The Power Of Affirmations MYTH #6: “Affirmations can be used to force other people to change.”
Just as positive affirmations cannot be used to brainwash other people, neither can you use them to force them to change. At best, affirmations can be used to change your own thought patterns and internal tapes. Even then, affirmations are only effective if you are also willing to follow through with the appropriate actions. In changing yourself to be the person you really want to be, you may notice people around you deciding to make changes, but this is a choice they must make for themselves; no one else can make that choice for them.
The fact is that there are a few things over which we have direct control (our attitude, what we choose to think about, the people we choose to spend time with, how we take care of our bodies),but a lot of things fall into the category of being out of our control (the weather, external events, other people’s behavior). Our actions might have some influence over someone, but in the end, every adult still has to make their own decisions about that which they control in their life.
For instance, a wife may decide to lose weight and realize that her husband needs to change his diet, too, in order for the wife to be successful. However, if the husband is not on-board with the new meal and exercise plan, he will likely continue his pattern of poor food and exercise choices. The wife cannot expect that the husband will feel exactly as she does, or be willing to lose weight with the same program. Once she actually chooses a plan and sticks with it, seeing tangible results, she may notice that this has a positive influence on the husband. Still, as an adult, he will have to decide on his own that his health matter in order for him to be motivated to change.
Once you take control of your own life, face your own fears, appreciate your own strengths and take steps to address your weaknesses, you will no longer have a desire to change other people. You will be content to let others think as they wish, and as long as it does not cause harm to you or your loved ones, you will not care that they think differently. Trying to change others, especially to force them to agree with your way of thinking, actually undermines your personal power because you are looking outside yourself and giving the other person the power over your life. Why waste your precious energy trying to change someone, when that energy would be better served helping you focus on improving your own life?
Tomorrow we’ll tackle the final myth about affirmations in our countdown: Myth #7.
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