How to use positive affirmations to create the life you desire

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Choose your words, for they become actions. Understand your actions, for they become habits. Study your habits, for they will become your character. Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny.” — Anonymous

by Dudley Evenson — 

Listening to the radio recently, I couldn’t help but notice how sad and bad the news was. A bloody day for people in Gaza, Iraq and Los Angeles, not to mention continuous doom-and-gloom reports about the failing economy and everyone’s own personal issues. I felt a knot of anxiety growing in my stomach as I tried to digest the constant barrage of bad news hitting me. Bad news paints pessimistic pictures of the world, coloring the content of our thoughts and affecting us all.

How can we overcome the tendency toward worry and negative thinking that’s so rampant in modern life? How can we harness the power of affirmations to manifest our dreams and improve our lives? To support the process of understanding what affirmations are and how to use them to create a fulfilling and successful life, I offer some common-sense guidelines that will enhance their effectiveness.

An affirmation is a positive statement asserting that the goal to be achieved is already happening. It is a declaration to manifest a desired outcome. This desired way of being may seem far from the truth at the moment, but amazingly enough, with repetition and focused intention, it can become reality. Since the subconscious mind processes affirmations and suggestions as reality, it is important to be aware of one’s thoughts and constantly edit out unwanted negative suggestions.

The fact is we are constantly affirming in our minds what we believe. When we look honestly at the content of our thoughts, we may be shocked to discover that we have been telling ourselves a “load of crock,” as they say. We can usually tell the quality of our subconscious mind by looking at the quality of our lives. If we are not pleased with our lives, we must look at the content of our minds to discover how we have been programming our existence to meet our belief structure.

In the 1950s, Earl Nightingale, cofounder of Nightingale-Conant, recorded a classic motivational record called The Strangest Secret. He identified the strangest secret as we become what we think about every day. He emphasized the power of positive self-talk, expectation and belief. These ideas were groundbreaking at the time, but today many people use guided affirmations in some way to try to achieve their goals. Like any other tool of transformation, skill and understanding are required to enhance their performance.

When we take hold of our thoughts through the repetition of positive affirmations, we can move in the direction of manifesting our highest ideals and vision for our lives.

The word “mantra” in Sanskrit means mind protection, for it is through the use of a repeated phrase, prayer or affirmation that we can overcome the rampant thoughts and tape loops that tend to control us. By repeating a phrase over and over again, it becomes embedded in our subconscious mind and then the creative forces of the universe rally support to make it happen.

When it comes to the negative aspect of the repetition principle, we experience inner tape loops or “monkey mind” that constantly replay a phrase or thought that is not in our best interest. This thought may be something a parent or ex-partner told us about ourselves long ago — “You are a mess,” or “You’ll never amount to anything” — and we unconsciously have repeated this idea for years, creating for ourselves a messy, unfulfilling life.

Affirmations only work when spoken in the present tense. The subconscious mind takes things very literally — so if you say, “I will be rich,” you will never experience prosperity in the present moment. It will always be just around the corner, in the elusive future.

Speaking affirmations out loud energizes them. Speaking them repeatedly creates habituation. Though the actual statement may differ from our current circumstance, when we put our feelings into words, we come closer to experiencing fulfillment of our desires. With perseverance and repetition, the words become a part of us and, before long, we look around and realize we are actually achieving what we may have thought impossible only weeks or months before.

When we take hold of our thoughts and use affirmations regularly with an understanding of how they work, positive change is bound to occur in our lives. When we can truly visualize and feel the reality of the spoken word affirmation, we enter into a cooperative contract with the universe to make use of this powerful tool to manifest our highest dreams.


Dudley Evenson and her husband, Dean Evenson, are award-winning, sound healing pioneers, musicians and media producers who have produced more than 60 albums on their record label, Soundings of the Planet, over the past 30 years. or 800-93 PEACE.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number 1, Feb/Mar 2009.

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