“I Am The Example of Success and Triumph.” The very nature and purpose of affirmations indicates that the kind of person who would use such an affirmation would be someone who considered him or herself to be anything but successful and triumphant. This would be something he or she strives to be.
Imagine you have just been sacked from your job. A job for you which you considered yourself over qualified. You’re struggling to keep it together. Seized by desperation, images of all the possible scenarios (well, the worst ones) flit through your mind. You wonder how long you can keep afloat before you lose the house, the car, the kids schooling? You start berating yourself. “Why didn’t I make more of an effort? How the hell could I have been fired from such an easy job? What if nobody’s willing to take me on?” You’re out of a job, possibly your home, there’s incredible strain on your relationship. Do the words, “I am the example of success and triumph” empower you? If you repeated to yourself, “I’m a green tree frog” would you believe it? Would you begin to act like one? No, because current evidence and past experience tells you otherwise.
The speed of thought is instantaneous. Therefore, the first time you say, “I Am The Example of Success and Triumph” before you’ve finished the first word, your automatic thought response triggers - “No you’re not, you’re pathetic. You can’t even keep a job. Example of failure, more like!” Harsh but a fair representation of many people’s self-talk. So, almost without awareness, what gets reinforced are the negative thoughts and beliefs triggered by the affirmation. Lets look at some other affirmations and possible negative reinforcing thoughts they can trigger:
“Prosperity and success is my natural state of mind” - then why can’t you pay rent?!
“Success and good fortune flow towards me in a river of abundance” - the only thing flowing down my river of abundance is mud.
“I can only think joyfully and it shows in the way I respond to others” - Giving that guy the finger wasn’t exactly a joyful thought, but it did give me joy!
Telling yourself something positive repeatedly can reinforce the very belief you’re trying to dispel. Yes, positive visualisation is a very important part of achieving and reaching your goals. But visualisation must be supported by action. So too, should affirmations be supported in the same way.
The secret is to ask questions! Instead of telling yourself you’re the example of success and triumph, ask yourself, “What can I do to make myself the example of success and triumph? People who are feeling run-down or put down often use the affirmation, “Every day in every way, I’m getting better and better.” How much better would you feel by asking an empowering question like “What can I do, today, to improve my health/situation/mood?”
If you ask the question, the brain will seek the answer: Without you even having to consciously think about it. The brain is designed to answer questions, seek completion to patterns. It’s always working in the background, looking for those answers. We’ve all experienced trying to recall the name of an actor or person we know, to no avail. Hours or days later, the answer flashes into your mind. Although you had consciously let go of the question, your subconscious was still trawling through the dusty archives of your mind to come up with the answer. So asking questions, opens up your mind to many possibilities.
When you’re faced with a challenge, why not twist an affirmation into an empowering question? I always advise my clients, when faced with a challenge, to ask themselves three questions. My holy trinity of questions.
- What can I do about this? (Which elements of this situation fall under your influence?)
- What will I do about this? (What steps are you willing to take?)
- When will I do it? (Commit to a time to do this, if possible, today)