A New Method to Create Affirmations


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by Suzanne Vachet

One of my favorite authors, Cheri Huber, tells us in her book, "Be The Person You Want To Find, "One process does not lead to another. Wanting leads to wanting. Having leads to having. Wanting does not lead to having." This explains the mechanics behind affirmations.

Affirmations are statements we tell ourselves to change a belief or develop a quality within us. Affirmations are to be stated as if they are happening now, as if they already exist. For example, if I want to increase my confidence, I am supposed to tell myself, "I am self-confident."

This makes sense: after all, if I told myself, "Someday, I am going to be self confident," I would be reinforcing that right now I don't feel self-confident. Unless I state the quality AS IF I have it now, I am trying to turn "wanting" into "having."

However, if I affirm to myself that I am self-confident when I don't feel confident, a little voice in the back of my head pipes up and says, "Are you NUTS? We don't have that! If we HAD that, we wouldn't be STATING that! No one who is self-confident states 'I am self confident'. They just DO IT, not talk about it."

Thus, through the very technique I am using to change myself, I create inner resistance... and don't change. So, if wanting leads to wanting, and having leads to having, but saying I have something when I don't feel like I have it can create resistance… what can bridge that gap?

Here's what I have found that works for me, and what I would like to invite you to try as well: Create your own "becoming statement.

Creating becoming statements

Follow this syntax to create a "becoming statement:" "I AM BECOMING MORE _______ EVERY MOMENT." Fill in the blank with whatever quality you would like more of in your life.

For best results, follow these rules for choosing a quality to use in this statement:

Choose positive words. Don't say "I am becoming less broke." Say, "I am becoming more financially secure."

Choose words that have emotional meaning to you. Intellectually, the phrase "I am becoming more self-actualized" means something to me, but my gut doesn't really have an emotional meaning for "self-actualized."

However, my gut DOES have a meaning for the word "centered" because I've spent years doing centering exercises, so I have an emotional memory of being centered. Similarly, choose only a word that is emotionally meaningful to you.

Choose words that have emotional meanings that are not ambivalent to you. Because of my past history, I have a serious love-hate relationship with the word "responsibility." If I chose to tell myself, "I am becoming more responsible," I might self-sabotage my efforts to change due to my ambivalent emotions. Choose a word to describe your chosen attribute that has ONLY POSITIVE connotations to you.

Why does a "becoming statement" work?

Let's look at each part of this statement to explain why a "becoming statement" may be more effective than an affirmation when it comes to changing our inner beliefs.

"I AM BECOMING:" The voice in the back of my head rebels if I try to say I have something when I don't. But that critical voice CAN accept the idea of "becoming" something.

Because the word "becoming" implies a gradual process, it reduces the fear of change. Jumping head-first into something new? That's scary. Dipping my toe in and feeling the water temperature, then slowly moving into the water, giving myself time to adjust? That, I can handle.

"MORE:" Using the word "more" is a way to tell ourselves that we already have the quality we wish to develop, without triggering our internal "voice of resistance." Can I say that I am centered right now, or that I am peaceful every moment? Not always. Can I say "SOMETIMES I feel centered," or "SOMETIMES I feel peaceful"? Even my inner critic has to concede that yes, I do have these qualities sometimes… although perhaps not as consistently as I would like to have them. In a "becoming statement," when I use the word "more," I identify to myself that I'm not moving from "wanting" into "having", but from "having" into "having".

"_____ (our chosen quality):" When an attribute is chosen via the guidelines listed above, it allows us to emotionally feel the quality we are developing, without ambivalence. This lets us give ourselves a sneak preview of the good feelings we might get from change, in a manner that doesn't scare us so much that we run away.

"EVERY MOMENT:" We acknowledge that developing our chosen quality is not surgery but growth. This is not a goal we're setting for "somewhere down the road" but an ongoing process. This process is organic, evolving naturally out of who we are, what we're learning, and where we're going.

By ending a "becoming statement" with these words, we acknowledge that "every moment" we are breathing is a moment in which we are deepening into becoming more authentic, more vibrant, more alive, more satisfied, and more delighted!

Suggestions for Further Reading

Author:Suzanne Vachet is director of Inward Quest, an Indianapolis, Indiana non-profit organization providing personal growth workshops, seminars, and retreats. Suzanne Vachet may be contacted at http://iq.achievegrowth.org

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