One of the assumptions behind affirmations is this:
Your unconscious beliefs and patterns become true.
By writing or reciting your affirmations, you change these unconscious thoughts. Even if what you say isn’t true now, it can become true in time.
But hang on…
Is that actually true?
And if so, how come? Why would evolution shape us to believe unhelpful things? Surely natural selection weeded out anyone who thought anything less than amazing thoughts… ?
It’s true that natural selection is merciless.
And it’s true your unconscious wants you to survive and thrive.
But it’s also true that what helps in one context will harm you in another.
One thing many folks wish for is greater charisma. More confidence, more charm and better social skills. But what you might not realise is charisma isn’t always good.
Western society loves outspoken, innovative risk-takers. Our heroes are the entrepreneurs who change the world, defying authority and shattering the status quo.
It would be great to be even a little bit more like Elon Musk.
However, most of us learn at a young age not to.
If we spoke out and defied authority, someone shut us down. Maybe a teacher, a sibling, a guardian or even a friend. It felt terrible to be ridiculed, so the unconscious learned to conform, to keep your head down, to not make waves.
This becomes an unconscious pattern. Doing what others want or expect from you is safer, so do that.
Later in life, that flips. All the happiness, opportunity and glory goes to those who speak out.
If you want the promotion, the date or the Series C funding, you better ask for it – with confidence.
But your unconscious is still playing by the old rules.
It doesn’t know your old patterns aren’t useful anymore. In fact, they’re downright harmful.
My favourite analogy for the mind is it’s like a tree. It can grow in any direction, but it can’t grow in every direction. Early on, you learned to grow one way but not another.
If that sounds terrible – if it sounds like you’re locked in a prison designed years ago – then I have good news.
Your unconscious is clever.
Above all, it’s flexible.
It can let go of the old patterns and embrace new ones. Not only can it, but it happens all the time. You aren’t the same person you were even a year ago, and most of that growth happened automatically.
But it’s not enough to simply want to change. It takes a process to retrain your unconscious.
And when you use them right, affirmations are one such process.
Source by William T Batten
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