Affirmations and Limiting
BeliefsThe traditional purpose of affirmations is to create new, empowering beliefs that
will override the old, limiting beliefs you may have formed during your life time. For example, if you want
to be more confident you would recite a phrase like, "I am strong, confident and successful in everything I
do," in the hopes that it would "sink in" to your subconscious mind and inspire you to think and act in such
While affirmations can indeed be helpful in inspiring positive change, they also
have their limitations.
This is especially true when it comes to ingrained beliefs that are in opposition
to the affirmations. If you have a deeply held belief that you will never amount to anything (this message
perhaps given to you by a parent or other role model during your early life), your subconscious mind will not
accept an affirmation that you are confident and successful.
Because it contradicts what you KNOW to be true, deep down inside.
You see, your beliefs are your "truths". Not only do you absolutely, adamantly
believe they are true, you experience everything in your life through them.
Once a belief has been set in your subconscious mind, you spend every moment of
your time creating situations that will confirm and reinforce it. Using the example from above, holding a
belief that you will never amount to anything virtually guarantees that you will act in ways that support
that belief. You will set big goals that you can't possibly achieve, or you will avoid setting any goals at
all because you're afraid of failure. You will sabotage any efforts you make to improve your life. You will
avoid people and situations that can help you break out of your self-defeating patterns because you will feel
uncomfortable about doing so.
All because your subconscious mind is constantly murmuring: "You are a failure.
You'll never be successful. You can't win, so don't bother trying. Why don't you just quit now and save
yourself more embarrassment?" etc.
Positive affirmations are rarely effective on this type of ingrained belief,
simply because as you recite the words, your subconscious mind is rejecting them!
In order to clear limiting beliefs, you need to tackle them directly - not
sugar-coat them with positive affirmations.
Imagine that you were wearing a shirt with a big stain on the front of it and you
wanted to get rid of the stain. What would you do?
Would you put on a nice sweater over the shirt to hide the stain? The stain would
be hidden but it wouldn't be gone, would it?
In order to remove that stain, you need to WASH IT OUT. No amount of covering it
up will remove it.
And it's the same with your limiting, negative, self-defeating beliefs. Reciting
affirmations over the limiting beliefs just won't work in most cases. Instead, you need to identify and then
remove the beliefs that are holding you back.
Only THEN, once you've removed the old, limiting beliefs, can you begin filling
your subconscious with more empowering, positive beliefs.