Do Affirmations Work?

You can tell that an affirmation will work by the way it makes you FEEL when you say it. If it makes you feel good in any way (positive, uplifted, inspired, motivated, enthusiastic, optimistic) then it’s going to be effective.

If it makes you feel negative in anyway, it’s not going to work like you intend until you tweak it further.

In particular, be on the lookout for any of these feelings when you recite your affirmation:


If you feel a twinge of doubt or disbelief when you say an affirmation, it’s not going to be effective because that’s a sure sign that the affirmation conflicts with your existing belief structure. By nature your mind is programmed to resist anything that conflicts with your beliefs.


You may also feel uncomfortable when saying an affirmation; and this usually happens when you feel as if you are “lying”. Again, this is because your existing beliefs directly contradict the affirmation and you cannot accept it as true.


If you feel anxious when you state an affirmation, there could be two things going on. First, you may feel more intense discomfort as described above; a sense that you are “lying” and you don’t feel good about it.

Another possibility is that the goal itself makes you feel anxious. For example, saying an affirmation like, “I allow great success to come to me” might create a sense of anxiety if you have fears about having too much money.

If you don’t believe you deserve to be financially successful, or if you worry that people would constantly bother you for money . . . these fears might make you resist the achievement of your goal, which would make you feel anxious when reciting the affirmation that you have plenty of money.

In that case, the only way to get rid of the anxiety is to work through the fear and release it.


Pessimism is also an indication that you don’t believe the affirmation to be true – but it’s even stronger than doubt and it may also indicate other issues that need to be cleared.

For example, your existing belief is that you will never succeed at anything. Not surprisingly, reciting an affirmation that conflicts with this belief may make you feel annoyed or even downright angry, which can come through as pessimism.

In that case, you would need to improve your limiting beliefs before the affirmation would work for you. Interestingly, you could use another affirmation to start breaking down that inner resistance to success! Then as you start to feel more optimistic about success, you would find that other affirmations are easier to internalize.

Feel Nothing

It’s also possible that you will feel nothing at all when reciting an affirmation. This is usually an indication that the affirmation is not targeted enough regarding what you really want.

For example, you may think that you need to build up your level of success, when in fact you often feel uncomfortable and shy and would benefit more from an affirmation geared toward self-confidence and empowerment.

Or you may think you just want a better job, but deep inside you are really craving a stronger sense of security and stability.

These may seem like small differences, but remember that affirmations are meant to connect You with the specific “essence” of something You want and if you don’t use the right words you will end up missing the target and not getting the results you hoped for.

The good news is that even when you can tell an affirmation isn’t going to be effective, you can still keep tweaking it as much as you like until it does feel right. And you won’t have to waste days or weeks trying to figure out whether it will work for you; you can tell within moments after saying it.

If it doesn’t trigger some kind of positive feeling within you, you are not done tweaking yet. Couldn’t be any simpler, right?

Of all the creatures of the earth, only human beings can change their patterns. Man alone is the architect of his destiny. Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives. 

~ William James

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