Do you believe in the power of positive thinking?
Do affirmations really work?
Anthony Dallmann-Jones, PhD – “Dr. DJ”
Have you heard about the Law of Attraction? How about Affirmations?
They originate from a belief system (a philosophy) that states your positive thoughts will attract everything you want into your life.
In other words it says, if you think about something long enough, it will just come to you. Better health.
Great relationships. Wealth.
Just think long enough about it, and…
It manifests into a reality. Just like that.
Let’s back up a minute…
Where did this thing called affirmations originate?
Surprisingly, the use of affirmations is not a new concept. It can be traced back to ancient eastern religions, originally known as mantras, and mostly used by Buddhists. Mantras are religious poems or sayings that are chanted repeatedly during meditation.
Affirmations as we know them today, have a long history in the concept of self-help. The “modern day” version is believed to originate from the work of French psychotherapist Emile Coue. He is the man who invented the infamous affirmation, “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better” to his clients. He told them to repeat it first thing in the morning and last thing at night – every day – to change their unconscious negative thoughts. He noticed a substantial improvement in the clients who used it.
From Emile Coue, we can trace the use of affirmations to The New Thought Movement, which was a spiritual movement founded in the USA in the early 19th century with people like James Allen, William Walker Atkinson, Napoleon Hill, Earnest Holmes, and Florence Scoville-Shinn…all the way up to the New Age Movement in the 70s and 80s, with people like Wayne Dwyer and many others.
Affirmations was one of the roots of the self-help movement. The word empowerment was popular, especially personal empowerment. That grew into a bookstore section titled personal development.
It centers on taking charge of your life and making things better, independent of outside help, with what one might call thought power. James Allen’s book, As a Man Thinketh…, comes to mind. Florence saying, “Your words are your wand.” They created the tipping point in the popularity of affirmations that led to hundreds of self-help books being written.
Involved in all this were concepts developed, espoused, and popularized by none other than Sigmund Freud. It was the notion that the subconscious or unconscious mind held limiting beliefs that had more power than the conscious mind. Much of that power was derived from the fact that it was hidden and totally illogical. Whereas the conscious mind is thinking and analyzing, the unconscious mind is a blind bull in a china shop, moved by powerful desires, drives, and emotional surges, wanting to be manifested and expressed. It is literal and unmediated by reason.
Back to the present
Somewhere in the late 80s, I stumbled into the affirmation arena.
I caught on, tried it, and went through that period like a lot of people. I believed it. I even thought it might have worked…a few times, anyway.
I was naive back then and was going through a rough time in my life. Things were bleak and did not look like they were going to get better. And I was clutching at any straw that might help.
Then, I came across this philosophy that said there was a “secret” for making my wildest dreams come true.
As I said, I was desperate, so I thought, “Okay! Let us do it!” So, I started applying it in my life.
I read books.
I repeated affirmations.
Even went to seminars and “workshops” on how to attract what I desired into my life. I thought that, by doing affirmations, the universe would align with my wishes!
And it would magically become a reality.
Then, something incredible happened!!!
That's what happened. Everything looked the same.
Maybe I felt a little less stressed, but that was all.
My problems were still there. They had not disappeared. Wonderful things did not replace them.
It was disappointing, to say the least…
I had done everything by the book. I meditated.
I closed my eyes and visualized that I had achieved all my dreams.
But when I opened them, they were just as far away as they were in the beginning. That's when I started wondering, “Why wasn't this working?”
If positive thinking is not the secret to make my dreams come true, then what is? Well…
Let me share with you what it is: It has two parts…and I was right ON TARGET with the notion of the Law of Attraction, Affirmations, Positive Thinking. There is nothing wrong with those.
BUT a big piece was missing: Part Two.
Let me purposely digress.
Have you ever heard of “the 1-2 punch”? It is from the sport of boxing. It is a tried-and-true technique that has won many fights, because almost EVERY knockout is preceded by a 1-2 punch.
Here is how it works, simply speaking: The first punch is a setup for the second “lights out” punch. It can be a jab that, just for a second, makes the other boxer blink so he does not see the second punch coming. Or it can be a punch that raises the opponent’s chin up above his gloves that are protecting the vulnerable spot, so the next punch can hopefully catch the point of the chin in an uppercut.
You get the point. EVERY boxer understands the 1-2 punch and guards against it. Plus, every boxer is always ready for the chance to use it. Joe Frasier, a heavyweight champion, was never knocked out. If you watch any videos you will see why he was rarely setup for the 1-2 punch. He had a unique style that protected the vulnerable areas of his head.
So, back to our point.
STEP ONE: The setup
The first punch, from our boxing analogy, is using the Law of Attraction. Yes, the very thing that did NOT work for me. Yet.
Please note, there are rules for making affirmations work more effectively. Those who think that running around with the nauseating repeating of positive thinking is not one of them, as I mentioned above.
In other words, affirmations are a tool. Use a tool effectively and it works well. Use it ineffectively and it does not – it is that simple. So, learn HOW to use affirmations so they will be powerful and, also remember, there are different kinds of affirmation structures for different outcomes.
So that is the first step – of TWO.
STEP TWO: The knockout punch
It is the essential second step that is neglected…which leaves you acting simple-minded and sounding like a person I once knew who said, “Whenever I get into my car, I say ‘I am invisible to police, I am invisible to police, I am invisible to police.’ And I have never gotten a ticket!!”*
All I can say to that is, “Groan” – but then I say, “YES!” Because it gave me a good example of what not to do in using the Law of Attraction.
The Law of Attraction is not an incantation. It is not a witch’s spell. It is not an “Open Sesame!” magical command.
It is a methodical technique, and there is a science to it.
The totally necessary second step to manifesting your desires into full-blown reality is [drumroll, please]: To take massive action.
Sure, you need to have your mindset right if you want to achieve great things. You need to get your head right. You need to prime the soil with affirmations and positive thinking.
That won't change anything in your life (except you might feel a little better).
There is an immutable law of physics: Nothing can ever, or will ever, make something move. It is not possible! A physical THING is required to make some other physical thing move.
Thoughts are not physical.
You cannot just simply think your way to success.
If you truly want to achieve all of your goals and ambitions, you need to take steps in order to achieve them. You must DO something along with good thinking.
See, I am not saying you shouldn't think positively, or visualize yourself achieving your goals.
You do need to believe in yourself, and that you are able to achieve great things.
You do need to have a mindset of gratitude and be thankful for what you have right now. That is part of the process.
However, if you don't take continuous action to achieve what you want, it will all be for nothing.
Just thinking about it won't be enough. In other words, you need both punches.
This was a huge wake-up call for me.
I realized I needed to ACT if I wanted to manifest my dreams into the real world. And when I started doing that, my dreams started manifesting.
All those things I had visualized started becoming a reality. I was actually making progress!
It wasn't just a dream anymore… It wasn't just an idea.
Now, I was making things happen! Now, here's my question to you…
Do you want to actually make your dreams come true and not just think about it? Are you committed enough to do what it takes?
If the answer is yes, then I want to help.
That's why I wrote a book called Personal and Professional Transformation.
I wrote for people like you…and Amazon published it.
I am not trying to sell the book here. I want to give you the formula… What formula?
Here comes the catch.
Just saying “Take Massive Action” and leaving you with that is almost cruel, especially after you have read this far.
Because there are questions that still need answering: WHAT action? When? How much action? What Type? At what cost?
How do you actually make it happen? Some use the word manifest. (It is a good word.) And I'll teach you how to manifest your affirmation.
(So, what is an affirmation? An affirmation is a solution statement!)
And I will teach you how to manifest your affirmation by asking you some questions. These appear simple. They probably are not.
Pencil / Paper Time! – Answer each question, but reflect a bit before answering.
1) What exactly is the real problem?
2) Who REALLY owns the problem?
3) If the problem is not totally YOURS, hang it up. Give it to whoever owns it. You want to drive yourself nuts, just try to solve someone else’s problem! Oh, you have tried to do that? Frustrating, wasn’t it?
4) Okay, once you have decided the problem IS yours…
5) Write out the problem. Be specific. Do it in ONE sentence. Take your time.
6) Now, write a statement that is the EXACT opposite of your problem.
Q: How do you know it is correctly written? A: Because if this new statement of a solution happened, the problem would totally be gone!
7) If not, keep doing Step 6 until it would be.
8) NOW, you have the right affirmation, meaning you have the correct “positive thought.”
9) This is what you must focus on daily. This is KEY!
10) Make your affirmation as short as possible. Make sure it follows the 5 P’s:
- Positive: Use only positive language, avoid words like no, never, not, nothing.
- Personal: You can only solve YOUR problems.
- Present: Affirmations should be worded as if they had already happened in the Now.
- Powerful: Add emotion! Imagine the feeling you will have when it comes true!
- Private: Keep it to yourself. Do NOT share it. You will dissipate its power if you share it.
11) Again, you need to focus on your affirmation every day. Repeat it daily often, silently. (3 ((different)) times a day, minimum.)
12) Then BE READY to take action as soon as something shows up that just might help your affirmation come true, no matter how weird. (As long as it is legal and won’t hurt anyone.)
13) In other words, STOP focusing on what you should DO, what steps to take, like most people do, and just focus on your affirmation, and BE READY to follow a hunch, an intuitive thought, a random occurrence.
14) That’s it.
15) To make it very clear: Say your problem solution statement many times daily, then JUST FOLLOW YOUR NOSE, and be ready to act on a “coincidence”, an urge to do something different than expected, a thing appearing out of the blue, an overheard conversation, a line in an article. Be open to noticing things, THEN following their lead.
16) Then the “weird thing” happens: Your solution comes true. It must! It most certainly will not happen how you expected. Get it? That is why this problem hangs around! In the past you kept doing what was expected…and getting the same results: Nowhere.
17) The process above opens you up to a solution that has been there all along. You simply have been blind to it.
18) So, in summary: The process is 1) Spend a good deal of time defining the problem, 2) Describe the solution; and, 3) Forget about everything in between!
Sorry to remove all the magic…but it is merely a hidden science that few know. Pass it around after it works for you.
*I heard she finally got a ticket and was astounded. But said she could not remember if she had said, “I’m invisible to police” 3 times before she got into the car that day. So, from then on, she wrote it on a sticky note and put it on her dash. What do you bet when she gets her second ticket she will double down and start saying it six times?
Dr. Anthony Dallmann-Jones is an entrepreneur…a successful silver and gold investor…an author…a counselor…a husband and dog owner. What else is there to know? Well, there is one more thing. He teaches an even more powerful form of affirmations (that DO work like magic) that he learned under the tutelage of two masters who have since passed away, leaving Dr. DJ as the only person who knows of this powerful method. He does not publish it openly, using it only with clients he has interviewed. He states about this form of affirmations: “Butcher knives are useful and available, but you would not let just anyone play with razor-sharp ones, now would you? You would want assurances the user was properly trained and would use them only to create transformations beneficial to humankind.” Contact Dr. DJ at firstname.lastname@example.org.