As I’m doing research for my latest novel, I’ve been reading about hypnosis, self-hypnosis, hypnotherapy, etc. One of the books I read called, Through the Open Door, Secrets to Self-Hypnosis, gave me some insight into why affirmations (for the most part) don’t work. The book explains that we have a barrier between our conscious and unconscious mind, a filter system that protects us from suggestions that may not be in our best interest.
“The anti-suggestive barrier is the part of the mind that ‘protects’ the unconscious from suggestions that seem to be dangerous…(however) this barrier does not always identify truly dangerous problems. It only repels what the mind has been conditioned to believe is dangerous. (It) rejects input…that is not consistent with what is already in the unconscious mind.”
This barrier is made up of three parts: logic, emotions, and ethics.
- The logical barrier protects us from suggestions that don’t jive with our sense of logic.
- The emotional barrier protects us from suggestions that may hinder our security or self-confidence.
- The ethical barrier protects us from suggestions that go against our ethical beliefs or morals.
The goal then is to overcome or find resonance with these barriers to create inner harmony—thereby opening the unconscious mind to POSITIVE SUGGESTION. We can do that by constructing messages to ourselves that our unconscious mind will accept.
Of course the book is talking about self-hypnosis, so the person would be in a self-induced trance state when the suggestion is made, but I really believe this can also apply to what we tell ourselves on a daily basis.
With LOA teaching, we learn that we get what we expect, however expectation is a belief that lies primarily in our unconscious. That’s why there is so often a discrepancy between what we think we are thinking about (conscious desires) and what is coming to us (manifestations)
We have deeply rooted belief systems in our subconscious, forming a barrier that can negate conscious thoughts and affirmations. The good news is that when a statement does pass through into our unconscious mind it is immediately acted upon as truth and implemented into our experience.
Therefore when making affirmations:
- Use statements of faith, which is certainty or knowledge that something is. “I know that well-being flows and I am open to receive it.”
- Use goal-directed language (words that imply the goal is becoming a reality) “I am becoming more (clear, healthy, prosperous) all the time.”
- Use present (or near future) tense. “I am content with what is and eager for more.” (Abraham-Hicks)
- Avoid statements that currently are not true (even though we’d like them to be) “I have all the money I need.” I am perfectly healthy.”
For example, years ago I began saying, “I always get good parking spots.” I could feel the resistance around that. My logic barrier kept rejecting that statement because my experience had simply not proven it to be true. Then I took a different tactic. I suggested that since people are always coming and going (from the mall or any other busy venue) someone could be pulling out right now. That one got past my logic barrier and implemented a permanent deep-rooted belief that it’s easy to get a parking spot. Hence, I always get good parking spots
I use the same suggestion to get comfy seats at Starbucks. Works like a charm!
Money/abundance is an elusive desire for many people. We tend to use affirmations that get rejected such as, “I am abundant.” or “I have all the money I need.” or “Money is flowing to me.” Can’t you just hear the buzzer cutting you off before you even finish the statement? Again, that’s because our logic barrier rejects a statement that has no evidence to support it.
I’ve begun using statements such as: “Money is energy. (I believe that everything is made up of energy, so this statement gets past my barrier). Therefore, as energy it is constantly expanding, transforming, flowing, becoming. Because it is energy it naturally expands to fill any vessel that is open to receive it.
The bottom line is to use affirmations/statements that have at least an element of truth that your mind will receive. Feel your way. If you make a statement that doesn’t feel good initially, it’s a waste of time to keep repeating it over and over. FInd a better one—one that will slip past the barriers of your unconscious mind.