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The Power of Affirmations: How to Manifest the Life You Want

Art installation of several circular pieces of carved wood and paintings set against a dark blue wall

Positive Affirmations, Law of Attraction, and Manifesting your Reality are terms that are thrown around casually in most conversations and interviews these days. At first glance, it seems like wishful thinking or something happening in your life just because you really wanted it to.

However, each of us has at least one thing we really want, but it doesn’t always manifest in our lives. What makes the power of manifestation work for some and not others?

I first heard about affirmations and the Law of Attraction on the Oprah show about 20 years ago. I’ve been curious about it since then. Going by some experiences of others, it felt like it worked faster for others and not at all for some.

Over the years, I’ve tried to make it work for me. Here are some of my learnings.

What are Affirmations?

An affirmation is simply reinforcing something positive repeatedly. The belief is that this creates a positive outlook in our lives. We then send these positive vibes out into the universe, almost willing them into reality. 

Affirmations become more than wishful thinking when we consciously remember and visualise our goals throughout the day.

How to use Affirmations to Manifest what you want

Half knowledge is a dangerous thing, they say. It backfired when I tried to use this power of manifestation with half-baked information! 

As a teen, I was always sure of what I didn’t want and focussed my energies on that. As a result, whatever I said a vehement no to happened for sure. For example, I was sure I didn’t want to live in a particular city—guess where I ended up living! I was sure I never wanted an annoying pomeranian dog—guess what breed our fur baby is! I have many such examples.

Focussing on something so intently is a sure-fire way of manifesting it in your life. It’s almost as if the Universe just heard the keywords in my affirmations and didn’t hear the ‘don’t want’ part. I guess they’re called Positive Affirmations for a reason.

Once I understood the assignment better, I could use its power a little more and manifest things in my life that I am genuinely grateful for. 

It also helps if you self-introspect and figure out what’s holding you back from your goals. In my case, I had some guilt about moving ahead while people I loved were not able to move with me. Once I accepted that everyone moves at a different pace and that I should move ahead with no guilt, I found that new opportunities opened up for me.

I often lack the patience and focus that this visualisation needs, which is why I haven’t used its full potential. I find that often, my affirmations get me to a particular starting point of a certain milestone and no further. I’ve tried focussing on the goal a little more, but I eventually give up when I don’t see the results immediately. Maybe the timing isn’t right for it to happen, or I am not focussed enough, or a fear embedded in my subconscious is holding me back. I am yet to figure it out.

Create your own Positive Affirmations

There are plenty of readily available positive affirmations available on the Internet for every kind of goal. But sometimes, you need something more specific and personal, so you build your own. The key to a good affirmation is the four points listed below.

  • Keep it in the present: Frame your affirmation as if it has already happened
  • Keep it positive: Focus on what you want rather than don’t want
  • Keep it short: It makes it easier to repeat it several times a day
  • Keep it precise: Ask for specifics, and don’t be vague

Books on Manifesting the reality you seek

The bookstore’s self-help section is filled with books on how to manifest the life you want, the power of manifestation, and positive affirmations to get the life you want. It can be pretty overwhelming.

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

The book that started it all, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, was of no practical help to me. It gave stories of people who seemed to have cracked the code and built the reality they wanted. It built up a lot of expectations within me, but it wasn’t substantial enough for the reader to start practising it themselves.

E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality by Pam Grout

Someone suggested E-Squared by Pam Grout. I found this book was most practical in taking you step by step through learning to use affirmations and visualisation techniques. The author guides you through nine energy principles experiments that increase in difficulty. Starting with simple intentions, you progress to more specific and bigger life goals. With plenty of anecdotes, it tells you to take your time to practice each step to build up your confidence.

Experience Your Good Now! Learning to Use Affirmations by Louise Hay

Louise Hay is considered the gold standard in emotional healing and progress. Her book Experience Your Good Now! Learning to Use Affirmations is a good one for those looking to change their outlook in life. It helps you take responsibility for your life’s direction. She discusses specific topics and concerns with exercises that show you how to make beneficial changes to virtually every area of your life.

Giving Thanks by Iyanla Vanzant

Gratitude is a big part of the process of positive manifestation. Giving Thanks by Iyanla Vanzant is an excellent book to understand how you can practice it in your everyday life. The expression of gratitude has profound and immediate effects on our well-being. I feel that I appreciate my life more, even the parts of it we often take for granted. It has definitely increased my happiness quotient to take stock of things I am thankful for. Make this Audible version a part of your bedtime routine.

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown

Being vulnerable and facing obstacles, asking for and receiving gifts is not as easy as they sound. Brené Brown is one of the most relatable authors and researchers on the subject I’ve found. Her podcasts, TED Talks, and books are a great place to understand vulnerability as a strength. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead is an excellent book if you prefer to read.

Also, check out my earlier post on practicing gratitude and how you can inculcate a habit of being thankful every day.

Simple manifestation exercises for beginners

If you are new to the concept of manifesting your reality, here are a few simple things to get you started.

  • Vision Board: Make a vision board with images of things you want in your life. Send it positive vibes every time you glance at it.
  • Just a little blessing: Start with asking the Universe for something small—like a flower or seeing some butterflies. Focus on the reality you want; imagine how it will look and feel. Use it casually every day to hone your manifesting skills.
  • Write it out: Describe in detail the end result of what you want, including how you’ll feel when it happens. Imagine this scenario playing out as you meditate on your affirmations.

Use the medium that feels most natural to you. Some might be comfortable singing or dancing out the feeling, while others might just use their inner voices to meditate and visualise. There is no right or wrong way. Try out different methods to see what works best for you.

Examples of daily positive affirmations

Here are some examples of daily positive affirmations you can use during your day. Repeating them gives you not only a moment of calm but also re-energises you and your thoughts.

  • I am happy, healthy, and fulfilled
  • The Universe grants me an abundance of wealth
  • I live a life full of love and acceptance
  • I am efficient and excellent in all that I do
  • I make healthy choices every day
  • The Universe allows me to grow and succeed every day
  • I attract a supportive and loving circle of friends

Note: Some of the links are part of an affiliate program, which means that if you click on a link and buy something, I might receive a percentage of the sale, at no extra cost to you.

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