There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that affirmations for success, in other words making affirmative, present tense statements, can help you get the things you wish for. It’s often associated with the Law of Attraction.
But sometimes affirmations for success just don’t feel right, or, they feel okay, but they don’t work.
What’s up with that?
Into the Labyrinth
For centuries, wisdom seekers have worked with various symbol systems in their efforts to understand the relationship between intentions and results. One such symbol system is the labyrinth.
(There’s an interactive image of the labyrinth at Chartres here.)
What can the labyrinth show us about how affirmations for success work—or don’t?
Begin by imagining yourself entering the labyrinth with a goal or intention in mind. Let’s assume that how you state and embody the intention is going to affect your journey of transformation. In other words, how you start does make a difference to how you end up.
Now, imagine yourself walking the labyrinth, and ask yourself how the twists and turns, the straight and crooked segments of the path, might affect your original intention.
What is it like to hold this intention and affirm your goals as the labyrinth doubles back, and you appear to lose ground?
What is it like to find yourself in a different quadrant of the circle than the one you wanted (or thought you wanted) to be in?
Cause and Effect of Affirmations for Success: It’s Not What You Think
Walking a labyrinth, like any transformational experience, means being willing to experience sudden shifts in perspective as we move toward our goals. Sometimes that means that our goals themselves will change.
And that’s where a simplistic approach to affirmations for success breaks down, because sometimes affirmations that made sense last year or last week aren’t relevant today.
Who we are and what we want as we emerge from the labyrinth can be profoundly different than who we were and what we planned at the start.
This means we need to be careful about how we understand the relationship between intention and result. That there is a relationship is apparent, but to imagine that the relationship is one of cause and effect oversimplifies and distorts what’s going on.
Because there are reasons why The Secret hasn’t made you a millionaire.
Affirmations for Success in Action
What does this mean for the use of affirmations for success?
First, trust yourself. If stating your goals in the present tense feels powerful and meaningful, then do it.
Second, observe yourself. Pay attention to what moves in you when you use affirmations for success so that you can respond to the process of transformation and collaborate with the ways you are being called to show up and co-create outcomes.
Sometimes it will feel right to declare an as-yet-unmanifest outcome as current reality.
Sometimes it will feel uncomfortable, yet useful because it challenges you to step out of your comfort zone.
Sometimes it will simply feel wrong.
Curiosity: The Master Skill
Whatever you experience, be curious.
What is it about this desired-for thing that feels unreal when you claim it, out loud, and in present tense?
Does this feeling point to some inner or outer work you need to do to narrow the gap between how things are and how you want them to be?
If an out-loud, present tense declaration feels powerful and true, how come? What are you knowing, being, or sensing that gives rise to this feeling of certainty?
What are the physical attitude or posture, mood, and set of beliefs that correlate with this experience?
Does this way of being feel sustainable?
Is there inner or outer work that wants to be done from this place?
Support for the Journey
We can know the value of being curious, but find it hard to carve out the time for reflection.
And when we do make time–or when insight comes uninvited–we sometimes misinterpret what we discover. Or we get it right but don’t follow through.
Having support can make all the difference, not only in helping you recognize and do the inner and outer work that is needed, but also by helping you celebrate yourself and enjoy the results of your efforts.
You can get that kind of support—a whole year’s worth—in two ways:
1. Get The Way of the Accidental Entrepreneur, a program for growing a business that fits just-right. Click here to learn more about The Way of the Accidental Entrepreneur, but don’t order it just yet.
2. Join Shaboom County, roadside assistance for the self-employed. (Members get substantial discounts on all my programs.) Click here to learn more about Shaboom County, but don’t join just yet.
Together, The Way of the Accidental Entrepreneur and Shaboom County will give you more than enough information, support, guidance, and encouragement to keep you working on your business all year for less than $23 a month.
Why I said you shouldn’t buy just yet
The links above are to pages that tell you all about The Way of the Accidental Entrepreneur and Shaboom County. I hope you’ll take a look. And if you like what you see, come back here, because for a limited time you can get both The Way of the Accidental Entrepreneur and a year’s membership in Shaboom County for 1/3 less than their combined cost. This special offer is called The Accidental Entrepreneur’s Advantage. Click here to learn more.
Photo by giopuo / Giovanni via Flickr