Much has been written about affirmations.  They don’t work. They might work. How can they possibly work? 

I’ve read that affirmations don’t work because:

Cognitive dissonance.  Which is a clever way of saying there’s a conflict between an affirmation and what you already believe.

Self-talk contradictions.  You affirm something, all the while thinking ‘that can’t happen for me.’

You wrote them down on a card and read it often and nothing happened.

The first problem with these ideas, they are more about positive thinking than affirmations.

And the second problem is many people don’t understand the difference between positive thinking, which definitely has its place in life, and affirmations.

So what is behind the power of affirmations and what makes them different from positive thinking?

A lot.

Affirmations are so much more than positive thinking. 

Though both are systems. Systems to help with focus.

The difference is that one of them, when done right, boosts your vibrational frequency and has the ability to rewire your brain so that over time you begin to do things differently.

Positive thinking

Is a valuable tool for redirecting negative thoughts towards something more positive.  It’s a way to get and keep your focus on a goal or desire you have for your life.  The trouble is that we’re often simply trying to whitewash over the mountain of negative thoughts that run through our head every day.

The biggest difference between positive thinking and affirmations is that one only reaches the conscious mind, the realm of effect, whilst the other reaches the subconscious mind the realm of cause.

You can think positive thoughts until you’re blue in the face, but without the missing component that affirmations, when done right, have, you can never influence and affect your subconscious mind which is your partner in manifesting success or failure in your life.

And feeling is the secret sauce.  As I mentioned in my recent post on gratitude, it has an energetic signature.

As do feelings of fear, anger, sadness, joy, excitement or relief.  All your emotionalized thoughts influence matter and that’s how reality is created.

Power of affirmations

Power of Affirmations: How to Make Them Work For You

Subconscious v Conscious

It’s to the subconscious we must turn if we are to transform our life and keep it transformed. And this is where the power of affirmations come into play.

Think of it this way your conscious mind has the ability to choose what it accepts or rejects, the subconscious mind has no such ability.  In fact it totally accepts what you feel and believe to be true.

Affirmations are likely to be the easiest and simplest technique to influence and affect your subconscious mind and persuade it to change your biology from continually reliving your past to living your future.

Invisible connection

There is an invisible connection between what you feel and what you experience.  

And feeling is the only medium through which your thoughts and ideas are conveyed to your subconscious mind.  And whether they are in your best interests or not, what you ‘feel’ to be true sets your subconscious mind on its path to transform them into a matching reality.

When you see the phrase ‘you don’t get what you want, you get who you are’, this is what they mean.  We experience our inner world of feelings and beliefs and ideas, not the things we want to have or be.

As Dr. Joe Dispenza said:

“The feeling is what produces the emotional charge (energy) to stimulate your ANS ( autonomic nervous system)…into a new, specific destiny.”

A change of pattern

Chance or fate aren’t the reasons for the things that we experience, rather it’s that darn old subconscious impressions that determine the conditions of our world.

And that’s the good news.  Your subconscious will never alter the images and accepted beliefs and feelings you feed it.  Instead it sets about producing them in the exact likeness of the feelings you have. So a change of feeling is a change of experience.

Since we can’t think greater than we can feel, affirmations are the way to break the loop of the past. To reset your brain’s patterns. Through the power of affirmations you can signal new feelings to your brain and begin to rewire it into a new and infinitely better pattern.

Remember, sleep is the natural state of the subconscious so never fall asleep in the feelings of failure, fear or doubt. Whatever feelings you fall asleep in, the subconscious proceeds to turn them into matching experiences in your waking world. Best to fall asleep feeling gratitude or success or simply feeling blessed.

The best way I know

The best way I know how to use affirmations effectively (so far) is this:

Decide what it is you want.  Be really specific. I want to be rich, doesn’t cut it. Do you want a million dollars or five million or will a cool five hundred thousand be rich enough for you. Whatever it is, choose it. Forgot the how’s and why’s…that’s not your job.

And it doesn’t matter two hoots if it’s something in your physical world, that you desire or a change of attitude, or simply a new way of being in the world.

Determine how you would feel if you actually had or were the person you wanted to be right now.

What feeling would describe your experience, maybe relief, elation, gratitude or happiness?  

Whatever the feeling, connect it to an affirmation such as “I am happy and grateful that I am………..(whatever it is you would like to be…anything at all) or I have……….(whatever it is you would like to have….anything at all).

What would you be doing if you had your desire met.  Would you celebrate?  Would you be sharing your good news with friends or family?  Whatever image works for you.

Now put them all together…mentally.  As though you’re in a movie.

Mentally speak your affirmation, connect it to your picture and feel what it feels like.

These three techniques should monopolize your attention, even if for a few minutes every day.

I would add one last thing.  


To be smiling as you practice your affirmations is a signal to your subconscious and your body that this is true, this is real. Plus it connects you to your heart’s inner wisdom and guidance.

One final thought

Even if your real agenda is to debunk the whole idea of affirmations, give them a fair try.  Life gives us an expansive array of experiences to try and put new ways of living to the test.  And when you practice them and you find success, you can see it as luck, or perhaps you’ll discover it is something akin to a miracle appearing in your life.

I know it’s seemed like that for me, on enough occasions for me to be a true believer in the power of affirmations.

Encourage one another.

Love Elle



Elle Sommer is the author of 4 books and a workbook. Her latest publications are a series called The Power of Consciousness, and you will find all three books in this trilogy now available on Kindle. She shares quotes, inspiration and positive vibes on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And her greatest desire is to encourage and inspire others to create not just a good life, but a phenomenal life.


  1. I use affirmations every day. They do work and the science of neuroplasticity explains why. Even if there was no science behind it, why not use your mind to help you feel better rather than make you feel worse. It’s all about using your mind instead of letting it use you.

    Personally, I disagree with bein very specific. I believe that only sets you up for disappointment and limits what the goal (happiness, love, whatever) looks like. I say to stay open and let life surprise you. 🙂

    • Maybe it works differently for us all Debbie – being non-specific simply draws to me things that aren’t what I want…or nothing at all because the subconscious is working with woolly thoughts and feelings and can’t get a handle on the true desire. I don’t do disappointment at all, I know it’s simply operator error. The laws of the universe work perfectly, always, and as for getting something less than…on the contrary…it tends to be even better than I imagined. Staying open to how the desire is delivered without messing around trying to make it happen I also think is a good thing. Horses for courses as they say. 🙂

    • I believe in being very specific. I’ve had specific things manifest for me even the terrible ones. Why? Because I thought, envisioned and felt it. Why would I wait for life to surprise me when I have the power to choose what I want? The only surprise I want is more/better of what I asked for

  2. Affirmations, like the law of attraction, have challenged me for years, mostly because I’ve had a very difficult time with the “feelings” part of the equation. Growing up in an environment where feelings weren’t safe, I learned to stuff them down and ignore them most of my life. It took years to even see this, then many more to allow myself to feel and express my feelings. I used to think that I could forego the feeling part if I thought about what I wanted hard enough. That doesn’t work. Letting go of the feelings of control (the ‘how’) and accepting whatever comes also helps immensely.

    I love how you boil it all down: Speak it. See it. Feel it. Smile. (My analytical mind loves formulas. 🙂 )

    • Glad you enjoyed it Paige. My less than analytical mind likes formulas too so I can work my way through the morass of right brained creative thinking, lol.

  3. This is one of the best. Really enjoyed it and I’m going to practice it

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