Affirmations: Why They Don’t Work


Affirmations actually work, and it’s backed up by science.

However, there’s a catch.

Most of us were hardly ever taught about affirmations. Parents raised us to face everything as it is. When faced with difficulties in school, we were just told to do better next time.  Back in the day, quitting was common advice when we rant about our jobs.  When we felt fat and ugly, people just shoved the word “diet” in our faces.


Nowadays, the world’s eyes are open to the importance of positive affirmations.  Blogs, books, podcasts, and social media discuss it extensively.  Many people support each other through words of affirmation. Parents praise their children even for small wins.  Women make other women realize that they are enough.  Many people see their value despite the absence of affirmation from others.

So why do people still fail?

Lack of Commitment

American motivational author Louise Hay said lack of commitment is the most common reason for failure to create change.

The turnaround doesn’t happen overnight but one must stick to her affirmations through time.  The same commitment is necessary for the new year’s resolutions we make.  One must realize that negative thinking is a long-standing habit.  Having negative thoughts doesn’t make you bad.  It takes conscious effort if you really want to change the way you look at life.

If you say your affirmations in the morning and complain the rest of the day, the change you desire will take a while to happen.

Affirmations are like seeds planted in soil. Poor soil, poor growth.  Rich soil, abundant growth.  Louise Hay

Wrong Choice of Words

Motivational speakers have given us tons of positive affirmations that we could use in life. We often hear “I am enough”, “I love myself fully”, and “I deserve success”.

One must remember that words of affirmation are 1. Always positive and 2. In the present tense.   For example,  if you want to achieve a healthier body you don’t say “I don’t want to be sick anymore”.   Say “I accept perfect health now”.  If you want to attract more wealth, say “Money flows into my life in an abundant way” instead of “I won’t go broke again”.  Are you stuck in a lousy job? Say “Wonderful new doors are opening for me all the time”.  Say your words of affirmation out loud as if you have them already.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
Lack of Mindfulness

Changing the way we think is not easy.  After all, how could anyone with very little money in the bank say “I am rich!”?

However, the universe takes our words literally. So we must pay constant attention to our thoughts.  When we complain, we affirm something we don’t want in our life.

Every time you feel angry, sad, or ugly, you are affirming that you want to feel more angry, sad, and ugly.  Our thoughts count as they create experiences.  So choose thoughts that give joy, gratitude, love, and peace.

Every day is an opportunity to reset our lives.  If you want to change your life, retrain your thinking and speaking into positive patterns.  Be conscious and stick to it.  In time, you will achieve the best version of yourself.



  1. Kirsten Smith says:

    Great post! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I avoided using affirmations for a long time as I just felt awkward using them and thought they wouldn’t work. Then I became consistent in using them and just went with it and the difference to my mental well-being has been amazing. I like to share the affirmations that work for me on my blog (I have a whole section dedicated to them on my site). You are so right that they take consistent effort and the right choice of words; once we find those it’s a great resource to use. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  3. Affirmations certainly are a trial-and-error sort of thing. You really have to be very specific and intentional than you may initially want to be. This is such great info and insights you’ve shared. Thanks!

  4. What an insightful post about affirmations and succeeding with them. Thank you for sharing this!

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