Why Do Affirmations Work
for Some and Not for Others?

Affirmations work
Affirmations are positive statements designed to achieve a desired result. Affirmations work for many people who have had great success with them but there are others who have not. So what's the difference? Are they doing them differently or are some people just great at manifesting whatever they desire?

An affirmation is a positive statement often beginning with a declaration in the present, such as "I am", followed by a positive, desired outcome. They are used to help us change our beliefs about ourselves and bring about a desired positive outcome. They can be used to improve running or any area of your life.


The goal of an affirmation could be to change a habit we no longer want, to attract something we want into our lives or to prevent something we don't want, such as running injuries. For example: "I have a strong and healthy body."

We may be creating conditions or situations in our lives with our thoughts and we don't realize it. Affirmations can help us to become more aware of our thinking which enables us to change habitual thoughts. But we must not judge ourselves when negative thoughts arise. We need to acknowledge them and let them go. 

So why do affirmations work for some and not for others? To explore this matter further, lets first look at how the concept of positive affirmations work in helping us achieve our desired reality.

How Affirmations Work

The Reticular Activating System (RAS) plays an important role in the effectiveness of affirmations. It is a part of our brain that acts like an information filter. It lets in information that we need and filters out what we don't need based on our interests, goals, desires and needs. So when we choose an affirmation, it needs to be about something that is important to us, that we are very interested in and reflects our goals and desires. If it is not, then our RAS will filter it out. 

So your affirmations need to be about something you really care about. This is why affirmations about money often don't work. People don't really care about money. They only care about what money can give them or how it can improve the conditions of their lives. So our affirmation needs to be focused on the desired outcome, not the method of how it can be achieved. For example, saying, "I have a beautiful new sports car" is more effective than saying, "I have a lot of money in my bank account" when a new sports car is what you really want.

Affirmations Work

When you start to repeat an affirmation or listen to a recording of an affirmation, it sends a message to your RAS. Your RAS recognizes it as something that is important to you and then your brain begins to look for opportunities to bring about positive changes or finds evidence to support this new belief.

Repeating a positive affirmation also helps to block out the negative banter than goes on in our heads when we are not being mindful of our thoughts. They help us to be more present and aware of our thoughts. When we are present in the moment, we can enjoy whatever we are experiencing more fully. An affirmation that helps me stay present while running is, "I am here and the time is now." It helps me focus on where I am and not how much further I need to run.

Also, positive affirmations can act as a placebo. If you believe they are going to work, they will. As indicated in this article, Be Your Own Placebo, we can create the proper conditions in our mind and body to accept the affirmation as truel—having the same affect as a placebo.

Affirmations Work on the
Subconscious Level

Our subconscious mind can be accessed at the brain state of REM dream state. Theta brain wave frequencies are heard in this state in which our minds are more open to accept and receive new information. When affirmations are listened to using theta wave frequencies, they are much more effective as they are heard on the subconscious level.

"The only limits in our life are those we impose on ourselves."

-- Bob Proctor

In this state, we are capable of deep and profound learning, healing and growth whereby we can manifest our goals and deepest desires. Our subconscious mind is usually inaccessible to us while we are conscious, but while listening to a recording that includes theta brain wave frequencies, we can access and influence our subconscious in ways that we desire.

The 10 Most Powerful Affirmations for Runners is a collection of the most effective affirmations for achieving the goals and desires of runners, such as—to run injury free or improve running performance. To make these affirmations more effective, this program includes recordings with theta brain wave frequencies so you can bring about results even faster. 

Reasons Affirmations Do Not Work

Affirmations work
When affirmations do not work, there is usually a reason why. If the affirmation is too outrageous for us to believe, either on a conscious or subconscious level, then it will not work for us. For example, "I am the faster runner in the world" would not be believable for most of us, but, "I am a strong and fast runner" is possible and believable for most runners. 

Affirmations also need to contain some element of truth. So someone who is not a runner would probably not benefit from the above affirmation, but someone who has some experience as a runner would probably see improvements in their running.

Other reasons why affirmation may not be working:

  1. We just repeat the phrase without meaning, going through the motions without being mindful.
  2. It is about something that you don't really care about.
  3. It is about something that you really don't want to do. For example, "I want to workout every day" will not work if you really don't want to workout everyday. However, it you said, "I want to want to workout everyday" it would help change your mindset and move you in the direction towards your desired goal.
  4. We don't repeat them often enough. 
  5. We don't acknowledge and release any negative thoughts that arise.



How to Ensure Your Affirmations Work

To ensure your affirmations work, choose one that is really important to you, and one that you believe the outcome is possible for you. When you repeat the statement, ensure that you are consciously and mindfully repeating it and notice any negative thoughts that arise as you say it. Then acknowledge these thoughts and let them go.  

The ideal conditions for using positive affirmations involve creating a strong mind and body connection. Try these steps to help you get in the right mindset: 

  1. Stop doing what you are doing and get present.
  2. Connect with your breath by noticing how it moves in and out of your body.
  3. State your affirmation out loud or quietly in your mind or listen to it in a recording. When mentally saying the affirmation or listening to a recording of it, use your breath to help you become more in tune with the statement. Inhale during the first part, i.e. "I am." and exhale on the desired outcome, i.e. "getting faster."
  4. Notice if anything comes up for you. If you are getting negative thoughts arising, acknowledge them and let them go without judgement.
  5. Continue to work with your affirmation or affirmations. Eventually any negative thoughts will be dropped and the affirmation will become the basis for a new, positive thought process.

Creating a recording of your affirmation or affirmations has numerous benefits. It is convenient as it allows you to listen to them while doing other things, such as driving, doing chores, running, while relaxing, etc. Also, listening to affirmations while you are relaxing or before falling asleep has an added advantage. Being in a relaxed state, your subconscious mind is in a more receptive state to receive these positive messages and absorb them on a deeper level.

Theta brain wave recordings have the extra advantage of accessing and influencing our powerful subconscious state, which is normally inaccessible to us while we are awake. They help form a positive image in our subconscious mind, creating and attracting our desired outcome.

Affirmations are powerful and can work for everyone if they are done properly. Do you have an affirmation that works well for you? Please share them in the comments below.

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