#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Self-Talk and Other Ramblings

I’ve discussed affirmations on this blog before. Except for the one I told you about–good enough that it bears repeating, so I will at the bottom of this page–they don’t seem to work very well. Why is that?

Like virtually everyone else in the known universe, I both read “The Secret” and watched the DVD. A lot of that stuff works–I speak from experience, I assure you–but something about “The Secret” bothered me. There is a missing component, but I couldn’t figure out what it was. People were writing their goals down on index cards, making vision boards, trying to “feel” as though they had already attained their objective. (The missing component is partly disguised in that last phrase.) Some folks undoubtedly got results, but many did not. Why?

I wrestled with this dilemma. After all, I have goals of my own, and even though I first discovered “The Secret” when I was very young, and happened to get hold of a copy of Claude Bristol’s classic, “The Magic of Believing”, and got some pretty impressive results, I still knew I was somehow missing the mark.

THEN I listened to “My Stroke of Insight”, a book I heartily recommend to everyone, and BINGO, I knew! When exposed to a belief long enough, and calmly enough, the brain builds actual physical pathways to support that belief. Behavior becomes almost automatic. Think you don’t use affirmations, that they don’t work for you? Brace yourself: you DO use them. They are the things you tell yourself, about yourself and the world and others. Chances are, they go something like this: Nothing ever goes right for me. My thighs are too fat. I’m so tired. I don’t have any job skills. I don’t understand computers. This country is going to hell in a handbasket. Etc., etc., etc.

Are those things true? Not necessarily. But for us, they might as well be, if we believe them. It’s not magic–it’s brain science. Whatever you build a pathway for, you will believe, and then you will do the things that naturally follow. And that’s the second missing component from “The Secret.” You can affirm and visualize and paste magazine pictures onto foam board until you turn blue, but if you don’t DO the things you will be prompted to do–speak to that stranger, read the books that jump off the shelf at you, things like that–Nothing Will Happen.

Here’s what is working for me. I get quiet, shift slightly to the right–into the right hemisphere of my brain, that is–and I repeat the things I want to be true about myself. Please note that I’m not recommending that you “manifest” a Porsche–that’s possible to do, but is it your main concern at this very minute? I think we need to lay a simpler foundation first, things like, “There will always be enough (food, money, love, whatever you worry about)”. “There is always a solution.” You get the idea.

You needn’t believe it at first. That comes with conditioning. With practice. Learning to gently quiet your left brain, which will tell you all the reasons why you’re wasting your time. Just yesterday, my daughter told me that she’s known for her memory for names–I had no idea–because years ago, in high school, she programmed herself that way in order to learn the lines (some 295 of them) for a play. It worked, and it’s STILL working. It has morphed into a fact.

Make it a good weekend. Be kind to yourself and others.

Here’s the affirmation. My all-time favorite. And I’ve seen it work over and over and over again. The only time it doesn’t work, in fact, is when I don’t use it.

I believe that I am always divinely guided.
I believe that I will always take the right turn in the road.
I believe that God will make a way where there is no way.
(Norman Vincent Peale)

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Around 1541, the present state of Texas was called Tejas, a Spanish version of the Caddo word meaning “allies.”