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Many of you have probably already heard about the idea of affirmations. Lots of folks suggest using affirmations as a way to create change in your life, whether it be improving your health, your relationships, your financial position, your weight, stopping a habit such as smoking, etc. I first heard the of the idea of affirmations in church. Whatever we wanted in life, we were supposed to "name it and claim it." In other words, you would just declare out loud repeatedly all day long things like "I am incredibly healthy! I have all the riches in the world! I am thin and gorgeous!" The idea being to make statements that represented not where you actually were in life, but where you wanted to be. And that this version of you already existed in the spirit realm, you just needed to claim it for it to manifest in the material world. That's the idea. And here's the reality, for me, when trying to make statements that are the exact opposite of my everyday reality: "I am wealthy and have abundance" My brain mocks me: "You are an idiot. Look at your checking balance." "I am in perfect health" My body "Oh yeah? Well, *I* am in pain and I'm not letting you forget it" My brain chimes in "Yeah and I saw your lab tests" How do we deal with this committee in our heads? Let's just look at the definition of affirmation, shall we? [af-er-mey-shuhn] –noun 1. the act or an instance of affirming; state of being affirmed. 2.assertion that something exists or is true. 3. something that is affirmed; a statement or proposition that is declared to be true. 4. confirmation or ratification of the truth or validity of a prior judgment, decision, etc. 5. Law. a solemn declaration accepted instead of a statement under oath. And that is the problem- part of me knows this stuff just is not true. And maybe it's true in a spirit realm, yada-yada-yada, but the rest of me is just too immersed in the real world and my years of experience to the contrary to shout out things that couldn't be less true and that would actually be considered perjury if I declared them under oath. All it does, frankly, when I shout out what I feel are vastly untrue statements in an attempt to create a new reality, is tick me off and make me feel sorry for myself. And make me want to avoid church because I feel like a failure. So... here are 2 more (in my mind) reasonable approaches: 1) keep doing this, and when your mind objects, tell it "I know it isn't true yet, but I'm giving you instructions. I'm programming you about how things are going to be in the future. 2) if that doesn't work, try using what I like to call "believable affirmations." These are things that, instead of being 180 degrees off from reality, are instead just a few degrees off. For example instead of "I am living in total abundance and am wealthy beyond measure" how about "I am still living indoors." "I still can afford groceries" Those things are true, and in some parts of the world, would make me very wealthy. I celebrate the things that are going right, however small, and work my way up to the bigger things. No one goes into the weight room and on their first visit, tries to lift the heaviest weights. (OK, a few guys do, but they're morons). Reasonable people, people setting themselves up for success instead of failure, start small, achieve small successes, build confidence and take a next, slightly bigger step. I encourage you to start small. When you find yourself thinking about lack, about things that are bumming you out, and all that you do not have, challenge yourself to say a believable affirmation, even if it's "well I'm not the biggest jerk that ever walked the earth." Try it. Let me know how it works for you. Carla Ulbrich, The Singing Patient (, is a humorous songwriter and author of "How Can You *Not* Laugh at a Time Like This," available now at and

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