Our minds works in mysterious ways which when “hacked” with can be incredibly powerful — especially in the case of affirmations. The idea behind affirmations is that simple repetitive assertions like “I will become a great musician” tend to eventually materialize in seemingly miraculous ways. This isn’t necessarily attributed to some divine intervention or celestial magic. Rather I think this is because fortune tends to favor those who train their minds to expect it. Opportunities for “luck” regularly pass by unclaimed due to passivity and self-imposed restrictive beliefs. People who use affirmations to frame their minds towards a singular focus tend to become more hyperaware of these aligned opportunities and develop a generally optimistic demeanor that breeds agency and increases resistance to minor setbacks.
Most people already subconsciously engage in affirmations. Usually, people draw upon some life event or feature of their personal background to construct a narrative for why they will conquer some objective (eg: "I beat all odds to attend prestigious school, I can do this" or "My father was a legendary basketball player, I will be one too"). This narrative becomes a cornerstone to the identity which fuels a general optimism. My theory is what's important is less about the external circumstance but more about the general frame of thinking that it influences. The power of affirmations is that they are conceptions of the mind. Even if there isn't an external narrative to hinge on, they reveal that it's still technically possible to "hack" the mind to think a certain desirable way. For every imagined barrier, there is a way of thinking that can overcome it.
The world is filled with random causal events. The lens you choose to interpret these events determines how you'll view and react to the world. There may be a lens that suggests that you are an insignificant speck at the mercy of the universe that should indulge in nihilistic bliss. There may be another lens that reveals that you actually have more control over your own destiny and empowers you to self-actualize. Depending on the kind of person you are, your affirmations will reinforce your lens of the world. Choose them carefully.
What I’ve been consuming recently
Unqualified Reservations (h/t Zack)
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