Why Positive Affirmations Might Not Work To Bring Dreams To Life (& What Might Work In A Big Way!)


“I have all the money I need.”

“I’m in perfect health.”

“I’m living with the love of my life…”

If you’ve ever tried the ever popular affirmation exercises where a statement like this is repeated over and over again, sometimes hundreds of times,  reinforcing a desired positive outlook, you might have a personal viewpoint on affirmations.

To be very candid and very much unlike my positive self, the viewpoint I hear most about affirmations is this: “It does nothing.”

But… I have found tons of major success from these things… when I’m doing them when I’m feeling fantastic.  Not feeling fantastic, these statements have sort of slid right past me.

If you’re wanting to reinforce a major positive change and the idea of telling yourself over and over again that you’ve already made it happen feels weird or just doesn’t do aything to help (and it can, so much!) this is some awesome science and a very incredible exercise to try!  


There’s lots of scientific proof that eliminating negative language from your life will result in a happier you. That’s totally true. But… the idea of making big life changes by affirming them as already completed has had more mixed results.

Many people believe that repeating sayings to yourself, such as, “I am beautiful and healthy”, or “I have no fear”, can help bring about the qualities of the affirmation into reality.

You know, it’s a manifestation tool.  Making dreams spring to life.

But if you aren’t really buying what you’re saying, you can say it 3,000,000 times and nothing will change.

Here’s some interesting science.

Canadian researcher Dr. Joanne Wood and her team at the University of Waterloo published a study in the Journal of Psychological Science. In this study Wood had two groups of subjects, those with low self-esteem and those with high self-esteem, repeat the phrase “I am a lovable person”.   The group with low self-esteem reported feeling worse after the affirmation, while those who already had high levels of self-esteem felt better. This suggests that positive affirmations work, when the subject already feels good about themselves, and proves to be damaging to the people who need it the most…those suffering from poor self-image, depression, and anxiety.

So… how can you actually start to make a shift in mindstate if you’re feeling really bad about yourself and very much want to affirm your greatness and the greatness of your life?


An article by, World Psychology  explains why these positive affirmations sometimes do not work. When we make these affirmations, we are only working with the conscious level of our minds, and most of our doubts and fears operate on an unconscious level. When we make these affirmations, we cause a battle in our minds which can result in an internal conflict of beliefs… rendering our mental state possibly worse than before with all the frustration.

But, what does work is asking yourself questions!

In this article, the example is given of a person who used the affirmation “I am giving a great presentation that inspires my audience.” and it was having no real effect.   The aricle explains how flipping this affirmation into a question can open the door to huge positive mind shifts.

“… tweak the above statements so they become questions: “Am I terrible at presentations? Have they ever gone well for me?” Or: “Will I deliver a great presentation that inspires my audience?” Potential answers may be: “I get shy and nervous and people switch off when I talk. However, in my last presentation, I made a point that people found interesting and I really had their attention. How could I expand on that?”
“The last presentation that I did went well. What did I do that worked and how could I do more of that?”

This powerful strategy works better than affirmations because it acknowledges your negative thoughts and feelings and reduces the need to fight them. You start to become an ally to your unconscious mind, which in turn will elicit its cooperation. And the unconscious mind is fantastic at coming up with creative stuff.

Follow this process to effectively apply the interrogative self-talk strategy:

  • Draw your awareness to any declared self-statements, whether positive or negative.
  • Tweak these statements into questions; e.g.: “I am” into “Am I?”
  • Mull over possible answers to these questions and come up with additional questions. “What if..?” produces a particularly fruitful line of enquiry.
    Eliciting your curiosity and creativity using this method will put an end to that draining inner struggle, which in turn will reduce the tension in your body and help you relax. It won’t cost you anything and it will position you to reap excellent end results.”

You can read the whole article HERE and it’s super illuminating.

Asking lots of questions of yourself, building on your successes and following what feels good to you are far more grounded in truth than trying to force language into your mind.


In fact, if you’ve ever tried EFT (Tapping) to overcome your internal blocks and emotional upsets, you’ll find that using language and statements very personal to you in your own language while doing the tappig are the most effective and impactful.  I first tried EFT from many You Tubers that are awesome, and then I learned from a high-level pro how to do it for myself. It made a world of difference to use my own words  that I  believed very much and heard very powerfully.  (You can learn EFT basics right HERE!)

You already know all the best answers for you. Stay focused on consistent (even if they are tiny) steps forward toward what you need and want, and trust yourself to uncover all the answers you need, clearing away anything that might be in your way.

xoxo Dana

PS: Clearing your home enormously helps you make big strides clearing your mind! The Catalyst Camp is coming for Spring Cleaning and it starts with a free 3-video feng shui de-cluttering series you can start right HERE!



 creating genius creativity book

Welcome to Creating Genius!

I spent the last year creating this e-guide to balancing and unblocking life by pulling together the best of a decade of space-changing and life-shifting feng shui! It’s 50 days and 50 ways to use feng shui to shift your space and your routines to move from “stuck” to creatively inspired and alive.

Start Creating Genius right HERE!

And… As a special bonus when you get the e-guide– a bonus that thrills me!— I’m leading a private Creating Genius + Artist’s Way Group for all of you, to guide you online through twelve weeks of creative awesomeness this year!

Gather up your magic & make gorgeous dreams come true!

xoxo Dana

Psychic Nest March 21, 2016 at 6:01 pm

This is a mind blowing article and also very true! The law of attraction and mantras repeated on a daily basis can only benefit us when we have accepted a situation in our lives and we are willing to change it. I will take your phrase “I have no fear” but really, when we are in a specific situation in our life that we are scared, we have to accept that fear, turn it into strength and then use that phrase to affirm that this fear doesn’t run our lives anymore. This is a simple example on how we can use affirmations on a positive way in our lives.

Previous post:

Next post: