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Affirmations Can Backfire

Sometimes people get poor results with affirmations. When they say positive things about themselves the dialogue of thoughts in their head pushes back with harsh negative comments. Those harsh criticisms cause them to feel more negative emotions than were produced with the positive affirmations.  The overall result of the affirmation process is to end up feeling worse than before one started. This is what I call pushback from our ego’s belief system.  This is also known as the “Backfire Effect.”  The net effect of this affirmations attempt is that our self-image and self-esteem is pushed down instead of up.

Affirmations Can Backfire and Make You Feel Worse mp3  20 min

The same kind of backfire effect, or pushback, happens when other people give us compliments.  Often the automated response from our ego’s belief system is to dismiss or contradict the compliment.  Our mind effectively minimizes or dismisses their kind uplifting words and expressions people give us about our self.   In this unconscious manner of speaking, our ego does not allow to fully receive positive thoughts of our self that would improve our self-image and self-esteem.  The first step to solving and changing this dynamic is to be aware and mindful. Before we can change this pattern of dismissing and countering positive thoughts and expressions we must first be aware of what we are doing.  Once you are aware, you can then begin to intercede with a more positive response in that moment. Without that awareness you won’t notice the critical moment to change your response.

For more insights you can read my book MindWorks.  

Podcast by Gary van Warmerdam
a Pathway To Happiness production.

 

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