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If Affirmations Are Not Working for You, Here's Why

By Dr. Margaret Paul
March 11, 2024

Intent is a subtle thing. Discover how even positive affirmations can come from an intent to control.

abundanceThe intent to control can sometimes be so subtle!

For example, it may be obvious to those of you who have been practicing Inner Bonding for a while that self-judgments are a form of control. The wounded self often believes something like, "If I judge myself, I can have control over getting myself to do the things I need to do, or get myself to do them right, and that will give me control over how others feel about me."

It might not be so obvious that self-affirmations can also be a form of control. When you are saying affirmations such as, "I can manifest my dreams," or "I choose loving relationships," or "I always have enough money to be safe," or "There is always enough time to get done what needs to be done," what is the intent behind the affirmation? Is your intent in saying these things to yourself a way of being loving to yourself, or is your intent to control?

When it’s your wounded self saying the affirmation, then your intent is to try to control getting what you want. You might not even believe what you are telling yourself, but you think if you say it often enough, you will believe it and if you believe it, you will magically get what you want.

When this doesn't work, you may conclude that affirmations don't work. But it is not the affirmation that is the problem - it is the intent behind it. Whenever your wounded self is in charge, with its intent to control, your frequency is too low to manifest what you want.

I’ve sometimes consciously given my wounded self the job of saying affirmations. I’d rather that she say positive things rather than negative, but I have no expectation that, coming from my wounded self, the affirmations will work. However, it does keep her occupied, thinking she is in control!

Affirmations From Your Loving Adult

When you are truthfully saying affirmations from your loving adult, then you are connected with your personal source of spiritual guidance. You are not making the words up, or trying to convince yourself to believe them - they are flowing through you from a place of truth.

For example, if you tell yourself from your wounded self that there is always enough time to get done what needs to be done, another part of your wounded self will likely be saying something like, "Yeah, right. You can say that all you want, but it is never true. We are always behind and there will never be enough time to relax." The affirmation is met with resistance because when the intent of one aspect of your wounded self is to control, it is likely that another aspect will resist being controlled.

In contrast, when you are connected with your guidance and your intent is to bring love and truth to yourself, then when you say the same affirmation, it can have a powerful impact. You will find yourself relaxing, trusting that there actually will be enough time to get the things done that you want to get done. The affirmation brings a sense of inner peace, and when you are in that space, you will naturally be open to finding the ways to realize, or manifest, the affirmation.

Anything you do or tell yourself can come from the intent to be loving to yourself, or from the intent to control. You might be able to force yourself to eat well for a period of time because you want to lose weight, or you can eat well because you love your beautiful essence and want to create a healthy body for your incredible self to live in. In the first instance, when the intent is to control, you will likely not be able to keep up the healthy eating for long. But when your deep intent is to be loving to yourself, you will find yourself being able to maintain healthy eating more easily.

The next time you say an affirmation, notice your intent. Noticing your intent is vital to being able to joyfully accomplish what you want!

Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."


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