Research Paper By Karen Mortensen
(Life and Executive Coaching, CHILE)
Affirmations can be used to re-program thought patterns. They have become popular in the last decade thanks to mind, body, spirit bestseller author Louise Hay and Neuro-linguistic Programming guru Anthony Robbins.
Many seek affirmations for inspirations and the internet is a wonderful way to find some. For example, the Google search for “affirmations for happiness” returns over two million results.
Some coaches use these techniques to empower their clients as well. This research paper is aimed at presenting what affirmations are, whether they work and how a coach can apply them as a powerful tool in the coaching process.
Insights into Affirmations
Affirmations are statements going beyond the reality of the present into the creation of the future through the words you use in the now.
Merriam Webster defines an affirmation as “a positive assertion”. However, Louise Hay (1984), one of the leading advocates of positive affirmations as a powerful self-help tool, considers affirmations to be both positive and negative statements. She claims it is essential that we listen to our inner-voice and observe our self-talk. According to Hay, “All of your self-talk, your internal dialogue is a stream of affirmations. You are creating your life experience with every word and thought”. If we chose negative self-talk, we continue creating what we don’t want. Affirming that we hate our job will not lead us anywhere. However, declaring that we accept a great new job will open the necessary channels of our consciousness to create the desired situation. What Louise Hay calls negative self-talk is often described in a coaching context as a limiting self-belief.
How do affirmations work and what are the benefits of positive self-affirmation?
It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.
Claude M. Bristol
The French therapist Emile Coué proposed,
the modification of thoughts through a conscious autosuggestion formula would inevitably lead to both mental and physical heath. (Paulhus, 1992 p. 573) He recommended his patients repeat the following statement: Every day in every way I am getting better and better,
20 times in the morning, 20 times in the evening and as often as possible during the day, patients would feel better within a few days. According to Coué,