Affirmations and Evil Genies

Dandelion in PoisonBack in college, I read a lot of self-help books. Some were scientific in their psychology. Others were full of New Age crap. Here’s one concept that doesn’t work. Affirmations. Closely related to the Law of Attraction, this is the the idea that if you specifically affirm what you want, you can achieve your goals just by thinking about them hard enough. Some people try affirmations by talking in the mirror; others try to write it down multiple times a day. However you want to try it, the key is to be specific. And therein lies the problem.

Everything I’ve read about affirmations says the same thing: be specific, but not too specific. Like telling your wish to an evil genie, you have to phrase things just so. That means if it doesn’t work, the blame is on you.

You could drive yourself mad trying to think of the right wording, or you could get out there and do the work. Both are prone to failure, but only one of these methods is proven to success. So if you’re spending a lot of time on affirmations and creative visualization, try hard work. Yeah, it’s a lot harder, but you’ll feel a lot better when you achieve your goal.

Steve Lovelace

Steve Lovelace is a writer and graphic artist. After graduating Michigan State University in 2004, he taught Spanish in Samoa before moving to Dallas, Texas. He blogs regularly at

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1 Response

  1. April 19, 2013

    […] to do is think about what you want. Why bother going through the motions when you can just work on affirmations or creative visualization instead? You don’t even have to leave your living […]

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