Affirmations vs. Incantations (+ Why What You’re Doing Might Not Be Working)

Part of my half-woo-woo, half-mad-scientist approach, is to regularly adopt new behaviours that might benefit me.

I treat them like a high school science project. Usually they’re given a 2-week ‘experiment’ window, before I decide to keep it around, tweak it, or bin it.

Tony Robbins Incantations

Affirmations are one of these, that began as a 2-week experiment, and ended up becoming part of my elaborate (and ever-evolving) daily routine.

But I found myself getting less enthusiastic about the affirmation I had scrawled on my chalkboard, and decided I would set a new affirmation every week: that would give me both the time to let it sink it (repeated each day) and still keep it fresh in my mind.

So looking for some affirmation inspiration (try saying that 5 times fast) I googled ‘Tony Robbins affirmations’

What? I figured grand old Tony would have some KILLER affirmations – plus, I was all hyped up from watching his commercial documentary ‘I Am Not Your Guru’ (no really, it’s worth a watch, biased as all documentaries tend to be)

I found this old video on the ‘tube:

He makes a great point. Affirmations can feel like you’re just going through the motions. I’ve struggled with this a lot. I’ll tell myself ‘I have an abundance of wealth’ on a day where I’m fretting about where my next client is coming from, and it won’t exactly sound convincing.

I’m naturally a skeptic and I’m while I’m open to a lot of crazy shit, I also question the heck out of things.

I hear myself say it… and even though I so badly want it to be true… I call bull. I just don’t buy it.

Other people can convince me of something WAY better than I can convince myself.

Does that make sense?

I guess I’m not the best sleazy car salesman πŸ˜‰

Luckily, Tony reminded me I don’t have to do the hard-sell on myself.

I just had to be a bit more clever with the message I was delivering, and do some physiological hacks to get my body in the right state to believe myself.

“With incantations, you don’t just speak it, you EMBODY what you’re saying… and you do it with enough repetitions that it STICKS”

~ Tony Robbins

So, on Tony’s orders, I’ve tweaked my lacklustre affirmations into bold, full-body incantations. Here are my tweaks:

  1. Repetition – Don’t just say it a couple of times and move on. Try for at least 15 minutes.

  2. Physical stance – Be on your feet, take a power pose, pace around the room.

  3. Attach emotion to it – The hardest but most powerful (just watch Tony to get an idea of the emotion he throws in to these)

Let the experiment commence!


What do you think – do you use affirmations currently?
Would you be willing to ‘upgrade’ your affirmations to incantations?
Let me know in the comments below, or hit me up on the Tweeters: @creativeintro