20+ Second Person Affirmations: What Are They and How Do They Work?
Having practiced affirmations for a number of years now, I have seen different people take different approaches towards it. Well, there really is no right and wrong way since this is not science or math, and the key thing is to discover the way that works for you.
Traditionally, most people would get their start in affirmations by practicing “I am” affirmations. This means that they are speaking in the first person, and many people have found success with this method. In fact, most gurus seem to say that this is the best way.
On the other hand, second person affirmations work by using “You”, which seems a bit unnatural or awkward if you are saying to yourself in the mirror or reading it. It could also be down to a lack of confidence, in which case you need to learn how to trust yourself.
However, if you are listening to an audio recording or watching a video, a second-person voice is actually very beneficial as you are receiving affirmations as if an external you is telling them to you.
Recently, there is also another school of thought that claims that third-person voice could work well too. This is when you imagine from a third-person perspective, just like an observer would.
What kind of visualizer are you?
Knowing that there are 3 perspectives you can use is good, but which one suits you the best?
Again, there is no right and wrong answer, only answers that suit your personality and behavioural patterns. In fact, you may benefit from different methods depending on the stage of life you are in right now.
Let’s take a closer look:
First person — Using “I” to lead your affirmations. You are in a positive state, and feels good about the activity/idea that you are trying to affirm. You might have experience something similar and can draw on those emotions.
Second person — Using “You” to start. You are facing something difficult, and you need some push to get your forward. You want to put some distance between you and negative thoughts that might have come about because of past experience.
Third person — Using “You”, but like an observer. You need a breakthrough, a new start. You want to change your behaviour towards a goal.
How can you practice second person affirmations?
Think about this for a second. Most people are practicing positive affirmation with “I am”. What if your negative thoughts stem from people who over the years have been subconsciously programming your mind?
For example, you might have worked for a nasty boss for a long time. Each and every day, this person tells you “You are inefficient!”.
Over time, this becomes part of your identity and you start believing it.
While it is useful to start practicing affirmations with “I am efficient”, an alternative way that could be more powerful is to use second person affirmations.
Try saying “You are efficient” with the voice in your head instead. It draws similarities to the way your (hopefully) ex-boss has talked to you, and it is likely better at replacing your old thoughts.
Here’s what I would like you to try out:
Give yourself a short amount of time (a couple of minutes, nothing more) and start writing down any positive thoughts that you have about what you are affirming. Use “I” and say them out loud when writing.
Next, repeat the same timing, but in this round, use the voice in your head and using “You”, write down what you think you can do to become the person you aspire to be in the first exercise.
Compare your notes and notice the difference. They can be similar, but the key thing is the delivery of the message.