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6 Reasons Why Your Positive Affirmations Aren’t Working

Written by: Christine Luken, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Christine Luken

Psychology tells us that speaking positively to ourselves helps to rewire our brains for success, whether it’s in the areas of money, health, relationships, or business. If that’s true, you might be wondering why your positive affirmations aren’t working! Because I’ve been teaching money mindset for over a decade, I know exactly how to formulate positive affirmations (a.k.a. mantras) that actually get results!

man raising hands up high at the field during daytime

6 Reasons why your positive affirmations aren’t working

1. Your positive affirmations aren’t entirely positive

This one seems obvious, but I’ve seen my financial coaching clients create their money mantras with double negatives. You only want positive words as part of your affirmations! Avoid using “no,” “not,” “don’t,” and the like to cancel out a negative word. Instead, find a positive alternative. Here’s one my divorcing client, Laura, came up with and a better alternative.


No: I’m not financially dependent on my ex-husband.

Yes: I’m a financially independent woman.

Not only did she have “not” in her affirmation, but also the negative word “ex-husband.” Leave out any words that carry a negative emotional charge for you, even if the word might not be inherently negative.

2. Your positive affirmations are in the future tense

Phrase your affirmations in the present tense, as if they are true right now. The reason you want to do this is because your unconscious mind wants you to agree with yourself.

If you keep saying your money mantra about having a large amount in savings, your unconscious mind will help you accomplish it, so you can be in integrity. If you state things in the future, your unconscious mind won’t be spurred into action because it only operates in the present moment.


No: I will have an emergency fund of $50,000 someday soon.

Yes: I’m so happy & grateful I have $50,000 in my savings account!

3. Your positive affirmations are too vague

Details create a clear picture and build excitement. When you think about a “new car,” it feels neutral because nothing specific comes to mind. But, if you say, “I’m so excited I just picked up my brand-new, cherry red Porsche 911 from the dealership!” now that’s something to get excited about!


No: I’m always taking beach vacations. (How often is “always”? Which beach?)

Yes: I’m the kind of woman who spends at least one month every year on the island of Maui, at the Fairmont Hotel in Wailea.

4. Your positive affirmations aren’t action or results oriented

Action words tell your unconscious mind what you’re supposed to be doing to make your affirmations a reality. Specific results tell your unconscious mind what target you are aiming for. Contrary to popular belief, speaking and writing positive affirmations aren’t enough to create real change in your life! You actually have to DO something. This is why you want to include action and results in your affirmations.


No: I’m debt-free and have lots of money in the bank.

Yes: Of course, I always pay my credit cards in full and contribute weekly to my savings and retirement accounts.

5. Your positive affirmations don’t pass the “Hell Yes” test

This is something I learned from one of my business mentors, Jenna Faith. If your affirmations don’t create a positive emotional charge for you, you might as well not even say them. As you are formulating your positive mantras, financial and otherwise, ask yourself this question. “How do I feel when I say this affirmation?”

I want your affirmations to pump you up so much that you can’t help shouting, “HELL YES!” The goal is a high level of excitement that fuels you to take action on them. Remember, no “meh” mantras are welcome here! You only want exciting and powerful affirmations.

6. Your body isn’t on board

Did you know that other cells outside of your brain can store memories, especially of trauma? It’s called cellular memory. Sometimes you can have positive affirmations that pass all five checkpoints above, but there seems to be a block to achieving what you want.

It might be because your body’s not on board with it. I have found when I have a particularly strong emotional money trigger, it’s because something unhelpful is stuck in my body’s cellular memory. Using somatic tools like breathwork and tapping can help clear these blockages.

Are you using positive affirmations as part of your financial improvement plan? Download my handy checklist and 100 examples of Magnetic Money Mantras®!

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

Christine Luken Brainz Magazine

Christine Luken, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Ready for money to support your happiness, rather than stress you out? Then you need Christine Luken, Financial Dignity® Coach in your corner! As the Founder of the Financial Dignity® Movement, Christine has coached hundreds of high-earning professionals, business owners, and divorcing women to pay off staggering amounts of debt and massively increase their net worth. The author of several books, including Money is Emotional and Financial Dignity® After Divorce, Christine blends wise money management with emotional intelligence.



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