"Why are some affirmations effective and others not?"
Kindly, a question you may be able to answer for me, please: it is said that when affirming you should only use positive language and not (for example) "I will not overeat" because the Universe will interpret that "positively" and you get the result "I will overeat"; so, why isn't negative self-talk like "I will never succeed" (etc) interpreted by the Universe as "I will succeed" - why this "double standard"?
Answer supplied by Peter Shepherd of Trans4mind...
The reason is that the right brain (rather than the Universe) - that determines our feelings and hence motivation/action that the Universe then mirrors through the power of Spirit - interprets our thoughts in terms of the underlying (subconscious) true feelings and therefore doesn't discriminate between conscious acceptance or resistance. It doesn't listen to the "not" or "never", that's true, but rather it interprets based on actual beliefs (at the level of feelings) that are restimulated by the concept of what is being consciously thought - it picks up on what most closely corresponds to the subconscious belief/feeling.
"I will not overeat" is an affirmation based on the feeling that you really do want to eat a lot, so that's how it's interpreted - you really have acceptance of eating even though your conscious mind (left brain) is resisting that. The feeling of wanting to eat is restimulated by the affirmation, so you're more likely to eat more. "I will eat what I want" would be more empowering, as it doesn't conflict with the inner belief and gives you the power of choice.
Whereas, "I will never succeed" may be a deeply held belief, in which case it's accepted subconsciously even though consciously you are resisting that. If you use that as an affirmation it will directly restimulate that inner feeling and as a result you will be less likely to succeed - though if your inner feeling is in fact that "I will succeed", then both "I will succeed" and "I will never succeed" will restimulate that inner feeling of confidence. Say the negative one too much, though, and your inner belief/feeling of confidence of success may start to wane. Using the affirmation "I will succeed" without first bringing to consciousness and re-evaluating an inner feeling that conflicts with it, will probably not be helpful because it is not really believed.
So it's not so much a question of whether the affirmation is phrased as a negative, so much as whether the affirmation is in alignment or conflicting with the subconscious, deeply-held belief. That's the real reason why affirmations don't necessarily help but may indeed increase inner conflict and serve to suppress the inner belief rather than resolving it. When you have uncovered the inner belief and genuinely discovered it is false - not rational/helpful/true/your own - then using an affirmation can help to keep in the place the revised belief, and that's where affirmations are helpful.
So, quite complicated, but hopefully you can see what I'm getting at.
Just had to share with you that the caring and thoughtful way in which you obviously shared your certainly valuable time with me in answering my question simply touched That Unconditional Love in my Heart; your explanation is crystal clear and resonated deeply with me in that "we all already Know the Truth we seek within" kinda way (lol), and I must say I have never heard and/or read it explained so clearly; it has helped me to better allow the Flow of Truth to "bypass" my left brain (lol); if you're a father (which means your children are quite lucky indeed) then hope you've had a wonderful Father's Day...
Peace, Love, & Blessing