The Affirmations That May Actually Be Sabotaging Your Success

Gina K
7 min readAug 19, 2021

The affirmations that are getting the most attention from your subconscious mind might not be the ones you intended. You may be sabotaging your day without even realizing it.

The best morning routines use positive affirmations.

Ask any self-improvement guru and they will tell you that having affirmations as a part of your habitual morning routine can put you on the fast track to your goals and dreams.

Tell yourself, “I am confident, I am smart, and I am worthy” enough times and you will begin to believe it. Having these statements always at the ready can help you navigate some critical life situations, and can help put you on a path to future prosperity. Affirmations are definitely a powerful way to manifest good things into your life.

The biggest mistake you might be making with your affirmations is something you probably don’t even know you are doing.

What you may not have realized about affirmations is that you are already saying them to yourself the moment you wake up in the morning. Every single day. And these affirmations may not be helping you at all. You could be manifesting a few things that you don’t want more of in your life without even realizing it.

Your subconscious mind is most open to suggestions during the first moments of wakefulness. In those moments when you are waking up, but before you even open your eyes, your brain waves are still in a semi-hypnotic, relaxed alpha state — the frequency that’s been called the bridge to the subconscious mind. Your brain is rested and ready to receive information about where its focus should be today.

These first few moments of wakefulness are golden for affirmations and manifesting.

So what are your first thoughts of the morning? What did you think today right before you rolled out of bed? Were those first thoughts positive and happy?

Did you take this golden moment to tell your brain how you plan to show up for the day as your best self?

For most people, the answer is no.

The first thoughts of the day are often negative and self-defeating.

Even though these thoughts may seem innocent, your subconscious mind is at its most suggestible immediately upon waking. It is waiting for that precise moment to know what it should focus on and manifest for you today. You may not be saying these thoughts intentionally, but your subconscious is hearing you loud and clear.

These first thoughts of the day can sabotage your success and most people are completely unaware it is happening.

If you wake up thinking that you did not get enough sleep last night, your affirmation is:

I am tired.

If one of your first thoughts is dread for your upcoming day and not wanting to go to work, your subconscious hears:

I am unhappy. I am discouraged. I am frustrated.

If you wake up worried about money and finances, the first affirmation you hand over to your subconscious mind sounds like:

I am broke.

If you wake up thinking about all of the things you have to do today, your subconscious hears:

I am overwhelmed. My life is shit. I am over-scheduled.

When you let these thoughts become your first thoughts of the morning, you are actually telling your subconscious mind to focus on and find evidence that:

You are tired. You are unhappy. You are discouraged. You are unloved. You are broke.

Are these really the affirmations you really want to impress on your subconscious mind today?

How your regular morning routine fits in.

Even if you get up and go through a morning routine that has all the right parts that a morning routine should have, when you say the positive affirmations you have planned and written out, your subconscious mind will still be confused.

It’s like having one foot on the gas pedal and one foot on the brake.

Your subconscious: “Wait — I thought she said she was tired — now she says she has good energy? Which one should I focus on?”

When your thoughts are competing as opposites, neither wins.

Nothing changes. You don’t go anywhere.

How to start your day so you can take advantage of the manifesting powers in affirmations.

It starts by being intentional about what you will allow to cross your mind when you wake up.

Sometimes it is helpful to write these thoughts down on a notepad by your bed the night before so that they are readily available to you to read — especially if you feel foggy when you wake up.

These first thoughts of the day should be entirely focused on the ‘future you’ that you desire to be.

They should be centered on how you want to show up that day.

This is Your Today Story.

This might be a completely new idea for you, and if it is, that is awesome because you will see the biggest difference and transformation in your day.

This future ‘you’ can be anyone you decide to be. She can be the stand-out employee on her way to a promotion, or the student who remembers everything she studied last night for her test today, but that’s not all. This ‘future you’ can also be the you that you want to be 2 or 5 years from now.

You have to BE the person you want to be, now.

All the top thought leaders of the world and the top coaches for entrepreneurs teach that if you want to be successful in life, you have to BE that person first from the inside. But many people have been baffled by how to do that.

Let’s say your dream is to become a highly sought after, successful and wealthy life coach, but right now you are just figuring out how to get certified, and you feel like you don’t even know what you are doing yet. You may wonder how can I BE this wealthy successful person inside if I am actually just getting started and I’m not even close to the future coach I dream of becoming?

The answer is that you do it with these first thoughts of the morning. Once you get into the habit of setting up Your Today Story, you will see how easy it actually is.

As soon as you are awake, and before you open your eyes, clear your brain from any thought that wants to immediately jump in.

I find it helpful to imagine erasing a whiteboard and having a completely clean slate to write on.

When your brain slate is clear, you can impress into your mind the exact thought of who you want to be — in a nice, clean, clear message to the universe. This begins the manifestation process that you really want.

When you wake up and immediately say “I am a successful life coach,” it sets in motion everything that you will need that day, from the smallest decisions you make about where to put your attention, to the opening of opportunities and ideas that you may not have even been able to see before.

“Built-ins” are the foundational affirmations that your subconscious mind listens to.

Built-in to the statement of “I am a successful life coach” are the foundational affirmations of ‘I am smart, I am capable, I have an impact in the world, I help others, I am organized, I am worthy.’ When you are BEing this future version of yourself, you are automatically incorporating all of the qualities and characteristics that will get you there. When you start your morning by declaring that you already are this ‘future you,’ your actions, your decisions, your productivity levels and everything else will be more aligned with that future version of yourself.

And the result is that you start BEcoming that desired identity faster.

The affirmations that may have been holding you back.

If you start your day instead by saying, “I am tired. I’m not loved. I’m unhappy. I’m confused about life…” then that is what your subconscious will accept, and the universe will think that’s what you want more of in your life. It will bring situations and people into your life that will affirm those statements. This is the kind of manifesting that you don’t want.

Now that you understand the gift of these first morning moments and how you can use them to your benefit, you can be more aware of your first thoughts in the morning.

If you have been reciting affirmations as part of your current morning routine — keep doing them. The best morning routines usually have affirmations as an essential part.

But remember that the most important part of your morning will always be those first few moments of wakefulness — and even if you never get around to exercising, meditating or journaling, as long as your first thoughts of the morning are affirming the story that you want for yourself, you will find that your day is more focused and productive, and the positive changes you have been wanting will start manifesting into your life faster.

This week try focusing those morning thoughts better.

You may be surprised where your thoughts have been before now, but you will also understand why your days haven’t been going as well as you wanted them to.

Making this one small change to your day is going to have a massive and lasting impact on your future success.

Gina Kershaw, JD, MBA, is a Morning Routine Expert based in Newport Beach, CA. She is an Amazon best-selling author, and the host of the top-rated podcast Your Today Story. She is a frequent motivational speaker at private retreats and workshops, and has been a featured speaker at Alt Summit. She is currently scheduled to share her morning routine method as the Sunrise Session Speaker at the Mom 2.0 Miami Summit 2021. To learn more you can find her at or on Instagram @ginakershaw.



Gina K

Gina Kershaw is a podcast host, online business strategist & mindset coach for women. She can be found at