We use affirmations on a daily basis whether we understand manifestation or not. Affirmations are sentences that support or affirm that we are, do or have what we want. Even in their often uncensored, uncontrolled form are affirmations. Which tense will help us embody the state fully? Which tense will help us to deeply connect to the possibility of having what we want?
Well first things first - Let's get rid of all the rules and limitations we put on ourselves!
Let me be clear... it's a complete MYTH that you need to talk only in past tense to embody an affirmation.
It is not a requirement that you need to speak in past tense to manifest what you want.
We affirm naturally every single day about who we believe ourselves to be, how we perceive situations and others. For those that understand manifestation, this law of attraction is as much a part of life as gravity! We unconsciously manifested our whole lives before we learnt about the law and back then, we never talked as if we already had what we wanted.
SO PAST OR FUTURE?
Either is fine, it all depends on your preference.
FUTURE TENSE EXAMPLES:
"I would love to go on holiday, I intend to go on holiday. I am so excited, I'm going on holiday! It will be great". This is the natural way we think, in in same way you could decide 'I want to go shopping', then you'll say "I'm going to the shops" and you go to the shop. You say it and you know it's happening/that it's a done deal or at the very least it's POSSIBLE. You only need to believe that what you want is possible... not force yourself into believing its 10000% happening/already happened.
Forcing yourself to believe an affirmation is true may cause more internal resistance in the form of feeling like you're delusional or lying to yourself. Acknowledging the possibility of this being true is a short cut (in a manner of speaking).
FUTURE TENSE FOR SELF-WORTH/SELF-CONCEPT:
Now there are certain situations with self-concept that you would be better off going with present tense. E.g. I am worthy, I am confident instead of I will be worthy and I will be confident. This is purely because the future tense in thise case MAY imply a current lack of that quality (when we are all worthy, good enough and loveable innately). Again open to your personal feelings on this. However, if you have an event or situation (e.g. public speaking or a work meeting in 2 weeks) then future tense works fine as well ('I will be so confident when I speak', 'I will feel so popular and loved at this party, everyone wants to be around me').
PAST OR PRESENT TENSE
"it's done, it happened. I went on holiday, it was great" - saying you experienced something as if it's already happened or who you currently are. This is absolutely fine as well; you are embodying the state of already having what you want compared to it being something highly possible or certain in the near future. 'I am' statements are a great example of using past or present tense.
Mixing tense is what our mind normally does and you can do the same for your affirmations. You can swap between past, present and near future tenses depending on the topic and how you feel. Both "I'm getting what I want" and "I got what I want" produce the same image in your mind of you having what you want.
There's really no rules or limitations on how to affirm (or how to manifest), but the more freeing we can make it and the less rules we put on ourselves... the better.