What is an Affirmation?
An affirmation is a positive statement or declaration that is used to change the way you think and feel about yourself and your life. Affirmations are often short, simple, and easy to remember, and they are typically written in the present tense. They are intended to be repeated regularly, ideally at least once a day, in order to reinforce positive thoughts and beliefs. We recommend writing your affirmations down on paper or in a notebook. The action of writing them down helps to reinforce them.
Why Should I Do This?
Affirmations are simple to action on, do not take much time, and can bring us great benefit if practiced consistently. Much more often than not, the beliefs that we subconsciously hold about ourselves are negative and detrimental to our performance and wellbeing. It’s difficult for us to even be aware of this fact but think to yourself, how many times have you told yourself something along the lines of, “I’ll never be good at (insert activity)” or, “I’m not a good enough at sports to make it into a career”?
It goes much deeper than that too. If you consider the fact that a large majority of our subconscious beliefs that shape our view of the world came from childhood, you may begin to realize some of these beliefs are flawed or just outright incorrect. In his book the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey describes us as being “scripted” from childhood, and because of the beliefs that we have learned we are therefore scripted to react a certain way to certain situations, (i.e. failure, conflict, boredom).
Affirmations are a way to consciously change the unconscious, and luckily for us once we have them written down it takes no more than 5 minutes a day to start practicing.
What Are The Benefits?
Here are a few ways that affirmations can be beneficial:
- Improve self-esteem: Affirmations can help to boost self-esteem by reinforcing positive thoughts and beliefs about yourself. By repeating affirmations, you can remind yourself of your strengths, abilities, and positive qualities.
- Increase motivation: Affirmations can help to increase motivation by reminding you of your goals and the positive outcomes that can come from achieving them.
- Overcome negative thoughts: Affirmations can help to overcome negative thoughts by shifting your focus away from negative thoughts and towards positive ones.
- Improve mental and emotional well-being: Affirmations can help to improve mental and emotional well-being by increasing feelings of self-worth and self-acceptance.
- Attract positivity: Affirmations can help to attract positivity by focusing on positive outcomes and manifesting them in your life
With enough practice you’ll start to realize that the negative thoughts that enter your head throughout the day can be replaced with positive ones. Instead of your mind automatically reacting to failure with a thoughts like “I’ll never succeed”, “I’m just not meant to be good at this”, “I’m such a terrible friend”, you may realize or decide to start reacting instead with, “This is a good opportunity to see how I can improve” or “This experience will allow me to grow stronger”.
How Do I Start?
Simply take out a paper and pen and think to yourself about beliefs that you have that may be holding you back. Your affirmations could be general. (“I am confident in my abilities and trust in my decisions.”). Specific to a certain problem area in your life, or even tailored to a specific skill which that you want to improve on. Writing good affirmations is an important step in the process of personal development and self-improvement. Here are 7 tips to get the most out of your affirmations
- Keep them positive: Affirmations should be written in a positive and affirmative tone, rather than focusing on what you don’t want or what you’re trying to avoid. For example, instead of saying “I will not procrastinate,” you might say “I am a productive and efficient person.”
- Make them specific: Affirmations should be specific and action-oriented, rather than general or abstract. For example, instead of saying “I am successful,” you might say “I am confident in my abilities to achieve my goals.”
- Use present tense: Affirmations should be written in the present tense, as if the affirmation is already true. This helps to create a sense of belief and positivity.
- Keep them short and simple: Affirmations should be easy to remember and say aloud, so try to keep them short and simple.
- Use action words: Affirmations should include action words that create a sense of movement and momentum. For example, words like “create,” “attract,” “build,” and “manifest” can help to give your affirmations more power.
- Personalize them: Affirmations should be tailored to you and your specific goals and needs. Reflect on your current situation, identify areas for improvement, and craft affirmations that align with your specific self-improvement journey.
- Repeat them regularly: Repeat your affirmations regularly, ideally at least once a day. The more you repeat your affirmations, the more they will become ingrained in your mind, and the more you’ll start to believe in them.
Examples of Affirmations
If you need some motivation to come up with ideas, here are 20 examples:
- “I trust in my abilities and believe in my potential.”
- “I am confident in my decisions and actions.”
- “I am proud of my accomplishments and willing to learn from my mistakes.”
- “I am capable of achieving my goals and making my dreams a reality.”
- “I am strong and resilient.”
- “I am worthy of love, respect, and success.”
- “I choose to focus on the present and let go of past regrets.”
- “I am surrounded by love and positivity.”
- “I am grateful for all the abundance in my life.”
- “I release any doubts and trust in my own abilities.”
- “I am grateful for my progress and excited for my future.”
- “I am in control of my thoughts and emotions.”
- “I choose peace and calm in my mind and body.”
- “I release any fears and trust in the present moment.”
- “I am surrounded by love and support.”
- “I am open to learning and growing.”
- “I am comfortable in my own skin and confident in my own worth.”
- “I let go of perfectionism and embrace progress.”
- “I am grateful for my talents and skills and will continue to improve them.”
- “I am proud of who I am and will continue to become the best version of myself.”
If you’re looking for more examples of affirmations our post of 50 Self Love Affirmations is a great source of inspiration.
Getting the Most Out of Your Affirmations
For the most effective practice, we recommend writing down your affirmations. If possible, say the affirmation out loud with your eyes closed. Try to really envision and feel what you’re saying. For example, if your affirmation is “I am confident in my decisions and actions.” then while you say it, feel yourself being confident in your decision and actions. Picture it in your mind. This practice will really help you to get the most out of your time.
Additionally, try to make your affirmations a habit. We recommend just 3 minutes in a day. Generally, it is best to say your affirmations in the morning as this will allow you to enter a positive mindset for your day ahead.
Manage Your Expectations
Affirmations are not the end-all-be-all for self improvement. They do not work for everybody but that does not meet you should give them a try. They can definitely help you to improve your mindset but are most effective when they are used as part of a larger self-improvement strategy.
You will not instantly feel and perform better after a week of this practice. Like anything in life, it takes consistent effort compounded over a large amount of time. It’s not easy to reprogram the subconscious beliefs that you hold about yourself. Think of how deeply engrained they are!
In conclusion, Affirmations are an easy and quickly actionable practice you can implement into your life right now. Using them, you can bring yourself benefits over time and shift into a more positive mindset about yourself and the world around you.
Let us Know How It’s going!
Let us know how your affirmation practice has gone.