Affirmations are positive, empowering statements that describe a desired state. You might use them to manifest changes in your life, rewire unhelpful thought patterns or simply boost your mood.
Unlike writing down a goal or intention, affirmations are written in the present tense as if it’s already happening—as if it’s already your reality.
For example, "I run a successful 7-figure business which gives me all the flexibility and fulfillment I desire."
What you believe about yourself at a subconscious level will impact the actions you take and ultimately your reality. While it may feel like you don’t have control over the thoughts circulating, the first step is believing that you do have control and believing that you can replace these thoughts. It just takes time and conscious effort.
Affirmations are like seeds—seeds of new thought patterns that must be watered with repetition. When repeated consistently, they can help reprogram negative beliefs you have about yourself and change your internal narrative by interrupting and replacing your I can’t dialogue with I can statements.
Affirmations can work as goal-related, cheerleader-like pep talks to boost your confidence and motivate you into action. Think of it as your verbal pick-me-up when you’re experiencing resistance or a setback.
Positive affirmations pave the way for a more optimistic outlook on life. You’re more likely to search for the silver lining and look at challenges and setbacks as learning curves and opportunities to grow.
What you think and say repeatedly influences how you feel and ultimately how you behave.
For example, affirming “I am strong, fit and healthy” will encourage you to act and behave in ways that are consistent with this self-image. This might include working out regularly and eating nourishing foods.
Because on a subconscious level, we all strive for consistency. We are naturally motivated to act in ways that support our core beliefs, values and self-image.
For this reason alone, affirmations can be a powerful tool for building new habits and implementing other positive lifestyle changes.
Affirmations can be written, read or spoken aloud. It’s all about repetition—the more frequently you hear, read, or speak a word or phrase, the more it will sink into your subconscious mind and take root.
When you begin a statement with “I am,” you are confidently declaring who you are. These statements are the building blocks of your desired self-image.
“I am strong, fit and healthy.”
“I run a successful business and live a fulfilling life on my terms”
“I am loved, supported and cared for.”
Affirm what you want, not what you don’t want. Describe your desired state with confidence and authority. There is no room for uncertainty or “soft” statements.
Instead of saying “I’m not ugly” you might say “I am beautiful inside and out.”
Instead of saying “I’m not sick” you might say “I am strong, healthy and blessed with an abundance of energy to live life on my terms.”
Words have power—they generate different connotations and emotional responses that can lift our spirits or deplete our energy.
Be mindful of the language you use and choose positive and uplifting words that resonate with you deeply when describing your desired outcome.
Go one step further and describe the feelings associated with your desired outcome.
You want to move from the “concept” of the affirmation to a real, positive embodiment of what you desire, so choose your words wisely.
Using language that helps youfeel like you’re “living” that desired state will help strengthen the neural pathway it forms in your brain.
I run a successful 7-figure business [desired outcome]which gives me all the freedom and flexibility to live a truly fulfilling life on my terms[how it makes me feel].
Write your affirmations as if they are already happening.
Instead of saying “A month from now, I will be stronger” you might say “I am strong and resilient.”
Instead of saying “When I lose 10kg, I will be beautiful” you might say “I accept and love myself for who I am.”
In order for affirmations to be effective, you need to believe it.
It might feel silly saying or writing something that isn’t a reflection of your current reality. If you’re struggling to push past the feeling of lying to yourself, try editing your affirmation.
There’s no point repeating an affirmation that is accompanied by an eye-roll or a negative comment berating and contradicting your affirmation. It completely undermines your affirmation and makes it null and void.
“I am willing to…”
“I choose to…”
The goal is to keep changing the wording until you feel comfortable saying it. How youfeel as you repeat your affirmation is arguably more important than the words itself.
If your negative beliefs are deeply rooted, causing you to feel like a fraud every time you repeat your affirmation, you may need to work on shifting your beliefs first. There are a couple of ways you can do this:
If you believe that life is tough and you try to affirm “I have the freedom and flexibility to live life on my terms” search for evidence that supports your affirmation.
Reflect on the times you’ve had the freedom to make your own choices and the flexibility you might have experienced at work. Your supporting evidence will help bolster the strength of your affirmation.
Reflect on the times when your beliefs have been proven wrong. This reinforces the idea that your thoughts and beliefs aren’t always true—something we tend to forget.
Also look for examples outside of yourself. For example, if you believe, “I can’t be financially successful because I didn’t go to university or do well in high school”, then you will want to change that belief to “I can become financially successful” before you can be comfortable with affirmations like “I am financially successful”.
The best way to debunk this limiting belief would be to find as many rich and successful people who didn’t do well in high school or go to university.
Just remember, affirmations are one piece of the puzzle. In order for it to have any impact, it must be accompanied with action.
Talk the talk and walk the walk, as they say.