What Are Affirmations And How Can You Use Them?

So, what are affirmations?

Dictionary Definition Of Affirmations

plural noun: affirmations

The action or process of affirming something “he nodded in affirmation”

Everything we think or say are affirmations. We are constantly thinking and talking to ourselves each and every day. The things we constantly repeat to ourselves become part of our identity. Whether you are saying these out loud or only thinking them, they form our beliefs and impact our reality.

In a nut shell, affirmations are sentences that we repeat to ourselves either in our mind or out loud. These sentences have power, they can energize us, make us happy or depress us and make us sad. It really is dependent on the sentence and the words used in the affirmation.

Affirmations directly affect the subconscious and conscious mind

There are two types of affirmations. The most common affirmations are negative ones and the more rare affirmations are positive ones. Both positive and negative affirmations work very well so you have to be careful which ones you repeat to yourself.

It’s very natural to have negative thoughts and emotions directed at ourselves. Negative self-talk is actually more common than positive self-talk. For this reason we need to practice positive affirmations to improve our view of ourselves which will in turn improve our quality of life.

Think about some of the negative self-talk you are repeating to yourself on a daily basis. What are you saying? One of my prominent negative affirmations was that I “wasn’t good enough” or “smart enough”.

This negative self-talk would come up very often in my life and limit me in many ways. I have many examples of this type of self-talk sabotaging me. One that always comes to mind was a high paying job opportunity that I had let go because I thought I wasn’t good enough for the position. In this instance my thoughts of not being good enough became my reality.

What Are Negative Affirmations?

Negative affirmations are easy, they are built into us from a young age. It might be that a parent once told you that you weren’t good enough or a bully in your life telling you that you were ugly. More often than than not we take the insults and run with them.

The bully or parent are no longer there to say that you are ugly, instead you are saying it to yourself. You have taken what they have said and made it your own. Essentially you become the bully and continue to cement those beliefs into your reality. The negative words other people say to us become part of who we are.

It is surprisingly easy to fall into this trap and I’m sure if you take a moment now you will discover some kind of insult someone gave you that you still repeat to yourself to this day.

Here are a few examples of the many negative affirmations we can fall victim to:

  • I am fat
  • I am useless
  • I am broke
  • I am ugly
  • I can’t do it
  • I am not lovable
  • I am worthless
  • I will never get what I want in life
  • I never have money
  • I am a failure
  • I am a bad person
  • I am stupid
  • I am a disappointment
  • I am out of control
  • I am weak
  • I am pathetic
  • I am powerless
  • I am trapped
  • I am insignificant

I could go on and on with these examples but I think you get the point. Just by writing these out in this moment I can feel myself becoming heavy, that is the power words have over us. If you could identify with just one of these affirmations then you understand how big the problem of negative self-talk can be.

Most people think its normal to say these words to themselves and don’t understand that these affirmations are contributing in a big way to the unhappiness and pain in their lives. The unfortunate thing is that negative affirmations are much more common than positive ones.

What Are Positive Affirmations?

Positive affirmations are rare. They are rare because it’s easier to be negative. When someone says something nice about us we often brush it off.

“you are an amazing person” – Oh I’m alright, nothing special here…

We brush off the good things people say because we already have our beliefs of what we are. The negative self-talk has done it’s job, it’s always in the background whispering in our ears.

Its a hard job to unlearn the negative affirmations but with a little effort and consistency, it’s possible. I still struggle with negative self-talk and I probably will always struggle with it. I have, however, taken steps to implement positive affirmations into my life and I’m very happy that I did.

Here are some examples of positive affirmations:

  • I am kind
  • I am a good person
  • I deserve love
  • I am lovable
  • I can do it
  • I am confident
  • I am successful
  • I will succeed
  • I am abundance
  • I am useful
  • I am needed
  • I am healthy
  • I am wealthy
  • I am thoughtful
  • I am trustworthy
  • I deserve good things
  • I have worth
  • I am supportive
  • I am beautiful
  • I beam confidence
  • I attract good things

How do you feel after reading that list? Read it one more time, but shout it in your mind. Give each word power as you say it.

How do you feel now?

After I read that I feel good, I feel powerful and I feel like I have purpose. Imagine that sort of thinking became your norm? What you felt now after reading that list is a small taste of what could become your norm if you practice positive affirmations.

Benefits Of Affirmations

We have talked at length about what affirmations are and the difference between positive and negative ones. By replacing your negative affirmations with positive ones you can expect the following to happen in your life.

  • They will motivate you
  • They will change the way you think
  • They will change the way you behave
  • They allow you to feel more positive
  • They will keep you focused on your goals
  • They will improve your quality of life

The outcome we are looking for when we take on a positive affirmation practice is to get rid of the negative autopilot thinking. We want our natural thinking to become more positive. This will take time, but with repeated practice it is definitely possible.

How Do You Write An Affirmation?

Now that we know what positive affirmations can bring to your life you might be wondering what affirmation you should start with.

There are three elements to a positive affirmation:

  • They are always present tense: Use words like “I am” instead of “I will”. Past tense words will not serve you because your brain only responds to present tense statements.
  • Include only positive words: Stay away from words like “can’t” “won’t” and “don’t” These words will not help you. Instead use words like “can” and “will”.
  • Affirmations are spoken as fact and truth: When you speak your statement it needs to sound like a fact. “I am success” is a factual sounding statement. You need your affirmations to sound like facts.

With this in mind try and think about an affirmation that could help you in your life. Grab a notepad and write down some of the things you’d like to change from negative to positive.

My Confidence Affirmations

I discovered affirmations over 7 years ago, I remember how excited I was about trying it out. I took a look at my life. I looked at everything my life was lacking. First off I had no confidence, no money, my health wasn’t great and I wasn’t happy. I also wanted to become more present through mindfulness and meditation.

I took all those beliefs and desires and decided to create my own confidence affirmation. This is what I came up with:

I am Happy, Healthy, Wealthy, Worthwhile, Confident and Present

It was simple enough for me to remember and I found that if I said it over and over again it fell into a nice rhythm. Something I could kind of chant. I still repeat this exact affirmation everyday, without fail. I believe it has brought about a massive change in the quality of my life. Feel free to use this one as a starting point, you can add to it or make it shorter if you want to make it a bit more you.

When you start doing affirmations and if you stick to them you will see results, it might take some time but you will see them. When I look back at my experience I can pinpoint when things really started to change for me. 7 years later I am more confident, I have wealth, my health is in good standing and I continue practicing mindfulness so that I can be more present.

I am not perfect at any of the above and I still have insecure days but I guarantee you that I am 100% in a better place than I was the day I constructed that affirmation.

How And When To Repeat Positive Affirmations

Devote some time to saying your affirmations. Maybe you want to do them as soon as you wake up? Perhaps you want to do them in the shower? Some people like to treat it as a meditation. You can set a timer for 5 minutes, close your eyes and repeat your affirmation in silence. It really is up to you in the end. The most important part is that you do them.

I will find time whenever I can. Sometimes I am driving and I will start affirming in the traffic, it beats getting road rage. I might be taking a break from work and I will affirm. The beautiful thing about positive affirmation is that you can do them whenever you want. You just have to remember to do them.

Here Is A List Of Affirmations You Can Try

Here are some examples you can use, some of them I have created and some of them I have found online. I hope you will find them valuable.

Affirmation for happiness:

  • I attract happiness toward me
  • I deserve happiness
  • I create the life I desire
  • I am happy now
  • I allow myself to feel great
  • I experience joy in all I do
  • Happiness surrounds me

Affirmations for success:

  • I am success
  • Success comes to me naturally
  • I am the embodiment of success
  • With every action I take I further my career
  • Every day that I work I am bought closer to success
  • Success is inevitable

Affirmation for health:

  • Every day in every way I’m getting better and better
  • Every cell of my body is filled with health
  • Every breath I take improves my health by leaps and bounds
  • I am healthy in every way, every day
  • With every inhalation, my body heals

Affirmations for wealth:

  • Wealth flows in my direction
  • Money is all around me
  • I am wealthy
  • I am tapping into money channels that are delivering to me
  • I am earning massive amounts of money

Everyday affirmations:

  • Today will be a great day
  • My mind is fresh and I am positive
  • Nothing will stop me today
  • I am loved by all who see me
  • Joy fills each day of my life
  • I accomplish all my goals easily
  • I manifest my reality
  • All is good around me
  • Peace fills my surroundings

Steps to creating your own affirmations

Once you have become more comfortable with your affirmation practice you should think about creating a few of your own affirmations.

Here are some simple steps to guide you.

1. Use I am

I am statements are very powerful. There’s nothing wrong with starting with something else but I like to start my affirmations with I AM statements. I AM sounds commanding to your subconscious mind. Ultimately we are saying what we want. Commanding it!

2. Use the present tense

Speak about what you want as if you already have it. Speaking in the present tense allows your mind to visualize the desired outcome. For instance say: “I am confident in my abilities and talents” Don’t say “I want to be more confident in my abilities and talents” Using the I am cements the statement in the present, commanding your mind to accept that this is the reality now.

3. Keep it Short

The shorter the better. Shorter affirmations are easier to remember and easier to say. I have found that keeping the wording concise and to the point helps me to stay focused on the affirmation, rather than stumbling on my words.

4. Have fun with it

Always remember to have fun with it. Don’t take it too seriously, it’s all about experimentation at the end of the day.

Below is a video that explains a little bit more about affirmations. Ryan Copper touches on what really makes the affirmations work.

I hope that this article has shed some light on what affirmations are and how they can impact your life in a positive way. Affirmations are fantastic and when combined with more life changing practices like mindfulness or meditation you can transform yourself in ways you could not imagine.