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Do you know how to write affirmations of your own?
If you don’t, you might be wondering why you would want to write your own positive affirmations.
Especially when you can find pre-written affirmation lists all over the internet.
Good question. I thought the same thing, originally.
But one night while I was sitting here trying to plan out new goals for my business, the same self-defeating thought popped into my mind that normally does when I try to plan too far ahead.
“How am I supposed to know how many weeks this project will take or how much time I’ll be able to devote to it?”.
I’ve been reading that a lot of successful entrepreneurs use positive affirmations to combat those types of thoughts so they can take action on their goals confidently.
But affirmations don’t work for everyone and I’ve always wondered why…
So I did some research on the subject.
And found out that even though we want our daily affirmations to help us feel confident enough to take the actions that’ll lead us to our goals or help us become the type of person we dream of becoming, if we don’t use them correctly, they’ll have no effect on us … or make us feel even worse about ourselves.
Isn’t that crazy?
It seems like such a paradox, so why is that? And how do we make sure our affirmations are working for us, not against us?
Read on to find out.
In this blog post you’ll learn:
- Why your current affirmations aren’t helping you to change your life
- How to write powerful affirmations that will
- Plus, the answers to frequently asked questions about daily affirmations
But first, let’s learn a little more about positive affirmations and why they are so popular, to begin with.
What are Positive Affirmations?
An affirmation is a short, specific positive statement repeated daily, aloud, in thought, or in writing, to turn negative thought patterns into a more positive mindset and change your life in a desired way.
“When I talk about doing affirmations, I mean consciously choosing words that will either help eliminate something from your life or help create something new in your life.”
To define positive affirmations a different way, affirmations are like short, positive quotes that help you change a specific area of your life.
Through daily practice, they help turn your self-defeating thoughts of how you don’t want to be into self-empowering, healing thoughts that help you change your life for the better.
What is An Example of a Positive Affirmation?
The majority of examples of positive affirmations you’ll find online are pretty basic, vague, and cover a variety of topics.
Here’s an example list of affirmations:
- I am a magnet for money.
- What I struggle with most is what I am meant to master.
- I have perfect health.
- My blog content is creative and original.
- I am happy and at peace
- Every day I eat healthier and healthier.
- I am courageous and I stand up for myself.
- Money comes to me easily and effortlessly.
- I am calm and relaxed in all situations.
These kinds of affirmations are fine for a variety of people and situations. But affirmations have a different quality/feel/effect when you learn how to write affirmations that are personalized for you.
Keep reading to learn how to write affirmations that are customized to you and your specific needs.
Do Affirmations Even Work?
Positive affirmations do work, but sometimes affirmations simply let you down. Poorly written affirmations that you can’t connect with might make you feel good for a while, but the effect is temporary, and they won’t lead to a lasting change.
I’m a stay-at-home dad plus I have sleeping problems (sleep apnea). Two things that don’t go well together. Especially since my kids are early risers. And I’m one of those creative, nocturnal types.
I have a high-energy toddler, always turnt up, and a long morning routine. So one of my biggest challenges is feeling motivated enough to get up and get through it every morning without feeling drained by the monotony.
I can’t jump right to the fun parts… like mindset work, reading, or writing, until everyone else is taken care of. The kids, the dog, unexpected messes to clean up, etc.
The Hustle Crowd: “Put yourself first! Wake up at 5 am and take a cold shower!”
Putting yourself first is a luxury reserved for people who don’t have kids who are light sleepers. If I wake up at 5 am, my toddler will be right behind me.
Vague affirmations like, “I get out of bed and get started on my day easily and effortlessly” or “I am a morning person and I am productive every day” feel empty and don’t do it for me. They flow through my mind like a creek on a calm day.
Even if I’m following all the rules and reciting them every day.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for general affirmations. And they can improve your mindset and help you make changes to your life when used correctly. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be millions of Google search results full of affirmation lists.
Have you had a similar problem when using daily affirmations?
Did you consider that maybe the problem isn’t the affirmation process, or how you’re using them, but the affirmations themselves?
I’m asking you this question because this was the case for me. And learning how to write affirmations of my own was the turning point.
Here’s Why Your Affirmations Are Failing You
Not all positive affirmations are created equally. Your current affirmations are most likely failing you because:
- They are too vague for your specific needs
- The affirmations don’t connect with you emotionally or spiritually
- They aren’t believable enough
- The affirmations bring up limiting beliefs and negative thoughts and feelings when you use them
- They trigger pain points and ‘objections’ from your inner critic
- The affirmations don’t sound like you because they were written by someone else, for someone else
- They haven’t been worded the way that you would talk or even think to yourself
- They’re too open-ended with nothing urgent or motivating about them
- The affirmations aren’t aligned with your life purpose or your business’s purpose
- They feel too self-serving and self-absorbed
- The affirmations don’t make you feel confident enough to change your life
“The most important thing, according to self-affirmation theory, is that your affirmations reflect your core personal values (Cohen & Sherman, 2014). There is little point in repeating something arbitrary to yourself if it doesn’t gel with your own sense of what you believe to be good, moral, and worthwhile.”
And if that’s the case, it leads us to the question of how to write affirmations that will check all of the boxes and help you become who you need to become to change your life.
How Do Positive Affirmations Change Your Life?
According to author Louise L. Hay, an affirmation is technically anything we say or think to ourselves. The problem is we usually choose to say and think negative things instead of consciously choosing things that will positively impact our lives.
When you change your mindset, your whole life changes. By changing your thinking, you change your feelings, reactions, behaviors, relationships, and even your worldview.
With a more positive mindset, the results you get in life become more aligned with what you want. In other words, your life experience becomes more harmonious than it was with a negative mindset.
This adds up to less stress, less struggling, and less drama.
Not only that, but positive thoughts can have healing effects on your mind, body, and life.
“You have the power to heal your life, and you need to know that. We think so often that we are helpless, but we’re not. We always have the power of our minds…Claim and consciously use your power.”
-Louise L. Hay
Benefits of Affirmations: Long-term and Short-term
Powerful affirmations can help you overcome low confidence, self-doubt, low self-esteem, and a lack of self-worth. And at the same time, daily affirmations can motivate you to take action on your goals in life consistently by clearing out the negative resistance and pulling you towards your positive goals.
And those are just the long-term benefits. There are immediate benefits of affirmations as well; they can make you feel ‘lighter’ and more inspired while reading them.
“Know that these goal affirmations can change your perspective within seconds. It will give you a powerful punch every morning. And thus it gets easier for a person to start their day on a positive and productive note.”
In other words, the effect is similar to how you feel while reading inspirational quotes and listening to motivational speeches.
How much would it change your life if you knew how to write affirmations that motivated you like a Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, Les Brown, or Eric Thomas motivational speech video on YouTube?
Why Are Affirmations So Powerful?
Affirmations are powerful tool for change. Not only can they improve your mental and emotional wellbeing, research shows affirmations can stimulate changes in your body, including your brain.Affirmations are powerful tool for change. Not only can they improve your mental and emotional wellbeing, research shows that affirmations can stimulate changes in your body, including your brain. Click To Tweet
“There is MRI evidence suggesting that certain neural pathways are increased when people practice self-affirmation tasks (Cascio et al., 2016).”
Since the words we say and think to ourselves stem from existing beliefs we hold, as well as have the power to create new beliefs, positive affirmations can influence our belief systems in beneficial ways.
“The famous author Louise Hay became known worldwide for her studies linking spiritual/philosophical/psychological mechanisms to symptoms and their unconscious bases. The psychiatrist John Diamond then linked attitudes to various organs and meridians, and kinesiology became a tool of investigation.
In those investigations, the healing effect of positive affirmations was demonstrated. Affirmations could be linked to specific acupuncture points, muscles, and meridians to positively influence the immune system whose role had been linked to suppression of the function of the thymus gland. All the above schools of research delineated in a demonstrable fashion the linking of negative attitudes, emotions, and belief systems to human pathology.”
-David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D., I: Reality and Subjectivity, p. 67.
Science and research back it up, but more importantly to me are my personal experiences. I’ve experienced first-hand how a negative mindset, anxieties, and fearful thoughts can lead to both mental and physical health problems.
As a result of a weightlifting accident that required surgery, I ended up with digestive problems, panic attacks, and delayed-onset PTSD.
What this meant for my life was that the long-term ‘dis-ease’ of my mind manifested as physical and emotional suffering. With some of the symptoms surfacing nearly a year after the accident.
I had to take back control of my mind to overcome them, using mindfulness techniques, journaling, and affirmations.
For me, this experience, as well as other positive changes in my life, shows the healing power of affirmations and mindset work.
Since negative thoughts and expecting negative outcomes can lead to sickness, it shouldn’t be hard to believe that positive thoughts and beliefs can lead to more positive outcomes in life.Since negative thoughts and expecting negative outcomes can lead to sickness, it shouldn't be hard to believe that positive thoughts and beliefs can lead to more positive outcomes in life. Click To Tweet
You can read the full story here:
*I wrote that post as part of the PTSD: My Story Project for www.journeyofsmiley.com. If you (or anyone you know) have experienced PTSD and want to share your story, contact her on her page.
Do Affirmations Increase Confidence and Motivation?
Positive affirmations increase your confidence by turning a negative mindset into a more positive, growth mindset. Also, by neutralizing your limiting beliefs and self-doubts, your affirmations can help you build the motivation you need to achieve your goals.
“Affirmations provide the fuel for the action. You may start without motivation. But if you repeat these affirmations regularly, a time will come when the urge to do will come from the inside without any prompting. Action will be on autopilot till you reach the goal.”
How Do You Use Affirmations for Confidence?
Confidence is a byproduct of using positive affirmations. But if your goal is to build confidence specifically, you can use affirmations for self-confidence.
Here are a few examples of affirmations for confidence:
■ I am important. What I have to say is important. What I write and share with the world is important.
■ I summon enough courage to start with what I have and learn as I go. The more action I take, the more confident I feel.
■ I am more than enough. What I do is enough. I stand confidently in my power.
■ With confidence and courage, I take action daily for my ideal life.
Later in this post, you’ll learn how to write affirmations for confidence that are unique to your life.
Are you ready to learn how to write affirmations to change your life?
How to Write Positive Affirmations That Will Change Your Life
In this section, you’ll learn how to write unique affirmations to improve specific areas of your life.
For a personal affirmation to be powerful, it has to fulfill these five requirements.
- The affirmation is specific and relatable enough for you to connect with emotionally. The affirmation uses the same words that you would use when you talk or think.
- The affirmation is believable enough to inspire confidence and action. Meaning, your mind has to accept it as possible.
- The affirmation addresses and overcomes any limiting beliefs or negative thoughts that may come up.
- The affirmation has a sense of urgency that makes you feel the need to take action right away.
- The affirmation promises you a big enough benefit so that enough desire is created in you to justify the effort or cost. Meaning, the affirmation speaks directly to your deepest desires, fears, dreams, life purpose or long-term goals. It has to “meet you where you are”.
Without further ado, here are the five steps to writing powerful, positive affirmations.
How to Write Affirmations Step 1: Start with a Goal or Negative Belief
Choose one of the goals you need help taking action on. This process works best for goals that have immediate action steps that you can take.
You can also choose to start with a negative belief you’re holding onto about yourself or your ability to change any area of your life.
An example of a negative belief would be, “No one will pay me for coaching services.”
Step 2: The Power of I Am
Rewrite the goal in the present tense, starting with “I am”, “I”, or “My”. Write it as if you are experiencing the achievement of the goal.
For example, “I am calling five prospective coaching clients today.”
If you’ve chosen to start with a negative belief, rewrite the statement as its opposite, using positive language.
For example, “No one will pay me for coaching services” becomes “I am paid well for my coaching services”.
Tip: Make sure you write your positive statement the same way you would say it to a friend. Don’t try to sound like someone else. Meaning, using words that you’d normally use and letting your personality shine through.
Step 3: How to Write Affirmations that are Believable
Is your affirmation believable?
Both your goal and the positive affirmations you write for it have to be believable.
Believable because you need to be able to connect with it with positive emotions and build up enough confidence to take action towards it.
If it’s not believable enough, your affirmation will bring up more limiting beliefs and objections to overcome.
When you truly believe something is possible, you’re more likely to take action on it and take the steps necessary to get there.
Reread the statement you’ve written (or better yet, say it out loud) and observe how it makes you feel.
Are there any negative thoughts, doubts, or limiting beliefs that come to mind? A feeling of resistance, unworthiness, or disbelief?
If so, write them down and proceed to step four.
*For help releasing limiting beliefs and anxieties related to money, check out this article called: How to Heal Money Worries
Step 4: Overcome Your Limiting Beliefs and Doubts
When using affirmations, it’s important to deal with your limiting beliefs for several reasons (and this step is often overlooked).
The main reason being a positive thought form won’t have the effect you want on your mindset while a negative thought-form is still growing and running the show.
In addition to that, when your affirmations conflict with how you see yourself and what you believe about your ‘reality’, they can cause negative feelings instead of positive changes.
This can even lead to lower self-esteem and more negative thoughts than before using the affirmation.
It’s important to remember that limiting beliefs aren’t true. They’re created from your past experiences, fears, and observations of reality. Or sometimes the limiting beliefs were ‘given’ to you by the people you grew up around. And you accepted their views and opinions of reality as true.
And although limiting beliefs are survival mechanisms attempting to protect you from danger, if you don’t address them, they’ll keep you from moving forward and from taking positive steps to change your life.
Examples of Limiting Beliefs for Entrepreneurs
- The product or service must be perfect before launch
- I have to know everything about my business before I get started
- I’ll have to wait until I feel comfortable enough before I write my first blog post or work with my first client
- I have to work hard to make money
- Money is a limited resource
- It takes a lot of money to start a business
- More money means more problems
- I can’t afford to invest in my business until my business is making money
- I can either make money or do what I love
- It’s not right to be rich while others are poor
- I don’t have time to/for…
- The inevitable change will make my skills and knowledge obsolete
- Everyone else has it figured out except for me
- Nobody is going to read what I write, listen to my podcast, or watch my YouTube videos
- I can do it all myself, I don’t need anyone’s help
- I’m not good enough (skilled enough, smart enough, deserving enough, outgoing enough, brave enough)
How to Write Affirmations to Overcome Limiting Beliefs
Handle limiting beliefs the same way that you handle customer objections on your sales pages and sales calls.
Meaning, don’t ignore them or bulldoze your way through them. Bring them up, address them, and overcome them.
You can do this for as few or as many limiting beliefs as you feel you need to. Start with the biggest obstacles to your progress.
Which thoughts prevent you from believing your positive affirmation?
Is there a belief that prevents you from confidently taking action on your goal right now?
You’re going to reword it and add it to your extended goal statement.
*You can skip this step if no resistance or limiting beliefs come to you.*
Here’s an example:
Let’s say the main reason you don’t believe anyone will buy your products or services is that you’re afraid to talk on the phone.
“I’m not good on the phone” can become, “Although I haven’t mastered selling my services over the phone yet…”
Then overcome the objection by adding a growth-minded, benefit statement about how you want the situation to happen.
Consider how you want to feel during the process. Use emotional words, power words, and active language whenever possible. But avoid getting too wordy.
Something like, “I get better every day and my clients love hearing how I can help them change their lives.”
To learn additional methods of overcoming limiting beliefs read:
Step 5: Bringing it Altogether
Congrats! You’ve made it to the last step of writing powerful affirmations to change your life.
In this step, you’ll combine each of the statements you’ve written in the other steps and create one complete positive statement.
As a recap, the previous steps to learn how to write an affirmation were:
- Choose a goal or negative belief to turn into an affirmation.
- Rewrite your goal (or write the opposite of the negative belief) in positive language, starting with “I am”, “I”, or “My”.
- Test your positive statement for believability and inner resistance.
- Overcome limiting beliefs by addressing how you honestly feel and then adding a growth-minded, benefit statement.
For the goal-to-affirmation example above, you’d end up with something like:
“I am calling five prospective coaching clients today. Although I haven’t mastered selling my services over the phone yet, I get better at it every day and my new clients love hearing how I can help them change their lives!”
Now, try it with a few of yours.
How to Write Affirmations Lists
Once you know how to write affirmations, you can write your own list of affirmations for almost any personal development topic or goal.
You can write:
- Affirmations for success
- Affirmations for health
- Affirmations for weight loss
- Affirmations for confidence
- Affirmations for relationships and marriage
- Affirmations for manifestation
- Affirmations for abundance
The list goes on and on. You can write a positive affirmation list to use however you want to change your life.
Related Reading: 40 Affirmations for Achieving Goals and Success
Tip: Keep your affirmation lists somewhere quick and easy to use.
I keep some affirmations grouped as screenshots in a special album in my gallery. This way I can quickly flip through them and find a specific category if I need to.
I also have an ongoing list of affirmations in a to-do/grocery list style app. This way I can scroll down quickly, add new ones, and delete old ones that are no longer relevant to my life.
Do whatever feels right for you.
FAQ’s About Using Positive Affirmations
In this section, I’ll answer some common questions about using affirmations that haven’t been answered in other sections of the article.
If you think of a question that isn’t on this FAQ list, feel free to ask it in the comment section below. Chances are, you won’t be the only one with that question, so you’ll be doing me and other readers a favor by asking.
How many times a day should I say my affirmations?
Start saying your affirmations twice a day. Say them when you first wake up and right before you go to sleep. These are the moments when your mind is the most relaxed and receptive to subconscious programming.
If twice isn’t enough, due to negative thinking the rest of the day, plan to say them every few hours for the first few weeks. And then you can back off once you notice a change in your mindset and thinking habits.
By using positive affirmations daily, you’re building positive thought-forms. These positive thought forms will eventually become your normal mindset. In other words, your normal mental state. It’s a lot like how muscle memory works when exercising the body.
Do you have to say affirmations out loud?
No, you don’t have to say your affirmations out loud for them to be effective. But there are benefits to speaking them versus thinking or writing them.
Two major benefits of saying affirmations out loud (in a mirror) are 1) you are speaking your new reality into existence and 2) hearing the affirmation makes it feel more real to you.
The more of your senses and emotions you can get involved in the process, the better.
Does listening to affirmations work?
Yes, listening to audio affirmations works. Especially when you are in a relaxed state where your subconscious mind can absorb the affirmations directly.
On YouTube, you can find plenty of binaural and subliminal affirmations videos for almost any area of your life that you want to improve.
What are affirmation cards?
Affirmation cards are a deck of cards filled with pre-written, positive, first-person statements. They are a fun alternative to affirmation writing and affirmation lists. Some brands are full of humor to keep it light-hearted.
Basically, you buy an affirmation deck for a specific area of your life, like yourself, family, love, relationships, to name a few. Different brands of cards have different categories.
How often should you change your affirmations?
Just because an affirmation is relevant to your life, goals, or mindset now doesn’t mean it’ll always be right for you.
You’ll overcome limiting beliefs, reach (or change) your goals, or simply outgrow some of your affirmations. Sometimes a simple rewording will be enough to revive your affirmation, but other times, a change is necessary.
You’ll know you need to change your affirmations when:
- Reciting the affirmation feels empty
- You’ve already made improvements in that area of your life
- The affirmation is no longer relevant to your current goals, challenges, or personal development plan
What is the most powerful affirmation?
According to personal development expert and bestselling author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series, Jack Canfield, the most powerful affirmation is “I am“.
Here’s what he had to say about the affirmation creation process.
“Here are the eight guidelines for creating effective affirming statements. You may want to write these down. They are also in my book The Success Principles.
• Start with the words “I am.” These are the two most powerful words in the English language.
• Use the present tense.
• State it in the positive. Affirm what you want, not what you don’t want.
• Keep it brief.
• Make it specific.
• Include an action word ending with –ing.
• Include at least one dynamic emotion or feeling word.
• Make affirmations for yourself, not others.”
How to do morning affirmations?
I’m sure everyone has their own, personal affirmation routine. Every blog post I read suggests something slightly different.
So to answer this question the best way I know how, I’ll tell you about my morning affirmations routine.
First, I drink a cup/bottle of water to wake up my body and get into a relaxed state. If I do my affirmations upon first waking up (before getting out of bed), I’m already in a receptive state.
Research says that the subconscious mind is easiest to program/influence while the brainwaves are in an alpha state.
“Alpha waves are present in deep physical and mental relaxation, and usually when the eyes are closed, during a daydream, or in light meditation. It is the optimal time to program the mind for success and it also heightens your imagination, visualization memory, learning and concentration.”
Next, I start with my biggest life goal statement. And read through that once or twice.
Along with that, I’ll add in the confidence formula from Think and Grow Rich, depending on the day.
I move on to either my ongoing list of affirmations, most of which were written by me … or I page through my saved screenshot gallery of affirmations lists and choose an area that I feel like I need to work on.
Reading the affirmations
On average, I read each affirmation three times. But I’ll do five or more if it resonates with me at the time. And I’ll stop once I begin to feel “lighter”.
Usually, I just read them in my head because reading out loud is distracting to me. Everything going on with my body (taking breaths in between words, swallowing saliva, etc.) takes my focus off of the affirmations.
If it’s a morning where I have to jump out of bed and start my day without doing my mindset routine, sometimes I choose to write my affirmations instead.
I write each affirmation 3-5 times in my Rocketbook reusable notebook. That way I can fill it up, erase it later, and I’m not just wasting paper.
Writing positive affirmations down supposedly has a different effect than reading or reciting them. So give it a try and see what you think.
Positive affirmations can turn a negative mindset into a positive mindset, neutralize your self-doubts, help you stay motivated to achieve your goals.
But by now, you know affirmations don’t work for everyone and can do more harm than good when used incorrectly. If this happens, chances are you’re either using the wrong affirmations or not addressing your limiting beliefs.
This article has taught you how to write affirmations that are unique to you and your specific needs to combat those affirmation problems.
By applying this information to your affirmations, you’ll be able to:
- Connect with your morning affirmations better
- Enjoy the short and long-term benefits the right positive affirmations can provide
- Motivate yourself to take consistent action so you can reach your goals
- And improve your mindset so you can become who you’re trying to become
Then your next step is to learn how to write goals that are aligned with your life purpose.
Remember, you alone have the power to change your life and it starts with your purpose and mindset. You can do this!
Good luck and thanks for reading!
P.S. – If you’re not sure what exactly you’re stuck on, which beliefs to change, or what goals you want to set, don’t fret! I can help you get unstuck. Grab a free copy of my ebook below.