Using affirmations is a key component to building new mental habits and beliefs about yourself. What you tell yourself about yourself is directly related to your self-confidence, how you feel about yourself and what you believe you can accomplish. By repeating positive affirmations, you encourage your sense of self-respect and improve your self-confidence.
Abigail didn’t think she could do a project her boss gave her very well. Her thought was, “I’ll do a terrible job and she’ll think I don’t know what I’m doing.” The more she thought like this, the more she felt depressed and incapable.
When Abigail realized that she was setting herself up for failure, she immediately replaced her thinking with, “I know I can do an excellent job with this project. I will do some research on various ways I can tackle it.” By changing her thinking, Abigail was able to steer her actions in a totally new direction, one that allowed her to put her thoughts on how to succeed instead of how she would inevitably fail.
Here are some common affirmations that people with high self-confidence use on a regular basis:
• I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to.
• I am more than enough.
• I am good enough.
• I can reach my goals.
• I am improving every day.
• I can speak up for myself with anyone.
• I can express my thoughts and feelings to others.
• I am an assertive person.
• I can learn the skills I need for this task.
• I am doing well in my job.
• I easily see my own worth and value.
• I am open to changing.
• I am getting better all the time.
How to Create Your Own Affirmations
You may want to create your own that are specific just to you. You can write effective affirmations fairly easily with these steps.
1. Find a quiet place where you can be alone and focus on writing statements that speak to your heart and mind.
2. Make a list of three negative thoughts that you have about yourself. Write down their positive opposites that counter these beliefs. For example, you may often think to yourself, “I’m such a stupid person.” The positive opposite would be, “I’m an intelligent and clever person.”
3. Keep your affirmations short so they’re easy to remember. Even a few words is long enough. If you make them too long, they’ll be too complicated and difficult.
4. Write your new affirmations in the present tense as though you’re experiencing what you want right now. Don’t write them in the future tense because your mind will think they will never happen. For example, “I am a lovable person” is better than “I will be a lovable person someday.” Also, don’t put a time frame on your affirmations such as a certain date or within a certain period of time. What you desire may happen before or after then, and either delaying what you want or becoming discouraged won’t help your affirmations come true.
5. Don’t begin your affirmations with “I want” or “I need” since wanting or needing something won’t make them happen. Rather, write your affirmations as an expression of already being what you want. Instead of “I want to buy my own house,” write “I now am buying the home of my dreams.”
6. Affirmations are most effective when they are in the positive. If you tell yourself you’re discarding negative behavior and thoughts, your focus will be on those rather than on what you want to do and be. The words to watch out for are “don’t,” “won’t,” “am not,” “can’t” “not,” “doesn’t” and “am stopping.” Instead of saying, “I am stopping smoking cigarettes,” affirm to yourself, “I am now free of cigarettes and healthy.”
7. You can add power to your affirmations by adding emotions, both within the affirmation and what you feel when you say the affirmations. You can say, “I am (emotion) about…” or “I feel (emotion) about…” For example, you could say, “I am excited about being able to express what I think to my friends” and feel the emotion of being excited when you say it.
8. Craft affirmations that will work. If you don’t believe what you’re saying, you will take tentative actions. You can create an affirmation that begins with “I am open to…” or “I am willing to believe I could…” In addition, you can write an affirmation that is close enough to your current situation to be realistic and achievable, such as, “I am speaking up one or two times at future meetings I attend.”
Creating your own affirmations and using them often will help you be well on your well to higher self-esteem and self-confidence. Build your life the way you want it to be!
Vivian Harte is the co-author of Self-Esteem for Dummies in the Dummies series. She has helped over 12,000 people learn and use assertiveness skills during the last 14 years. She teaches online classes on assertiveness, self-confidence, and teamwork. She has a Bachelors degree in Sociology and a Masters degree in Public Administration. She taught college classes for many years in Tucson, Arizona. She has two grown children who are both successful. She lives in Tucson with her husband, three dogs and two cats.
She offers kits with articles, guided visualizations, and songs as well as online courses, group coaching and 1-on-1 coaching, and you can find out more about these at her website, self-esteem-for-me.com. Discover how to change your thoughts into positive and uplifting self-talk in her free kit Change Your Inner Critic into Your Best Friend.