Ava goes throughout her day putting herself down. She looks at herself in the mirror in the morning and thinks how ugly her hair and nose are. She arrives at her job and tells herself how much she dislikes doing this work but that she’ll never find anything better. At lunch, she doesn’t sit with anyone from her office because she believes no one likes her.

After work, she sits down with takeout Chinese food and watches a movie online while telling herself that no man would ever be attracted to her and how miserable her life is.

Does this sound like you? Do you do the same thing as Ava? Because low self-confidence is directly related to your thoughts about yourself, repeating positive affirmations about being a stronger person will encourage your sense of self-respect.

You can change your thinking by using affirmations. Positive affirmations are potent statements that build an internal dialogue and reinforce a new mental picture of yourself and your life. If your mind is focused on succeeding in whatever you’re engaged in doing, you’ll be more apt to have the confidence that you can do well. Affirmations move you from where you are to where you want to be.

How to Use Affirmations Most Effectively

There are many ways to be more effective in using affirmations. By using them frequently, you help your mind get used to them. The more you say and think your affirmations, the more readily your mind will accept them.

I recommend that you say them out loud for a few minutes at least twice a day. You can say them in the morning when you wake up and in the evening before you go to sleep. You can say them while you’re driving, cleaning the house or taking a walk. Anytime you have some free time when your mind isn’t occupied by something else, you can state your positive affirmations and they will go deeper into your mind.

You can also read your affirmations on sticky notes that you put in places you see often, such as on your computer at home or at the office, on your refrigerator or a cupboard in your kitchen, or on your bathroom mirror when you’re getting washed or shaving. You can even use your cell phone to beep a few times during the day to remind you to read your affirmations.

Add Color to Your Affirmations

Linking color to your affirmations will help you remember them. Use colored inks to write your affirmations or write them on colored paper with black ink. Then when you see that color during the day, think of the affirmation associated with that color.

Add Sound to Your Affirmations

Sound also adds life to your affirmations. You can do a sing-song of your affirmations or actually sing them to yourself. You can also add soft music in the background while you’re saying your affirmations to help you relax. If you don’t have other activities to do, you can sit quietly, relax your entire body, and then say your affirmations out loud. This is especially effective before bedtime.

Emotions Help Your Affirmations Come True

One important addition to affirmations is to add strong emotions while you’re saying them. Identify the emotions you’ll feel once you’ve completely attained what your affirmation is about – happiness, satisfaction, joy, a sense of accomplishment, etc. Really feel these emotions as though you’re living your affirmations right now.

Some Common Affirmations

Read over this list of common affirmations. Which ones are you most attracted to? Which ones speak to you? These are the ones you can start using right away. Say them often, think them often, and write them down and read them often. All of these ways will help to plant these thoughts deep into your mind.

• I deserve to be loved.

• I have the courage to make my dreams come true.

• I can accept that I can’t please everyone.

• I know what I want, and I make it happen.

• I am free to live the life I choose.

• I like myself better every day.

• I give priority to my wishes and desires.

• I believe in myself.

• I deserve to be happy and successful.

• I act with confidence every day.

• I am flexible and can handle change in every aspect of my life.

• I love myself for who I am.

• I can make my own choices and decisions.

• I am relaxed in social situations and I can talk easily with others.

• I find it easy to work towards my goals.

• I am capable and strong.

When you start using affirmations, they won’t seem to be true. What you need to do is start looking for situations in your life that match your new thoughts. Look for new possibilities, and you’ll see new ones that you were completely closed to before.

Exercise

After you’ve decided on which affirmations to focus on or you've created your affirmations, look at each affirmation and write down three action steps you will take to make it come true. These can be small steps, like reading a book about a topic or practicing a new skill. And, of course, as you accomplish these, write three more.

If you have low self-confidence, you have negative thoughts that dominate your thinking. Replacing them with positive affirmations is essential in making changes in your life. When you find yourself thinking a negative thought that decreases your self-confidence, consciously eliminate it and replace it with the positive affirmation that is most like its opposite.

Author's Bio: 

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.