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Affirmations: What They Are and How to Use Them


What’s an affirmation?

Have you ever used an affirmation? Affirmations just are short, positive statements. We use them to affirm positive feelings within ourselves–about ourselves, our talents, our capabilities, our jobs, our relationships, anything. 

And while that may seem a little silly–saying something positive to yourself in the hopes that you will eventually believe it–research has shown that there is power in positive thinking

It’s just like self talk: if you are constantly saying negative things to or about yourself, they get wired into how you perceive yourself–no matter if they are really true or not. Using affirmations and positive self talk is a simple way to help to start to reverse that negativity. If every day you wake up and look in the mirror and say “I am capable of doing anything I put my mind to” that message starts to take root in your subconscious mind. 

While affirmations of course can’t change what you think overnight, they help to change the way you’re thinking slowly and steadily. And instead of surrounding yourself with negative thoughts, you’re surrounding yourself with positive ones, which both helps to motivate you better than negative ones, but also helps you to create a space where self-hate is not the default. Affirmations help you to be gentle to yourself. They tell you “I can try this and fail, but that doesn’t change my worth!” 

Why use affirmations?

As we said above, affirmations help to slowly change the way you think about and talk to yourself. They help to: 

  • Build confidence
  • Motivate you to try new things
  • Decrease negative self talk
  • Increase positive thinking

So how do you even use affirmations? 

Affirmations are your tool to use however works best for you. It’s suggested that you find a few different times throughout the day (between one and three different instances) where you focus your attention on the act of affirming yourself. 

That could be in the morning when you wake up, sometime midday, and before you go to sleep. Or any spots in your day where it makes sense for you. 

When you use the affirmations, don’t just say them quickly to run through them as fast as possible. Pick one (or two, or three!) to repeat to yourself. Say them slowly. Really think about the words you’re saying as you say them. Consider what they mean, how you can apply them throughout your day, what it would feel like to believe them. Maybe even watch yourself in the mirror while you say them. Repeat each affirmation five times. 

15 affirmations to use: 

If you are having trouble thinking of affirmations to use, we made this list of 15 to get you started. Feel free to take what helps you and leave what doesn’t!

  1. I am capable of doing whatever I set my mind to
  2. I’m allowed to ask for help
  3. I am allowed to try and fail without damaging my worth 
  4. I’m going to have a good day
  5. I will find at least one thing to be happy about today!
  6. I am a good friend/sibling/coworker
  7. I’m wonderfully creative
  8. I believe in my convictions and will stick to them even when it’s hard
  9. I will ask for what I deserve
  10. I’ll let people know when I need something else from them
  11. I will let myself ask for what I want without guilt
  12. I’m enriched by everything I do–even my mistakes. Mistakes allow me to learn from them and grow. 
  13. I’ll show myself the kindness I show to my friends
  14. I will show others the kindness and respect I want them to show to me
  15. I have a lot to offer


  1. Colleen says:

    Great post! I need to get back in the habit of using affirmations myself =). I just made a blog related to mental health and relationships from my personal experience. Check it out: http://www.itsjustcolleen.com

  2. mertslt says:

    very nice content. thank you for sharing.

  3. Mike Pius says:

    This is a nice list of affirmations for everyday life. It will surely help one seeking help in one way or the other.