“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt
What are some of your favorite affirmations? We all know that affirmations are statements that we make to the self.
The dictionary defines affirmation as “the action or process of affirming something or being affirmed.”
Some of the synonyms of the word affirmation:
Affirmations can be empowering but often they can also be disempowering.
Why are affirmations important? The self-dialogue that goes on in our minds can often be the source of much suffering and stress.
Consider the following:
- Are you your worst critic?
- Do you have an inner voice that reminds you that you are not good enough?
- Does your mind repeat statements that do not serve you?
- Do you feel powerless sometimes against the negative self-talk and the barrage of mental chaos?
If you are like me, you may have had a difficult time with critical and judgmental self-talk. Now some of that stuff is all right and you can dismiss it as part of life. But if it gets to be dominant, you may experience stress and low self-image.
Perfectionism is the self-talk that many of us struggle with. I struggled with perfectionism in my own life where nothing I did was “good enough.” Over the years, I have become aware of the folly of negative and critical self-talk.
Now before you dismiss affirmations as new age talk, let me present a scientific study:
The University of Pittsburgh study shows that self-affirmation improves problem solving abilities under conditions of great stress.
The title of the study is “Self-Affirmation Improves Problem-Solving under Stress” by Levine et al. (2013).
Eighty undergraduates indicated the amount of chronic stress that they perceived themselves as having over the previous month. Researchers divided the students randomly into a self-affirmation group and a control group.
Participants wrote and ranked eleven important values for them such as art, family, and friends.
The self-affirmation group wrote down their first value and why they considered it to be important to them.
The participants ranked personal values and responded to and wrote an essay on why they thought it was important for them. This allows them to affirm a valued self-domain or characteristic.
The control group wrote down their ninth choice and why they thought that it was important to others.
The authors say:
“An emerging body of research suggests that self-affirmation may be one such effective stress management approach. Self-affirmation theory posits that the goal of the self is to protect one’s self-image when threatened and that one way to do this is through affirmation of valued sources of self-worth.”
Both control and self-affirmation groups rated the value as being important to them and how it had influenced their life.
The groups were then given a challenging performance task. The task required them to come up with a word that could be joined as a word pair with any of the three words already provided. They had twelve seconds to complete each task.
After completing the thirty problems, the researchers administered evaluation and stress level tests.
- People with chronically high stress performed worse than low stress individuals. They also had impaired problem-solving abilities.
- The self-affirmation group performed a lot better even if they were chronically stressed. They had better outcomes.
- Self-affirmation has stress reduction and protection effects in stress inducing and performance settings
- Self-affirmation may buffer the negative effects of chronic stress on real-life problem solving. These include settings that demand high performance.
Life involves varying degrees of stress and how we navigate that stress and function well will determine our joy and happiness. Science and studies show that self-affirmations can help.
A poor self-concept and a lack of self-belief is associated with feelings that do not empower you and often bring you down.
How to make your own affirmation:
A. Craft in personal words and in the present tense.
B. Use “I am” instead if I will or should.
C. Make it short and catchy.
D. Use words that ring true to you and are likely to happen. In other words, believable.
E. Mention solutions and not problems.
F. Use words for positive reinforcement and avoid usage of negative words.
G. Use words that evoke strong and empowering emotions and feelings.
Here are the affirmations that I have found to be useful:
Expanding into Your Greatness
“Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better” – Émile Coué
You can also say:
“Every day, in every way, my life is getting better and better.”
I love this affirmation from Coué.
Coué was a French psychologist and pharmacist popular for his optimistic autosuggestion. This method is also called the Coué method. It involves repeating the above affirmation several times through the day.
I do not believe that the intention of this affirmation is to show that something is wrong with us and needs improving.
I believe what it intends is pure kaizen or a continuous state of reaching out for the best version of your self.
Cast aside the judgment of trying to “fix the self.” Instead, embrace empowerment and abundance with this powerful affirmation.
“I am successful in everything I do.”-Harish Kumar
Many of us have problems accepting and embracing our greatest successes.
Here are some affirmations that I use to make the arrival and blossoming of success natural and organic in my life:
“Today I receive great news and happy outcomes.”
“I think success, I feel success and I am success”
“I am expecting great success and results today.”
“I allow great success to come into my life.”
Express Your Natural Radiance
“I am Radiant In Body, Mind, Heart And Spirit.” – Harish Kumar
I love this affirmation and have used this for a while now to feel great. It encompasses the different levels and dimensions of a person’s well being-the mind, body and spirit.
This affirmation allows you to feel and express your natural radiance and tap into the source of well being.
Another great affirmation:
“I am Happy, I am Healthy, I am Wealthy.”
“I am in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing.” ― Louise L. Hay
Years before when my perfectionism was raging, I came across the affirmations and soothing words of Louise Hay. It is said that when the student is ready, the teacher materializes.
Louise Hay is the creator of many wonderful affirmations including the one above and some more that I will mention in this post.
“I am Creating Work of Great Value” -Harish Kumar
I have found the above affirmation of creating great value to be immensely useful. When I feel like my work does not matter or why even bother, I remind and redirect my attention to providing great value to others.
My motto then becomes:
“Through giving and creating work that others find of benefit, may I learn the experiences of life.”
“In the infinity of life where I am, All is perfect, whole and complete, I no longer choose to believe in old limitations and lack, I now choose to begin to see myself as the Universe sees me — perfect, whole, and complete.” ― Louise Hay, You Can Heal Your Life
Is your mind is tricking you into the belief that you are not complete? Does your inner affirmation remind you that you are limited at every step and wherever you turn, you experience lack?
If limiting beliefs dominate your thinking, use the affirmation by Louise above. Choose to see the self as whole and complete. Remember that this in not a journey to “fix the self” but to “shine your brilliance” by letting go of limiting beliefs.
“I am willing to release the need to be unworthy. I am worthy of the very best in life, and I now lovingly allow myself to accept it”― Louise Hay
You are worthy of the best. You may believe that or you may have forgotten your true worth. The need to be unworthy takes root in our minds by the anchoring of ancient beliefs, the burden of which we may still be bearing after all these years.
How do you feel at this moment is always a great indicator of self-worth. I am not saying that we need to feel great all the time.
But, if you feel bad and disempowered about the self more than you feel empowered, I urge you to use the affirmation above.
“I choose to feel great now!”- Harish Kumar
“I embrace my creativity.”- Harish Kumar
This is a big one for many. You may not feel like you are a creative person. The reality is that we are all creative in our own unique way.
These affirmations that I use and created might help:
“I am a highly creative person.”
“I allow my creative expression.”
“I am unleashing my creativity for the world to enjoy.”
“I discover and express my unique blend of creativity.”
“I am unleashing massive action.”- Harish Kumar
You might say that affirmation is all talk and no action. So we have an answer for that. We are going to begin where all action originates: with a heartfelt and a mind generated intention.
To prime your mind and self towards greater action say the following:
“I love action! I am taking action right now.”
“I am allowing action to define my life.”
“My beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and actions are in consonance.”
“I am a positive action superheroine/hero in my own life.”
Gratitude and Appreciation
“I focus on appreciation and positive aspects.”- Harish Kumar
A life of deep gratitude and the appreciation of what you have in your life is a stepping stone for greater good. Let us be awash with feelings of deep heartfelt gratitude that remind us of how fortunate we are.
“I am deeply grateful for the good in my life.”
Letting Go and Relaxing
“I consciously let go of stress.”
This is another big one for many people. They find it difficult to relax because of all the negative ideas that jump from topic to topic in their head. Instead of trying to drop these thoughts, allow the self to choose relaxing affirmations.
“I allow myself to be deeply relaxed.”
“I am pure silence and peace.”
Now over to you! Let me know in the comments below of the post resonated with you. What is your favorite affirmation?
Lea Bullen says
Affirmations can be very beneficial. I like how you included the scientific proof. I didn’t know about that study and I’m sure others did either. A lot of people do like to blow it off as mumbo-gumbo not realizing that it does have an impact.
I kind of look at affirmations as positive self-talk. We all do it whether you think it’s new age-y or not, so you might as well make it work in your favor.
Thanks for your comment and thanks for stopping by! I agree that affirmations can be very beneficial! I did include the study for precisely the reason that you mention. People seem to love the scientific proof of anything and are usually more amenable to autosuggestion when they find something that they can trust and lean on to. In reality, autosuggestion is very old historically and people have been using the power of the spoken words for thousands of years.
Sometimes the difference between trying and quitting can be the result of favorable self-talk. There are many negative loops that circulate in people’s heads and the awareness and the transformation of that into something favorable is a good thing. And as you put it, we might as well allow it to work in our favor.
Thanks again Lea and do come back soon!
Have a wonderful week ahead,
Nate @ Frugal Soldier says
Awesome article! I love affirmations as I believe our words are so powerful and we can speak life or death into our lives with the power of the tongue. I believe we have to be in the right mindset daily and affirmations is one way I accomplish that. You struck a cord with me when you recommend we use the word “I AM” instead of words like “I WILL”. That is so powerful!
I believe we can definitely be our worst critics and I am sure there are many reasons for that, but at the end of the day we have to find balance and be happy with ourselves. We have to be very mindful of that inner voice that you mentioned. Thank you for sharing such a powerful article. This definitely will help many.
Thanks a lot for your comment and thanks for stopping by! I agree that our words are very powerful vehicles of transformation in our life. Many people do not give much attention to the idea of the power of words and allow negative self talk go unchecked in their minds. while it may be difficult to monitor every negative thought that comes forth in the mind, it is possible to replace patterns of thinking and feeling with more favorable ones. The “I am” affirmation is very powerful because it allows what is and what is already believed to be true instead of any shred of doubt with “I will” or “I can.”
I like what you have to say about finding balance at the end of the day. We have to make peace and come to a consensus with ourselves and our inner voice, otherwise we will have what psychology calls cognitive dissonance where what we see in reality and what we believe to be true and think are at odds.
Thanks again for stopping by and sorry for my late response.
Rohan Chaubey says
Hi Hairsh sir,
Whichever post I read on your blog inspires me to do something great. You are an inspiration!
You always come up with awesome posts relating it with positivity. This was the reason I asked you for that part 2 of a blog I was searching for written by you.
I think affirmations do wonders in life. I was taught in school to always speak this whenever you wake up in the morning… I can, I will, I must.
I can actually relate to whatever you have written. And you have posted some lovely sentences by you and other great thinkers. I loved it!
Thanks for sharing. Good day! 🙂
Thanks a lot for stopping by my blog and thanks for the very kind words. I greatly appreciate it!
I love the affirmation that you mentioned! I totally agree with you that affirmations can do wonders in our life. They can uplift, empower and inspire. They can transform a dull and depressing day into a powerful and empowering situation…something that we can move ahead with. Affirmations have the power to shift our consciousness and change the direction of our attention to what is possible and towards hope. This is very important, especially when people have the habit of a dominant negativity bias in their thinking and feeling.
Harleena Singh says
Affirmations are powerful and they help uplift you too 🙂
I’m glad you added the scientific studies as people sometimes look for evidence or proof, which justifies all that you’ve written.
However, it’s not easy to always talk in terms or ‘I’ and ‘me’ – I always have a tough time with that! Perhaps one’s always taught not to talk of yourself but put others before yourself, so such affirmations take a lot of practice where you tell yourself that you are good! Hmm…need to practice that as I’d rather tell others they are good 🙂
I think my best one from the above would be – “Every day, in every way, my life is getting better and better.” – I believe in that strongly and if I can make the lives of others a little better, I feel I’m getting better as a person.
Letting go is perhaps not tough for me, but taking it easy and relaxing certainly is. If I would do that, I wonder how’d I ever manage to get all the work done, though even if one limits one’s time, there is always so much work in a day that’s left undone, that it’s certainly not easy. I guess the only time I really relax is when I am away from my laptop, perhaps shopping or on a vacation…lol…another thing I need to practice.
LOVED the quotes, and you know I must always add them to my posts too. Not to mention the ones you’ve written – next time you must add them in a picture so that I can pin them too.
Good to see the Ahaians in full force here too – the ABC rocks, doesn’t it? 🙂
Thanks for sharing this wonderful post with us. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
Thanks a lot for your comment! Sorry for my late response but here I am!!
I totally agree that affirmations can uplift and empower. I am very glad that you mentioned the addition of the scientific evidence in your comment. I agree that demonstration of evidence as social proof or an experiment can be key for some people to believe in the efficacy of affirmations. Many people think that affirmations and the like are new age talk and do not want to completely believe in them. But they also do not try it out for themselves. I think that if people tried affirmations, they might just be pleasantly surprised. For the people who still need
a bit more support, there is the science proof. 🙂
It is an interesting point that you bring up about the hesitation of talking about the self in affirmations. I believe that block is very common and I am glad that you mentioned it in your comment. I think people have a great deal of problem with Louise Hay’s affirmation of “I love and approve of myself” while looking into their own eyes in a mirror while sitting down in their living or meditation space. I agree that we are all more accustomed to talking praise about others and do not feel comfortable when it comes to the self.
One of my favorite affirmations is also “Every day, in every way, my life is getting better and better.” This is a very powerful and positive affirmation!!
I will certainly add pictures to my quotes. Thanks for the suggestion! I might have a bit of issue with putting my quotes before some of my favorite ones in the post and making them more shareable with pictures but I will certainly try that. Another idea is to make them tweetable. I have done that in the past but it is some more work that I need to fit into my post work flow 🙂
And lastly, I completely agree that ABC rocks! I love the interactions and the great comments and posts here. I am very glad that I found this gem of a community in 2014!!
Thanks a lot!
I love the fact that you included scientific studies to show the effect of affirmations. In truth, Affirmations are great when they are in line with your mindset. Unfortunately mos people say things that they don’t truly believe.
This really is a awesome post and will help anyone who wants to take a big leap to positive thinking.
I love the quotes as they are wonderful and full of inspiration. I also love the images and had to pin all of them. Thanks for this wonderful post. Have a blessed week.
Thanks a lot for your comment, Ikechi!
I agree that for affirmations to work, they should not induce cognitive dissonance or any form of resistance. This is perhaps the major reason why affirmations do not work for some people. They say them but they do not feel organic to them and they do not believe them deep down inside. I believe that repeating with feeling can eventually permeate the affirmations into the sub-conscious. When affirmations are said and also viscerally felt, their power and efficacy can be astonishing. Even though they may seem like not true in the beginning, eventual repeating and believing creates the way for them to feel and be more believable.
Thanks a lot for pinning the images with the quotes. I really appreciate it. I love great quotes with images too and I am now trying to add a few images to every post that can hopefully inspire readers.
Dennis Seymour says
Always motivating each time I come by your blog Harish.
I practically do this daily with my mindful meditation time.
Pinning and sharing this.
Thanks a lot for your kind words and your comment, Dennis!
It makes me immensely happy to know that the post was inspiring. It makes my day and my week to hear words like yours and inspires me to keep blogging and keep moving forward.
Come back soon, ok!
Navneet Teotia says
First of all, I love the use of quotes in the Post. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” by Eleanor Roosevelt has always been one of my favourites.
I never really knew about the scientific study but it is a great way it was the great one to solidify the power of affirmation.
I personally have always been good at affirmations,maybe because I subconsciously noticed it helps me stay positive and then held on to it. But I believe affirmation should be used in a balanced way as well to not turn it into self obsession.
Thanks for the Post 🙂
Thanks a lot for your comment and thanks for stopping by.
I am very glad that you like the use of quotes in the post. I love great quotes too and I think that they really add to the value of the post. Add a picture and it makes it an even more powerful way to make your point in the post. I am glad to know that the quote by Eleanor Roosevelt has been one of your favorites. When the true power of that quote washes over our life and our consciousness, it seeks to enhance and elevate our days from a reactionary mode to a proactive and an empowered state. Realizing and acting on that quote is indeed a blessing that has to be felt for oneself.
I agree that great affirmations transform our self image and mental chatter from a negative one to one that is overwhelmingly positive and productive. The key is to have a stronger positive self-affirmation effect instead of dwelling the mind and consciousness in unproductive and unnecessary self-negative chatter.
Thanks for stopping by, I really appreciate it!
We must watch what we tell ourselves because like you said affirmation isn’t always positive. I’m a strong believer that our actions correspond with our beliefs. And what we believe is a direct result of what we constantly tell ourselves.
You have some good affirmations here too Harish. Some I will definitely use.
Often a troubled past will cause a person to have low self-asteem. And those same persons find it hard to accept and embrace their greatest successes. The negative self-talk, although seemed impossible to break, becomes fragile as they allow their actions to match their positive self-talk.
Thanks for another good one!
Thanks a lot for your comment!
I agree with you that our actions correspond with our beliefs. And I also agree that we begin to believe what we repeatedly tell ourselves. Some people do not connect the dots between thoughts, feelings, beliefs and actions. But, all of these elements act together to create the life that we live.
Yes. sometimes a difficult past causes people to develop a low esteem and low efficacy. The best way out of it is to become aware of the systematic patterns of low worth and esteem that inner self talk and beliefs whisper away and break the chain somewhere. As you mention, as people replace negativity with more empowering positive self-talk, things begin transforming slowly but steadily. Many people give up when they see no change quickly but change usually comes slowly and this realization makes us wanting to keep reaching higher and for a more radiant thought and belief pattern.
It’s my first visit to your Blog and I am loving your insights. I absolutely loved the Overcoming limitations affirmation! I believe we are all often prisoners of our limited imaginations and hence start limiting our potential! And truly affirmations pave the way to convert from vision to reality.
Awesome indeed and looking forward to more such posts. I am sharing this on my Linkedin right now!
[…] Affirmations and I fell in love with Harish Kumar’s article over at Launch Your Genius titled 21 Affirmations for an Empowered Life. He even goes as far as give us some scientific proof of how self affirmations relate to stress […]