An affirmation is a positive statement in the present. It is to the point and immediate, bringing into focus the thoughts, actions or behaviours you wish to emulate. They have been part of my morning ritual for a few years but when I first started, I wasn’t convinced.
I felt silly saying them into my mirror so I found an app where I could record myself and play it on loop. Hearing my own voice was cringey though and I deleted the app after a couple of weeks.
The biggest issue was that I didn’t really believe in the affirmations I was saying so it all felt fake and awkward. The personal development books I had read (there were lots) featured the morning routines of well-known successful people and they all used affirmations, so I persevered but with doubts.
Eventually I found what worked for me – simple, honest statements, written down where I could see them, repeat them in my head and meditate on them. No grand pronouncements, no talking aloud. I am a sucker for stationary, so my scribbled post-it notes were soon upgraded to shiny decks of affirmation cards. I now have a little board, similar to a vision board, near my bed so that I see my affirmations every morning and night.
I have recently introduced affirmations to my children, via a lovely resource called Power Cards. The cards feature statements like ‘I can do tricky things’ or ‘I am kind.’ My children (who are in infant school) have responded very positively, picking out cards that resonate with them and talking about why. Then we leave the cards where they can see them and come back to them.
If small children can grasp it and benefit from it so quickly, you can too! If your affirmations aren’t working for you or you’re new to it, try this:
- Be positive. Start your affirmation with ‘I am…’ or ‘I can…’ so that the focus is on what you do want, not what you don’t.
- Keep it short. You’ll remember it better if it’s succinct.
- Keep it truthful. Don’t say ‘I am great with money’ if you’re not. Try ‘I can reduce my spending’. If you aren’t bought in to your affirmation, it’s pointless.
- Put it where you can see it. Type a note on your phone and make it your screen saver, put a sticky note on your mirror, tattoo* it on your arm. Just make sure it pops up to remind you throughout your day.
- Recite it. In your mirror, in the shower, in the car, in your head.
- Keep it relevant. Change your affirmation(s) whenever you want to. The affirmation you use when you’re preparing for a challenging meeting might not be the one you’d want for a busy day with your family (or maybe it might.)
Using affirmations can be empowering, confidence boosting and mood lifting. It can set your day up right, help to frame your thinking and influence how you respond to things happening. Some people (ok, me) also believe it helps with manifestation. That’s got to be a good reason to try.
*Maybe use henna so you can wash it off!
If you’re struggling to come up with your own affirmations, there are lots of products around that do it for you.
Not an ad, just a few products I use and love…
- Affirmation Cards (deck of 52) from Kikki.K @kikki.k
- Power Cards for Children from Power Thoughts by Natalie Costa, @powerthoughtsnc
- Affirmation Cards from Cherish Me @carolyn_cherishme
- Power Thought cards by Louise Hay