How To Make Affirmations Work For You

How To Make Affirmations Work For You

A napkin written with pen that says "I am enough." Picture is for blog post on how to make affirmations work.

Have you heard of affirmations? If you ever get the chance to read my mind, I am so sorry about that unfortunate luck. No joke, I am a really negative person. Before learning how to make affirmations work, I was really struggling.

“But Kim, you seem so happy!”

LOL nope. My brain goes to negativity really quickly. If dinner doesn’t come out perfect, I will automatically think I ruined dinner. If I make one mistake at work, my brain starts to worry that I will get fired. No matter how little the situation, my brain will go straight to negativity. And that isn’t healthy.

Negative thoughts can have a drastic role in how we see ourselves and can influence our life. Our negative thoughts can create negative behaviors, which lead to negative effects. That means that if we tell ourselves that we cannot do something, we truly start to believe it and can lead to us doing something to self-sabotage.

Let me tell you that I used to be the Queen of Self-Sabotage. It got to the point where I needed to change if I wanted to better my life.

And that is when I found affirmations.

Affirmations are positive statements that can help you challenge and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts. Before you say, “that is some BS,” there is some science that backs it up. One study showed that short affirmation exercises increased the problem-solving abilities of subjects who were “chronically stressed” at the same level as those with low stress. So if you use affirmations can help re-program our thinking patterns so that we can start gaining positive traits and not going to self-destruction.

Sure, I am not 100 percent cured. But affirmations do help me on a daily. I try to focus on affirmations that affect my mental and physical wellbeing. Let me tell you that it has helped so much!

So you are probably wondering now how to make affirmations work for you. Well, I got you.

Before we start, you have to know that there are two different kinds of affirmations: mantras and goals. Mantra affirmations are written in the present tense and tend to shorter and precise. Think of these as much shorter and straight to the point. Goal affirmations are different in that you are talking in the present tense but as if you are working towards a goal. This affirmation is longer and has a little more detail on what you’re doing to achieve your goal.

But today, I am going to talk about how to make mantra affirmations work for ya.

Turn The Negative to Positive

Make a list of any negative qualities you think you have, and yes, include criticism as well. It doesn’t matter if they are true or not. Find common themes in this list, and start writing them down. Once you have such a list, make those negative qualities into positive ones. For example, if an ex told you that you are unlovable, turn that to “I am loveable.” You can even use the thesaurus to find stronger words to make your affirmations feel more real and powerful.

Use Motivational Words

Do not use negative words in your affirmations. I don’t care if you say, “I am not scared of losing,” because you are allowing that negativity in your life. Instead, use words that are positive and encouraging. Rephrase to something like, “I am confident in my skills to succeed.” Doesn’t that so much better? You want affirmations to be what you want. So why would you want your affirmation to be something you don’t want? Exactly.

Use “I” Statements

I am not sure how others feel about this, but using affirmations with “I” feels much more powerful than their counterparts. Since you are the subject of your affirmations, using the “I” is a great way to make it realistic and believable. And before you say it isn’t believable now, it will be when you’re repeating it to yourself every day. Using this method will allow you to imagine acting out this thought.

Stick to Present Tense

Do not use past or future tense. We are talking about right now, right here. Do not use phrases like “I will” or “I was.” All you need is “I am,” which will also benefit your self-esteem and build it to be more robust. You want to tell yourself that you are something now. “I am intelligent” sounds better than “I will be intelligent”, right? Stick to present tense. Soon your inner-voice will start to act as if you are your affirmation.

Be Precise on What You Want

The more precise the affirmation, the more likely you will remember. And if you remember them, you can use them throughout the day when you need that extra motivation, confidence, or self-esteem picker-upper. You can also write this and place it somewhere where you will remember so you don’t want something that will take up too much space or will take forever to spell out. By keeping them precise, you are helping yourself.

Speak It Out to the World

Don’t just let your brain read it. Speak it out loud. Say it in front of the mirror or front of friends. Say it when you need that confidence boost or when you need something to help. If you have to write your affirmation(s) on your mirror, do it if it will help you say it daily. The more you say it, the more you will believe yourself.


Affirmations can be a constructive way to change your mood, confidence, and mindset while preventing self-sabotage. But they only work if you can identify the issues you are currently facing. I say mental and physical affirmations because I struggle with self-love and depression. Let me know if you end up trying these out and what your affirmations are like. And if you are struggling with writing some, there is nothing wrong with buying a deck of affirmation cards. I own two.

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Disclaimer: I am not a therapist, and these tips are not a substitute to medical advice. Use these tips at your own risk, and please seek help if you need extra attention to your self-conscious.

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