Many people find affirmations to be a powerful tool, so learning how to write affirmations can be an important skill. For me, the strength of affirmations lies in shifting your mindset. We all struggle with doubt or negative thoughts sometimes, and affirmations can be a great tool in shifting those negative outlooks into positive ones that support your goals.
While there are many inspiring affirmations already written by others, crafting ones that are tailored to your experiences is very impactful.
What is an affirmation?
An affirmation is a positive statement you repeat often. This statement reinforces a positive outlook that replaces a negative one. It helps you focus, regain perspective, and deal with challenges in a positive way.
Do affirmations even work?
There have been several scientific studies on the effect of affirmations. The verdict? Yes, they can result in real changes in behaviour and performance under stress. However, like many things in life, affirmations are not “one size fits all”. Practicing affirmations that are personalized and meaningful to you will have the best effect.
How to write affirmations that are personalized
Affirmations will be most powerful when they are tailored to your own life. The deeper you can dig when creating them, the more impact they will have in supporting the changes you want to make. Follow the guide below to craft your own. There aren’t too many steps, but really take your time to get the most out of each one.
1: Identify a limiting belief.
What are you struggling with right now? Maybe there is a particular challenge you want to overcome, or a particular project you want to achieve. Next, identify your limiting beliefs: what thoughts are holding you back? Take some time to consider these aspects of your mindset. Are they helping you reach your goals? Are they even true?
For example, maybe there is something new you want to do, but you are too fearful to try it. The thoughts you might be feeling are “I’m scared” “I can’t do this” “It will fail” or maybe “It’s too big a challenge”.
This step is the most challenging, but also the most important to uncovering affirmations that will have a big impact in your life.
2: How can you reframe it?
Now that you’ve identified a negative thought, how can you reframe it it in a positive way that serves you? How do you want to live your life? Jot down some ideas. It doesn’t have to be perfectly written, you just want to capture the main concept. The important part here is for your reframed thought to be meaningful and believable to you.
For our example above, maybe your statement looks like: “I want to be brave and confident so that I can try new things and not be afraid of the result.”
3: Write your affirmation.
Follow the tips in the section below to craft your idea into a powerful affirmation that is meaningful for you.
After editing your affirmation, maybe it looks something like this:
“I am brave; my confidence grows with each step I take outside of my comfort zone and I feel proud of my progress”
4: Practice it often.
Practice your affirmation in whatever way feels good to you. Perhaps you put a sticky note by your mirror and read it to yourself every time you pass by. Maybe you enjoy journalling and write it in each entry. Every time you feel that negative thought creeping up, use your affirmation to remind yourself that you are not that thought. You have goals, and you have the strength to achieve them!
Tips for how to write affirmations that are effective
The core of your affirmation is the most important. That’s what we discovered in the steps above, but you can tweak the wording to make it even stronger of a statement that will drive change for you.
Tip 1 – Use present tense
The typical beginning of an affirmation is “I am”, but remember, the statement has to be believable to you or it won’t have the effect you want. If you are struggling to believe the “I am” statement, that’s okay! Try “I am working towards” or something similar instead. This is still a statement set in the present.
Tip 2 – Keep it positive
Positive statements are more effective than negative ones. It’s like the “don’t think of a pink elephant” trick. If you write negative statements into your affirmations, you will stay focused on the negative. What does this mean? Think “I do” vs “I don’t”. Keep the core of the message but write it in a positive way. If you’ve written “I don’t let people take advantage of me”, a positive version might be “I do set firm boundaries when dealing with others”.
Tip 3 – Make it personal
The more personal the affirmation is to you and your life, the more powerful it will be in inspiring change. To be most effective, it should be rooted in your personal values. Just remember, sometimes we show others more kindness and leniency than we do ourselves. Remember to be kind and supportive towards yourself as well!
Tip 4 – Be specific
The more specific your affirmation is, the more efficient it will be in inspiring achievable change. For example, if your statement is “I am brave” … How are you brave? What do you do to be brave? Include this in your affirmation.
Tip 5 – You’ve already got this
Try writing your affirmations from a position of “grateful having”. Imagine what your life is like when you have already achieved this goal, and write from that feeling.
Tip 6 – Include emotions
Emotions are so powerful in driving connection, and you can use them to make your affirmation stronger. Incorporating them into your statement will make it more impactful. For example, this could be tied into tip 5: how do you feel when you have achieved your goal?
Final thoughts on how to write affirmations
I hope the guide above was useful in helping you craft affirmations that are meaningful and powerful for you. It’s a bit of a journey, but so worthwhile when you can change your mindset in a positive way to help you achieve your goals and live a life you love.
If anything particularly stood out to you, or if you’ve written an affirmation that you’d like to share with others, please comment below! I’d love to read them.
Wishing you all the best on your journey. I know you will achieve great things!