Positive Affirmation Series:
- Why It’s Okay For You To Use Positive Affirmations
- What Are Positive Affirmations?
- How To Find Your Personal Positive Affirmations
- Add Depth to Your Positive Affirmations
- Supercharge Your Positive Affirmations
- Get Aggressive With Your Positive Affirmations
The last post had examples of positive affirmations. They may be all well and good, but what you really need are the intensely personal positive affirmations that will truly make a difference in your life.
How can you find those? I’ll give you two simple techniques.
First, you’re going to take a look at your negative self-talk that we talked about in the first post in this series. Those horrible, awful things you tell yourself are the exact opposites of the positive affirmations that YOU need.
For example, one of the things I tell myself is that I’m disorganized. When I am telling myself this I feel out of control. I feel like I don’t have it together and that I never will. The “objective truth” is that I am organized in some ways and disorganized in others.
Helpful positive affirmations for me around the topic of organization sound like this:
- I am so organized.
- I really have my shit together.
- My systems are really helpful.
I also tell myself that I’m a terrible parent. Helpful positive affirmations for me about parenting sound like this:
- I’m a loving and engaged parent.
- Dylan is really lucky to have me as his mother.
- I really love parenting and I do it so well.
What negative things do you regularly affirm and how can you switch them to positive affirmations?
The second technique for finding your personal positive affirmations is to imagine the feelings and values you want for yourself and affirm that you already have them.
Perhaps you would like to be happy. You would like to be confident and certain of yourself. You would like to be more honest and genuine. Some affirmations might sound like this:
- I am really happy and full of joy.
- I approach each day with confidence and strength.
- I really speak my authentic truth.
The Structure of Your Affirmations
Remember the guidelines from the last post – keep them positive and in the present tense. You can relax a little bit on the short and sweet part. These are your personal positive affirmations, and you can begin to expand them a little if you like.
As you begin to work with personal positive affirmations, you are going to encounter even more resistance than you already have.
One of your objections may be the present tense part. You don’t feel like you’re there yet with the value in your affirmation, so you feel like you’re lying to yourself. I encourage you to try to push through that objection.
However, if you absolutely cannot bring yourself to approach your affirmations from an “already done it” perspective, here’s an alternative: approach it from a “making progress” perspective.
For example, if you just can’t say, “I am happy,” try something like, “I am learning to be happy,” or “I am making progress towards happiness”.
Continue to use “I am,” rather than “I will be”. Saying “I will be happy,” is a wish or a plea. Saying, “I am supporting my happiness more every day,” is a positive affirmation.
Also, use words like “learning” or “growing towards” but not “trying”. There is no try. Try has a whiny “never gonna happen” sound to it. Instead of, “I am trying to be confident,” go with something like, “I am gaining confidence” or “I am more confident than I was yesterday.”
You still want to stick in the present tense and with statements of certainty, but you can talk about being on the path instead of being at the destination.
What kinds of values do you want more of in your life? How can you word those as positive affirmations?
Read the next post in this series: Add Depth to Your Positive Affirmations
Special note: This Positive Affirmation series is a mental health topic. I am writing about it because positive affirmations have been highly useful for me. While I write very forcefully about them, you are the only one in charge of your mental health treatment options. If this isn’t for you, chuck it and move on. Only you know what’s right for you.
Book Recommendation: Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life (affiliate link) has been enormously helpful in teaching me how to speak more compassionately with myself. The core of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is learning how to make accurate observations, identify and express your needs and feelings, and make requests to help you meet those needs. You might think that “communication” would be primarily about other people, but the things you tell yourself in your own head are also communication. The techniques and perspectives of NVC have helped me improve the conversations I have with myself.