You’ve probably heard that there’s power in a little positive self-talk, and that affirmations can be really helpful…but not everyone is into that stuff. And that’s okay. Affirmations can still be beneficial for you though, even if you feel silly incorporating them into your daily life. Let’s break it all down.
What’s an affirmation?
An affirmation is just what it sounds like: When you say or repeat one to yourself, you’re affirming something—usually a good something. The idea is that if you consciously think, say, or repeat a positive, encouraging, or empowering statement over and over again, you’ll subconsciously start to believe it and act on it like it’s fact. This is in line with the Law of Attraction—that by expecting and being open to good things, they will come—the general idea that positivity begets positivity.
You can pick whatever affirmation works best for you and your unique situation. Use one before a big job interview or date, while you’re at the gym, when you’re engaging with a difficult family member, or whenever you need an extra boost.
Take a few deep breaths, focus on your affirmation, and say it firmly to yourself. For instance, before you ask your boss for a raise, repeat to yourself, “I am qualified and experienced enough to earn more money and confident enough to ask for it.”
Where can you find an affirmation?
First of all, you can make up your own affirmations whenever you want, as long as you stick with the principle of repeating them to yourself and working to believe and act on them. Specific affirmations are great for the unique situations you might find yourself in.
You can also find a number of affirmations online. A good place to start is TikTok, where you’ve probably heard one of the most common affirmations already.
Yung Baby Tate’s Flo Millie-assisted song, “I Am,” is a big hit on that platform. Why? It’s a whole affirmation. The chorus goes like this: “I am hеalthy. I am wealthy. I am rich. I am that bitch. I am gonna go get that bag and I am not gonna take your shit. I am protected, well respected. I’m a queen. I’m a dream. I do want I wanna do and I’m who I wanna be ‘cause I’m me.”
That right there? That’s a masterclass in affirmations. Sing that chorus to yourself if you want to get started but don’t think you can quite concoct your own just yet.
If TikTok isn’t your thing, look to Instagram, where you’ll find plenty of affirmations. There are some accounts that are meant in jest and offer up phrases like, “I am not hiding in bed this weekend,” and, “I am big girlboss,” but, of course, there’s a little truth behind every joke, so if those help you, embrace them. (All together now: I will not discredit helpful affirmations just because they’re in a satirical format…)
Other Instagram accounts are pretty serious. Michell C. Clark, a 31-year-old from Virginia, has about 60,000 followers who keep up with the affirmations he posts, which include “I’m allowed to outgrow people. I’m allowed to outgrow situations. I’m allowed to outgrow versions of myself.”
He told Lifehacker he was first drawn to writing affirmations when I was expelled from college in 2012, just before he graduated.
“A lot of people were cheering for me when I went off to college. Coming back home with no degree and no plan was one of the most humbling and isolating experiences of my life. I didn’t know what affirmations were at the time, but they helped me to maintain a positive inner monologue when there wasn’t a lot of positivity to be found around me,” he said.
If you can make them up, great. If you find affirmations online that you like, great. The point is that you use them and don’t feel weird about it. Whatever it takes to lift yourself up is what you should do. As Clark proves, everyone has snags and low points in life, but everyone can overcome them. You’re not alone and you’ll get through it all.
Banish negative thoughts of being “silly”
You don’t have to feel silly about using affirmations. First of all, no one has to know but you. Second of all, everyone dabbles in something that someone else would find silly, from astrology to prayer to superstition. Recalibrating your subconscious thoughts can be good for you, so don’t waste time worrying about doing it.
“Stop thinking of ‘feeling silly’ as a bad thing,” added Clark. “There’s nothing wrong with silliness. A lot of us care too much about what other people think of us and it stops us from being our best selves. You can’t live out your purpose and focus on impressing other people at the same time. You have to let go of your fear of being judged.”
I am not silly for embracing practices that will make me feel positive, empowered, and self-aware. I am cool, I am fun, and I am good at affirmations. See? Easy.