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Many self help books claim affirmations work wonders. However, as I have found working with clients suffering from low self esteem, repeating affirmations that say you are fantastic does not make it so. Some research, such as that done by Wood, Perunovic and Lee (2009), even shows that affirmations do not work for everybody and can even be harmful to self esteem. So, can affirmations help you to build self esteem?
Affirmations can help you build self esteem. They help you replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Affirmations should include a helpful belief or positive intention which must be believable. If they are not believable the unconscious may resist them and they will not work.
“Timely affirmations have been shown to improve education, health, and relationship outcomes, with benefits that sometimes persist for months and years.” (source: Annual Review of Psychology)
Some affirmations seem to be much more helpful than others, so I’ve put together a list of what I believe are the very best 25 self esteem affirmations out there. So if you’re looking to boost your self esteem and confidence and are looking for a reliable and easy way to do this, then stay with me, I have the affirmations that will make all the difference!
How Do You Affirm Self Worth?
Before I give you my list, I want to advise you how to use self esteem affirmations.
First, affirm means to state, or say out loud as if you mean it and fully accept the statement. If you find that any affirmation does not make sense for you, or that you absolutely do not agree with it, then don’t use it. Choose a better affirmation which you can accept.
When repeating affirmations, please do not speak them silently but out loud. This is very important! You need to hear the affirmation in the air. Repeat them at least three times clearly.
Say them in a convincing and confident tone.
The power of self esteem affirmations
- Enjoy the excitement of an amazing new journey to unstoppable self confidence.
- Finally understand the steps you can take to build your confidence.
- Believe in yourself more.
- Experience the motivation of setting goals that matter to you.
- Enjoy a positive sense of hope and optimism in your own future.
- Enjoy the benefits of visualisation.
- Get your Confidence Master Plan Now! It's free!
According to this article by Critcher and Dunning (2014), positive affirmations can help you become less defensive and are helpful. This would seem to be particular useful for those suffering from low self esteem.
As you sit there reading this, I’m sure you are keen to use affirmations daily to make the change that you need in your life…the idea behind this is to change your focus to a positive one. This will not happen instantly but requires repeated effort over time. So please don’t give up on this if it doesn’t seem to help immediately.
How You Can be Sure that Affirmations Work
The most powerful affirmations are already in our head. Unfortunately, for most of us, these are negative affirmations. We call the negative voice inside our heads self talk. If you suffer from low self esteem or lack of confidence I’d bet that you often hear negative statements in your mind.
This self talk is powerful only because we believe it. The other reason these negative affirmations are so powerful is because they are a part of ourselves. Self talk is our own voice and our own thoughts echoing back at us.
By using the power of positive affirmations and by repeating them you can recondition your brain and change how you feel and think about any situation. It is always possible to see a positive side to almost any situation if you look for it. Positive affirmations help you to focus on the positive rather than on the negative aspects of any given situation.
Affirmations for a More Positive Outlook
Self affirmation is so important if you want to build your self esteem because you need to keep telling yourself positive things. The results will be immense because there is no greater criticism that we face than that which we give ourselves. Having a positive outlook is like putting on armour or carrying weapons that will protect you in your daily life.
If you have a positive attitude then you begin to expect that things will turn out well and you are likely to encourage success in your life. Another benefit of being positive is the fact that you will attract people who think in the same way and those people are more likely to be helpful and supportive.
How Often Should you Repeat these Self Esteem Affirmations?
That’s up to you, but I found it most helpful to repeat them first thing in the morning before or immediately after getting up. This way, you’re mind is relaxed and you are ready for some mental programming.
Another great time to do this is last thing before going to bed, or actually in bed. Your mind is once again beginning to relax and slow down. Never repeat affirmations in a stressed state but relax first. This makes it easier for your mind to open up and accept the self esteem affirmations.
You may also repeat them during the day if you want, this is your choice. Morning and night are the best times.
Find out more about how to use affirmations effectively here.
My Top 25 Self Esteem Affirmations
- I deserve to be happy and successful
- I have the power to change myself
- I can forgive and understand others and their motives
- I can make my own choices and decisions
- I am free to choose to live as I wish and to give priority to my desires
- I can choose happiness whenever I wish no matter what my circumstances
- I am flexible and open to change in every aspect of my life
- I act with confidence having a general plan and accept plans are open to alteration
- It is enough to have done my best
- I deserve to be loved
- I love meeting strangers and approach them with boldness and enthusiasm.
- I am self-reliant, creative and persistent in whatever I do.
- I love change and easily adjust myself to new situations.
- I always see only the good in others.
- I attract only positive people.
- I enjoy healthy discussion and expressing my opinion
- I like who I am
- I accept criticism as positive feedback
- I can control how I react to stressful situations
- I always encourage myself to learn and grow
- I accept my weaknesses and am working on improving
- Whenever I can, I help others
- I set my own standards and do not compare myself to others
- I can accept compliments and I also offer them
- I spend as much of my time with positive people as possible
Writing Your Own Self esteem Affirmations
One way to make affirmations even more powerful and effective is to write your own. If you find that you have a particular problem or issue you are faced with, for example public speaking, you could write out a suitable affirmation to help you.
So how do you do this? Let’s take the example of public speaking. You need to be relaxed in front of people. So you could write the following self esteem affirmation:
I am relaxed and confident when speaking in public.
Or… I enjoy speaking to an audience and do so confidently.
The affirmations work best if they deal with emotions and positive actions in situations where you want to improve. They should be positive statements where possible and only write something that you can accept or that is realistic. If it is untrue or unacceptable for you, it just won’t work.
Good luck with writing your own self esteem affirmations!
When you repeat affirmations in a relaxed state this is a kind of self hypnosis. In other words, because you are relaxed your subconscious mind is open to suggestion and you will begin to accept positive affirmations as true.
To completely enable this, self hypnosis asks you to close your eyes and relax. You enter a half asleep state and listen to a positive script or story. The words help you relax further and also ask you to see and feel, making the experience more real.
Self hypnosis is a natural way to build self esteem and confidence and is highly effective.
Want to improve your self confidence, self esteem and feel better about yourself?
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I hope you’re now convinced that self esteem affirmations can really help you and will give them a try. I’d love to know how they help you. Which affirmations will you use and how will you use them?
Before leaving check out this great book by an author I know well, having read many of his books. And do leave a comment below!
100 affirmations to make your life happier by Dr.Richard Carlson (a great teacher and such a positive book!)
- Cohen, G. L., & Sherman, D. K. (2014). The psychology of change: Self-affirmation and social psychological intervention. Annual review of psychology, 65.
- Critcher, C. R., & Dunning, D. (2015). Self-affirmations provide a broader perspective on self-threat. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41(1), 3-18.
- D’Souza, R.J. (N.D.). Clinical Hypnotherapy and Stress Management, Cardiff. Affirmations: Unveiling the Power of Words. https://www.clinicalhypnotherapy-cardiff.co.uk/affirmations/
- Wood, J. V., Elaine Perunovic, W. Q., & Lee, J. W. (2009). Positive self-statements: Power for some, peril for others. Psychological Science, 20(7), 860-866.
Website Author and Editor Bio
Karl Perera is a fully qualified Life Coach (DipLC), Teacher (MA) and author of Self Esteem Secrets. He has taught at various universities including Durham, Leicester and Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge. He has run More-SelfEsteem.com since 1997 and is an expert in Self Esteem and Self Confidence.