I know it seems hard, but trust me when I say that you have all the power to bring about positive changes in your life.
And you can start—and I know you’re probably unsure where to start!—by simply talking to yourself…
By telling yourself affirmations!
Affirmations are incredibly powerful if you believe in them. I practice this technique myself and find it extremely useful and uplifting!
Here are 65 affirmations that can kickstart your journey toward a better life and a better you.
65 affirmations to help you make positive change
- I change my life for the better.
- I am confident and secure in myself.
- I get love, trust, and peace in my life.
- There is a lot to be thankful for today.
- I slowly achieve the life I want.
- I don’t let fear dictate my life.
- I have the potential to be better.
- I am constantly evolving into the person I wish to become.
- I step out of my comfort zone to reach my potential.
- My mind and heart are open to change.
- I do not fear change. The change will come to me. The change is coming to me at this very moment.
- I manifest all my desires.
- I am ready and willing to enact change.
- I alone am responsible for my actions and emotions.
- I’m okay. I have nothing to worry about.
- I am taking little steps towards changing my life every day.
- My life slowly changes for the better—starting today.
- I embody kindness in my life.
- I relentlessly pursue my dreams.
- I am in an amazing, loving relationship with my significant other.
- I create new and better habits.
- I am who I want to be. I live the life I want to live.
- The changes I am making excite me for the future.
- I am generous and loving—and deserve people who are generous and loving as well.
- I fully welcome and accept change in my life.
- I face all obstacles with confidence and courage.
- I seize each day.
- I forge my own destiny.
- I have the power to reshape my life to my liking.
- I embrace change with open arms.
- I am loved and supported by friends and family.
- Great opportunities will come my way.
- My spirit is happy and at peace.
- Change is nature, and nature is change.
- I am blessed with talents that help me fulfill my purpose.
- I start each day by attracting positive change.
- I inhale good thoughts in and exhale bad thoughts out.
- I am unencumbered by fear and fueled by joy.
- Every day is a new opportunity.
- I radiate positivity.
- I have made positive changes before, and I will make positive changes again.
- I have full control over my life.
- Change is inevitable, and I embrace it.
- I am a good person and will attract goodness.
- My relationships make me happy.
- I work on my dreams and goals.
- I deserve a healthy and loving relationship.
- I can’t wait for the positive changes in my life.
- I am gradually achieving my goals.
- I stand up for myself with courage.
- My life is constantly being renewed,
- I am blessed with a great life and great loved ones.
- Every change is a step towards reaching my dreams.
- The changes in my life will lead me to where I need to be.
- I start my day with self-love.
- Every opportunity for change is an opportunity for improvement.
- I am at peace, both with my current self and the changes that will inevitably come.
- I change my circumstances for the better.
- I am grateful for past changes, for they have made me into the person I am today.
- I prioritize things that truly matter.
- I experience a happy and full life.
- My dreams are big, but my bravery is bigger.
- I love and accept myself as I am.
- Each day, I become a bit better.
- I am inspired to inspire others.
What exactly are affirmations?
The etymology of the word affirmation is the Latin word affirmation which means “to strengthen and make steady.” Affirmation statements are thus a way for us to strengthen our belief that something is true.
We use positive affirmations to strengthen our spirits and remind ourselves of the good even if we may not feel the best at a certain time.
While they may just seem like mere words, they have great power and can transform lives.
When used properly, they can be incredibly therapeutic. They are used to great effect in cognitive behavioral therapy, depression treatment, and many other rehabilitation programs.
When carefully and intentionally constructed, affirmations are the driving force of these rehabilitation mechanisms and helps us “rewire” our brain. They break negative thought patterns and even release feel-good hormones the same way exercise does.
Put simply, they’re a way to help us think positive thoughts…
And when we have positive thoughts, we have positive emotions…
And when we have positive emotions, we are empowered to enact positive change in our life!
They can essentially be self-fulfilling prophecies in the best way possible!
How to properly use positive affirmations
You can tell yourself affirmations in any situation!
Whenever you feel that you need to make yourself feel better or like you need positive changes to take place, don’t hesitate to take a deep breath and whisper heartfelt affirmations.
For example, you may find affirmations handy when you:
- Need to feel more confident for an upcoming presentation;
- Need to improve your self-esteem and love yourself better;
- Have difficulty controlling negative thoughts and feelings;
- Have trouble finishing what you started;
- Need to be more productive;
- Find yourself in a pinch;
- Feel down and depressed;
- Correct bad habits and develop healthier ones.
While affirmations are great on their own, they might be even more effective with other goal-setting and positive-thinking techniques.
For example, my personal favorite is combining visualization with affirmations.
So first, I start by telling myself an affirmation. Then, I close my eyes and visualize the reality I desire.
It never fails to make me feel better, pump me up, and actually get me to get what I want!
I highly recommend this, especially when trying to set or reach lofty goals for yourself. It helps me sustain my motivation, even through ruts where inspiration and energy are hard to come by.
The power of affirmations lies in two things:
- Sincerity – These affirmations need to be heartfelt. After all, that’s the whole point. If you don’t believe them, then they’re useless!
- Repetition – You need to tell yourself these things regularly. Doing so really drills it in your head! You must also repeat the affirmations whenever you find yourself in negative thoughts or behavior patterns.
Using affirmations to change your life
Change is always scary. After all, the familiar is comfortable, and we’re unsure of what happens next after big changes happen.
But we need to accept that change is the only constant in life. We need to learn how to live with it.
I’m sure there are many things that you want to change about your life right now…
Or maybe you’re dealing with an unprecedented change that shook up your entire world.
Whatever it is, take heart!
We need to learn how to both embrace change and enact it ourselves. And trust me when I say that affirmations will prove invaluable in doing just that.
How to write affirmation statements
Here are five key steps to forming effective affirmations:
- Be specific: Affirmations can target specific things. In fact, I’d say it’s better if you make them as specific as you can. It can be about certain beliefs or behaviors you struggle with, particular areas of your life, or individual people you’re concerned about!
For example, let’s say you’re dealing with insecurity about being a bad friend. Try writing or saying: “I listen to my friends in an engaged and sincere way. They know I’m there for them and that they can trust me.”
- Keep it realistic and achievable: Let’s say you’re unsatisfied with your current salary. I’d advise against telling yourself an affirmation that you’ll soon double your salary—after all, that just isn’t objectively feasible in most cases.
A better approach would be: ”I have the confidence to ask for a raise. If they reject me, I will find another job that pays me what I’m worth.”
Affirmations aren’t magic spells, okay? Like I said, you need to actually believe in them. And if you know deep in your heart that your affirmation just isn’t true or possible, then you just won’t be able to bring yourself to believe in them.
- Turn negative thoughts into positive statements: Negative self-talk is basically the opposite of affirmations. So if you find that you’re constantly berating yourself, counteract that by telling yourself the exact opposite!
If you think you’re not talented enough to progress in your field, tell yourself “I am a skilled professional and will make strides in my career.”
Although, remember the point above: keep it realistic. Be honest with yourself; maybe you really are not at your desired skill level yet. So a better affirmation would be: “I am working towards improving my skills.”
- Use the present tense: Write or say your affirmations as if they’re already happening. Doing so would make you feel like it’s actually true right here and right now.
And if it really isn’t? Then it will fill you with a sense of urgency and push you to make it true this very moment!
Take the affirmation “I feel confident for this presentation.” Even if you technically didn’t feel confident before you say it, you’ll find yourself actually believing it the moment you say it—granted, of course, if you say it with power and sincerity!
If you have to make it till you make it, then so be it.
- Say them with feelings: How much power your affirmations will have will completely depend on the emotional weight you put behind them—you need to actually believe them! So don’t just say them with zero energy. Take a deep breath and muster up all your emotional energy before you speak your affirmation into existence.
A disclaimer: affirmations are not about what you currently think and feel
A common misconception about affirmations is that they should be about what you think and feel at the moment. They’re supposed to be about how you want to think and feel going forward.
After all, you’re using affirmations to change how you currently feel, right?
These positive statements are here to “affirm” the changes you want. You use them to help you trust and believe in yourself more so that you can go and actually enact these changes.
Because even if we know that we need to change, change can still be daunting. We need all the courage we can get.
That’s why it’s crucial to have the right perspective. Because while change can be overwhelming, it can also be a huge breath of fresh air!
So whenever you feel fearful or anxious about the future, remind yourself that it’s all a matter of perspective. And affirmations are incredibly powerful at changing your mindset and perspective.
Things you can do today to change your life
Along with death and taxes, change is the only other certain thing in life. We are constantly changing, and so is everything around us.
Some changes are desired, and others are not. Here’s the key to changing your life in the way you want to: take it slow!
You can’t drastically change your life overnight. So start with small changes today, then build on it consistently.
1) Find your “why”
The first and most important step is to determine why you want to change your life.
What is the purpose behind this desire for change? What does this mean for you or the people important to you?
Is it because this is your dream? Is it because it brings you happiness? Is it a step towards even further change?
The change you want to implement in your life shouldn’t be directionless. You need to know exactly what you’re doing and why you want to do it.
Because it might be a tough and long process, remembering your purpose will steer you right back on track whenever you feel the urge to give up.
2) Make a dream board
That sounds kinda corny…
No, it doesn’t! It only sounds corny if you’re not serious about your goals. (And besides, you can show no one else if you don’t want to).
It’s sad to see many adults lose the ability to visualize and daydream about their dreams. We did it so often and so intensely as kids, but now? It’s gone for the most part.
So if we can’t daydream…
Create a dream board instead!
I highly suggest creating a dream board.
Fill it with notes, affirmations, and pictures of the things you want to achieve. Keep it somewhere you constantly see so you’re always reminded to focus your energy on what you really want to achieve.
3) Set concrete goals
Once you’ve determined what exactly your goals are and why you want to achieve them, you need to make a plan.
You’re not going to achieve these goals overnight. So you need to set smaller goals; outline the small steps that you need to take in the short and medium term that will gradually get you toward your long-term goals.
And these need to be specific, actionable steps!
Vague, abstract plans of action like “Be healthier” will likely not push you to take any action.
However, a plan to “Eat at least some vegetables two out of the three meals every day” will get you right on track from the get-go.
And remember that your goals may change or that unexpected roadblocks may suddenly appear (because unwanted changes will inevitably come too!). This is why it’s important to be flexible so you can quickly adjust on the fly.
4) Accept the changes that come
Expecting life to be easy, predictable, or even fair is a recipe for disaster. Changes will happen in all aspects of your life: your relationships, your internal psychology, how you work, your sense of identity, and your career—truly, every and anything can change.
The more at peace you are with the change, the better you will be able to cope, adapt, and adjust to them.
We usually react to unexpected or undesired changes in four stages:
- Moving forward.
However, don’t expect yourself to go through these changes in a simple or smooth fashion. Maybe it won’t even be linear! One day, you feel like you’re moving on already, but then you might suddenly feel angry once again.
The key is acceptance—of both the changes and your feelings about them.
Accepting change doesn’t mean you can’t be upset about it.
It’s completely fine and normal (and even necessary!) to feel disappointed about unexpected changes. Let yourself feel and process these emotions because only then will you be able to truly move on from them.
How to healthily cope with painful changes
Now, for all that I’ve written here, I know accepting change is far easier said than done. It’s easy to spiral into bitterness, resentment, sadness, or anger when it comes to big life changes.
Here are the most important things you should do to cope in a healthy way,
1) Accept it
The first step to coping is to simply accept it, to swallow the reality of change. Again, I know—easier said than done.
But you really need to come to terms with whatever change just occurred.
You may be tempted to deny what happened and delude yourself. Or you might want to try undoing the change even when that’s just not possible.
This will only make things worse. Take a deep breath and accept that it is what it is.
2) Don’t rush yourself
At the same time, take it easy on yourself. If a life-changing event just occurred, allow yourself the time and space to fully process your thoughts and feelings about it.
Don’t push yourself to be A-okay immediately. Pace yourself and take your time to accept the situation.
Repressing your emotions about it will only build up resentment and frustration. Overall, you will fail to truly accept and cope with the events that occurred. This will eventually come to bite you in the future.
3) Rely on loved ones
Asking for help isn’t easy. It’s so easy to feel like you’re just being a burden on somebody or that you’re bothering or annoying them.
But they’re loved ones for a reason, right? If you really trust them and they really love you, they will be willing to help in ways that they can.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Most people want to help you—you just need to let them know. And don’t expect them to magically read your mind and come to your rescue without you saying anything too!
Let them know how they can help you too. For example, some people might want to come over and do all the house chores if one of your family members just died. But you actually like housekeeping because it helps takes your mind off things.
Maybe what you need is simply a listening, understanding ear. Most people would love to listen to you. And most of the time, that’s all we really need.
4) Maintain at least some sense of normalcy
When devastating, life-altering changes happen, it can feel like our whole worlds have turned upside down.
It’s crucial to maintain some sense of normalcy, of your usual routine, in order to keep your sanity.
It’ll help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and instead help you remain grounded and comfortable in the familiar structures of your life.
Go on your usual morning walk. Sleep at the same time. Still go to that weekend sports club.
You need to do these things to keep on going.
5) Treat yourself
Change can be incredibly stressful.
Don’t hesitate to treat yourself and do things you enjoy if you need to relieve stress to get back on track.
Go to a concert? Go to the spa? Go to the gym?
Take a day off to binge-watch movies or play video games?
If it comforts you and gives you the time off you need to regain your strength, do it!
As long as you don’t spiral down and get addicted to vices like smoking, drinking, or gambling, do what you need—or want—to do.
6) Be grateful
It can be hard to feel grateful when you feel upset, resentful, frustrated, angry, or depressed.
But it’s actually a great way to help you cope with all the negative emotions that painful changes bring with them.
Try counting your blessings when you feel incredibly down. Write them down in a journal or share the best highlights of your day with a loved one—even if it’s as simple as seeing a cute cat on the street.
Feeling even an ounce of positivity can work wonders and help propel you as you try to swim across a sea of negativity.
7) Take a break from social media
Some of us might have a tendency to turn to social media and post about our struggles when we’re going through something. While that can sometimes work by making your close friends aware of your situation, I still generally advise against it.
Here’s why: when we’re not in the best emotional state, we might post things that we may regret posting later on. (And remember that whatever gets posted to the internet never really disappears!)
But, more importantly, scrolling through social media can make you feel even worse. The truth is most people only post the good parts of their life. Sometimes even to the point of embellishing it.
You might fall into the trap of comparing yourself to curated versions of people’s lives and feel even worse about yourself. Remember that everyone has their own fair share of struggles.
What you need is to be grounded in reality once again—so put the phone down for now.
But what if you feel bad even if you want the change?
First of all, I want to reassure you that this is completely normal and fine.
Questioning the choices you made doesn’t necessarily mean you made the wrong decision. Feeling some regret even after making the right call is something many people (including myself!) have experienced before.
Because a tough choice simply doesn’t stop being a tough choice even after you’ve chosen.
Once again, don’t suppress your emotions. Let yourself feel them fully and process them thoroughly.
Let yourself grieve the sacrifices you’ve had to make when you had to make these changes. It’s key to moving forward in a headstrong way.
Before you leave…
Before you go, I’d like to leave you with this:
Go hard for your goals!
But, at the same time, don’t be too hard on yourself.
Whether it’s trying to cope with painful, undesired changes or trying to change your life for the better, don’t expect yourself to be perfect.
Don’t let stepbacks or wrong decisions steer you off your course. However, don’t expect yourself to get back on your feet in a jiffy after unforeseen circumstances or making large mistakes either.
Or maybe think about it like this: There are no mistakes, only good stories for later.
It’s all a process. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Take it slow and easy and just enjoy the journey—because there are going to be a lot of changes along the way.