Contrary to popular belief, a self affirmation will work to motivate you, but there’s a catch: it is only effective if you have high self-esteem.
According to a 2009 study, present-tense positive affirmations had a positive effect on people with high self-esteem but a negative effect on people with low self-esteem. The researchers found that people with already low levels of self-esteem who made present-tense (“I am…”) positive affirmations actually ended up feeling worse than people who made positive statements but were also allowed to consider ways in which the statements might be inaccurate.
Therefore, if you have low self-esteem, repeatedly telling yourself how great you are won’t help you because, deep down, you don’t believe what you’re saying. It’s important to keep that in mind before you start yelling out affirmations every morning.
However, if you’ve got your mind right, and you’ve got confidence in yourself and your abilities (i.e. self-esteem), then choosing a positive self affirmation from the list below could be a great way to boost your motivation.
50 Positive Self-Affirmations
Think of this as a menu of options. Each morning, immediately upon rising, select a few and say them out loud and/or write them down. Doing this will set the tone for your day and get you moving in a positive direction.
- I am successful.
- I am confident.
- I am powerful.
- I am strong.
- I am getting better and better every day.
- All I need is within me right now.
- I wake up motivated.
- I am an unstoppable force of nature.
- I am a living, breathing example of motivation.
- I am living with abundance.
- I am having a positive and inspiring impact on the people I come into contact with.
- I am inspiring people through my work.
- I’m rising above the thoughts that are trying to make me angry or afraid.
- Today is a phenomenal day.
- I am turning DOWN the volume of negativity in my life, while simultaneously turning UP the volume of positivity.
- I am filled with focus.
- I am not pushed by my problems; I am led by my dreams.
- I am grateful for everything I have in my life.
- I am independent and self-sufficient.
- I can be whatever I want to be.
- I am not defined my by past; I am driven by my future.
- I use obstacles to motivate me to learn and grow.
- Today will be a productive day.
- I am intelligent and focused.
- I feel more grateful each day.
- I am getting healthier every day.
- Each and every day, I am getting closer to achieving my goals.
- Through the power of my thoughts and words, incredible transformations are happening in me and within my life right now.
- I am constantly growing and evolving into a better person.
- I’m freeing myself from all destructive doubt and fear.
- I accept myself for who I am and create peace, power and confidence of mind and of heart.
- I am going to forgive myself and free myself. I deserve to forgive and be forgiven.
- I am healing and strengthening every day.
- I’ve made it through hard times before, and I’ve come out stronger and better because of them. I’m going to make it through this.
- I do not waste away a single day of my life. I squeeze every ounce of value out of each of my days on this planet—today, tomorrow, and everyday.
- I must remember the incredible power I possess within me to achieve anything I desire.
- I do not engage with people who try to penetrate my mind with unhelpful thoughts and ideas—I walk away when a person or a situation isn’t healthy for me.
- I belong in this world; there are people that care about me and my worth.
- My past might be ugly, but I am still beautiful.
- I have made mistakes, but I will not let them define me.
- My soul radiates from the inside and warms the souls of others.
- I don’t compare myself to others. The only person I compare myself to is the person I was yesterday. And as long as the person I am today is even the tiniest bit better than the person I was yesterday—I’m meeting my own definition of success.
- Note to self: I am going to make you so proud.
- I finish what matters and let go of what does not.
- I feed my spirit. I train my body. I focus my mind. This is my time.
- My life has meaning. What I do has meaning. My actions are meaningful and inspiring.
- What I have done today was the best I was able to do today. And for that, I am thankful.
- One small positive thought in the morning can change my whole day. So, today I rise with a powerful thought to set the tone and allow success to reverberate through every moment of my day.
- I set goals and go after them with all the determination I can muster. When I do this, my own skills and talents will take me to places that amaze me.
- Happiness is a choice, and today I choose to be happy.
How to Use Self-Affirmations
Daily self talk is a simple and highly effective self-affirmation technique in which you begin each day by talking to yourself (i.e. your non-conscious mind) as if you were talking to someone that was eagerly ready and willing to receive and carry out your orders, instructions, or suggestions.
Here’s how it works: Instead of speaking to yourself as a single individual, speak to yourself as if you were divided into a group of three: your thoughts, your emotions, and your body. Use a self affirmation from the list below to guide you or to help you create your own self affirmation.
For Your Thoughts
Thoughts, listen up! Stop being so scattered. Stop wasting your time and energy with fears, doubts, worries, and past memories that don’t do us any good. From now on I want you to think positive, powerful, purpose-driven thoughts. Think about love. Think about beautiful and inspiring things. Think about how we’ll overcome our obstacles and crush our goals. Think about our vision for the future and our plans for achieving it. Think about helping others and contributing to the greater good. Think about new ideas. Think about ways of improving. Think only of thoughts that I can use to better myself. If any other thoughts come along, look at them, kick them out, and go back to useful thoughts.
For Your Emotions
Emotions, listen up! Stop dwelling on fears and anxieties, the pain and problems from the past. Stop holding on to anger, guilt, resentment, jealousy, and similar emotions. When any of these emotions arise, go ahead and feel those feelings for a little bit, and then let them fly away and replace them with empowering feelings. I want you to dwell upon empowering emotions, successful feelings, good feelings, happy feelings, conﬁdent feelings, loving feelings, and feelings filled with optimism. I want you to experience these kinds of emotions as often as possible moving forward.
For Your Body
Body, listen up! You are phenomenal, and you do all kinds of wonderful things like pump blood through my body, replenish and rejuvenate my cells, and allow my heart to beat over a hundred thousand times a day — all without me ever even having to tell you to do so. But now I want you to do everything even better. I want you to increase our energy. I want you to increase our strength. I want you to increase our health in every possible way, so that we do everything at the highest level and maintain a perpetual state of peak performance. It’s time to be even more skillful and graceful in all you do, to utilize every ounce of food and air even more effectively than you already do, and to stop any habits that inhibit our strength, energy, vitality and health. And body, I want you to relax more, feel pleasure more, enjoy life more, and give more pleasure to others.
Thank you Thoughts, thank you Emotions, thank you Body, thank you for being the unstoppable force of nature that I am!
Self-affirmations don’t have to be aspirational in nature; you can use them for maintenance, too. For example, you might already consider yourself a confident person, but that doesn’t mean you can’t consistently use a motivational affirmation like, “I am confident” to reminder yourself to keep that confidence-train chugging along. After all, that’s what personal development is all about in the first place — maintaining a constant and never-ending dedication to lead yourself — to keep growing and getting better every day. Personal development is not a one-and-done game; it’s a one-on-one game with yourself that never ends.
Also, keep in mind that affirmations aren’t a science. In actuality, you may get cheerful compliance from yourself (or your subconscious) with some affirmations, push-back with others, and straight-up resistance with others.
So what do you do?
Keep affirming your greatness.
Keep giving yourself the commands you want carried out until you get results…
And then keep going