I Don’t Like Affirmations — But These 7 Actually Work

My favorite: “So what?!”

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Affirmations are validations of your core values

Scholars define self-affirmation as a process of thinking or writing about one’s core values (Falk et al, 2015). Affirmations are positive statements that overcome negative thoughts by affirming your self-integrity.

Positive affirmations that work

The key to positive affirmations is this: Don’t lie to yourself. That’s all! Telling yourself things you don’t believe doesn’t help. For example, “I’m the greatest person in the world.” We can tell that to ourselves a million times, but it won’t change a thing unless we truly live by it.

1. “You’ve done it in the past, so you can do it now”

When I’m doing difficult work, like writing a book or creating a course, I can get overwhelmed during the process. But then, I think, “I’ve written a book before, so why can’t I do it again?”

2. “Do it today, not tomorrow”

Now and then, we feel like skipping the gym, not completing our tasks, or hitting the snooze button, etc. Everybody procrastinates. We tell ourselves excuses like, “I’ll do it tomorrow” or “I’m too tired.”

3. “Learn to love it”

I have a tendency to rush my work because I want to get to the finish line. I like to get things done (see next affirmation). But if you always rush your work, you might overlook important details. And as a result, the quality of your work will suffer.

4. “Get it done and move on”

When I’m working on boring or mundane tasks like paying bills, cleaning my apartment, buying groceries, you name it, I tell myself to get it done and move on. I know that Buddhist monks tell you to enjoy doing the dishes, but that’s just not me.

5. “Almost there! Almost there!”

In everything we do, there’s always that point when we’re about to give up. Let’s say you’re on a run and you want to stop because your lungs are on fire, or you’re trying to build your first business but life keeps getting in the way.

6. “So what?!”

I love this one. It’s so blunt, which makes it effective.

  • “So and so said bad things about me.”
  • “But there are already a million blogs on this topic.”

7. “Let’s go”

You’re getting ready to work out, but it’s raining and you don’t feel like getting in your car to drive to the gym, and you say, “Maybe I’ll go some other time.” Or you’re about to launch your online business, and you’ve done everything to prepare, but you’re scared to publish your website.

Focus on the work

Self-affirmations are all about reminding yourself about your core values. It’s not about tricking yourself into becoming more self-confident. Most of us are too skeptical for that anyway. But all of this stuff remains connected. Are you self-confident because you use self-affirmations or is it the other way around?

Written by

Creator of the Stoic Letter | My best-selling online class ‘Effective Writing’ opens January 17. Learn more here: dariusforoux.com/effective-writing/

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