Author: Veronica Lichtenstein, LMHC
Sep 20, 2023
Do you talk to yourself? You should! Positive affirmations are powerful tools for improving self-esteem, mindset, and overall well-being. When used regularly, they can have a profound impact on one's outlook on life and self-perception. They can boost self-confidence, provide motivation and goal achievement, and change negative thought patterns. By focusing on positive aspects of life, affirmations can reduce stress and anxiety. They remind individuals of their strengths and resources to cope with challenges and can lead to overall health improvement, as they promote a positive attitude and resilience in the face of adversity.
Here are some of my favorite affirmations:
I can’t want it more than you do. - Affirmations like this one can help reinforce personal responsibility and determination, reminding individuals that their own drive and effort are essential for reaching their aspirations. No one should go to therapy if they don’t want to be there. I love working with teens, but I already know it will take more work/effort to connect if parents are making them attend. Quite often, I recommend that parents or family therapy happen with the teen as it is usually the relationship dynamics that should be looked at. At times, they resist and insist that it is all their child’s fault and ask if I can “fix it.” Like anything in life, it will not work out if you are not trying or do not want to do the work. I will never work harder than my clients.
Know where you’re standing at all times. - This type of affirmation can be helpful for promoting mindfulness and making informed decisions. It reminds individuals to regularly assess their situation and progress, which is essential for personal growth and achieving one's aspirations. Making this affirmation is a reminder to check in with ourselves. Quite often, we see things through other peoples’ lens and work harder to determine what they want. When I hear this happening in session, I ask my client what they want. Many times, they are not sure or they respond with “wanting to see their partner happy.” In order to get someplace, you have to know where you want to go.
You can’t rush the timeline. - It's a patience-affirming statement that encourages individuals to be patient and understanding of the natural progression of events or personal growth . This affirmation can be particularly valuable when people are feeling impatient or frustrated with the pace of their progress toward their goals. It emphasizes the importance of allowing processes to unfold in their own time, which can reduce stress and anxiety associated with rushing or pushing too hard. Many times, especially during difficult circumstances, we want all the answers yesterday. If we teach ourselves to wait and observe (which is very hard), the answers come to us naturally. Every moment brings more information which help us naturally shape our next move. I believe that we know what to do when it is time to do it.
You’re not that powerful. - Some clients who are working through anxiety or developing coping tools get clarity when they learn that they are not the cause of everything bad. All they have to do is try their best, which is what all humans do everyday. Bad stuff happens to good people and good stuff happens to bad people. If we work on living our best life with our authentic self, more good will happen. This is similar to the notion that we do not have control of others, only of ourselves. While it's important to recognize one's limitations, it's also essential to strike a balance and not underestimate one's abilities or potential for positive change. This statement can be a reminder to stay grounded and realistic, but it's important to avoid using it excessively in a way that undermines self-confidence or ambition.
You can’t go to the library and expect it to be a disco. - This phrase highlights the need to adapt to the norms and purposes of specific places or contexts. It encourages individuals to align their expectations with the nature of the environment they are in, which is a valuable lesson in adaptability and respect for different settings. This is about not expecting more from others than they are able to deliver. If your mom was never a good listener, forge a relationship based on memorable activities and do not talk about anything deep. You’re not going to go to the club to study and you’re not going to jam out at the library.
You can tailor affirmations to your personal goals and challenges. Always use the present tense, phrasing affirmations as if they are already happening. Talking to yourself with positive affirmations is a beneficial practice that can lead to improved mental and emotional well-being.
Over time, repeating positive affirmations can help shape a more growth-oriented mindset, which is essential for personal development. There’s nothing like enhancing our self-love. When individuals affirm that they are worthy of love and respect, it can improve relationships with themselves and others.