Affirmation of the Week
Introduction to Affirmations
The Engine of Growth
What Affirmations Do
Why Affirmations Work
Affirmations as Power
Discovering What to Say
Creating Your Own Practice
Creating an Affirmation Journal
My Journey with Affirmations
Advanced Techniques
Guidelines for Affirmations
An Invitation
Weekly Affirmation Archive
Resources and Links
Discovering What to Say

It starts with a kind of stubborn mindfulness.

Discovering an affirmation yourself can be simple as saying what is direct contrast to some negative thought you have and as complex as discovering some long held unconscious belief from your childhood through professional therapy. Any method you use to become aware of your beliefs and feelings is valid. If traditional therapy works for you, great. If Astrology has value for you, great. Perhaps you meditate on your navel and gain insights to the universe that way. It's all good. It's about creating an awareness of the negative thoughts, feelings and beliefs you carry around inside, conscious or unconscious, identifying them, and using them as a way to create an affirmation to counteract the effect of those negative thoughts, feelings and beliefs. I have personally used two personality type systems, the Myers-Briggs personality types and the Enneagram personality types as a way of identifying some of my negative feelings and beliefs. Both are very effective and I highly recommend them.

It starts with a kind of stubborn mindfulness. Deciding that whenever you hear yourself saying something negative you stop yourself and create an affirmation to replace that thought. This kind of awareness is part of a practice of consciously thinking in a new way to change your feelings, beliefs and reactions.

The Magical Question

When ever someone does or says something you don't like, even if they are not justified in doing or saying that thing, the question to ask is "what is it about me that makes me react in this way?" Maybe someone said something hurtful just because he or she is a mean rotten bastard. Of course you don't wish to spoken to in that way and you are justified in feeling hurt. But the question still begs to be asked: "What is it about me that makes me react in this way?" Asking yourself this question can uncover events in your past that affect you today. Maybe you were spoken to harshly as a child by someone so it hurts you even more when someone speaks to you as an adult in the same way.

Asking the question is another way I have found to create affirmations that will help me. Once I ask it of myself, I talk about it with friends or write about it in a journal to help clarify the issues for me. I then create the affirmations that deal with my reactions and feelings.


The phrasing of your affirmations is important. "I am a good person" is an affirmation. "I don't get upset with people" while may be true, contains a negative and thus can not be used as an affirmation. "I am calm with people" is the correct affirmation.

Negative thoughts and feelings can be useful in figuring out exactly how to phrase an affirmation. By taking the exact opposite to what is thought or felt one can find the phrasing of the affirmation. Thus "I hate myself" becomes "I love myself," or "I don't feel comfortable around people" becomes "I feel comfortable around people."

What is it about me that makes me react in this way?

Sometimes it's harder to find the phrasing especially when trying to create an affirmation involving your reaction to another person. In those cases, clarify how they act that causes you to react in some way, what your reaction is currently and how you wish to react and feel in the future.

For example, you are in a relationship with someone and sometimes they get busy with work and can't call you back. You feel angry and hurt because you feel ignored and ultimately, unloved. Over time, every time this person gets busy with work, you anticipate being ignored and start feeling bad. Intellectually you know this person is just busy with work and that you love each other, but that feeling just persists.

(The phrase "someone I love" can be replaced with the person's name)

Start with the negative statements first:

  • When someone I love gets busy with work I feel insecure.
  • When someone I love gets busy with work I feel I am not valued.
  • When someone I love gets busy with work I feel unloved.
Now turn it around. The affirmations would be:

  • When someone I love gets busy with work I feel secure.
  • When someone I love gets busy with work I feel valuable.
  • When someone I love gets busy with work I feel loved.
Sounds silly and stupid doesn't it. Of course. Any more silly and stupid than feeling unloved by someone that does in fact love you but is just busy at work? The point is that this person could tell you a million times "Honey I was just busy at work of course I missed you, of course I love you," but it won't do any good because of the persistent feeling you have of being unloved. You might even think that if this person could only do one thing to prove he or she loved you then you wouldn't feel the way you feel. Well he or she can never do enough because of what you tell yourself. But YOU can do that one thing yourself. By telling yourself you are loved, even if this person is busy at work, then you will stop feeling bad when he or she does get busy with work and can't be with you.

Really it's about you, why you feel so unloved because someone you love is busy. Perhaps there's something in your past that causes you to feel the way you do when he or she can't be with you. That requires digging deeper into your feelings and finding out why you react the way you do, and then, creating affirmations to change those feelings and beliefs as well.

Once you've said the affirmation enough and internalized it, the situation is not about you feeling unloved and ignored anymore, it's simply about someone you love that is very busy working at the moment. And then something even more amazing happens. The person you love will see the change in you, and no longer feel responsible for taking care of your hurt from him or her having to work late. He or she will be free to experience feelings of missing you. You in turn will be able to see he or she is upset at having to work so much and does in fact miss you terribly; that the person you love is upset having to work so much and is unhappy with his or her job. And then you could help the person you love decide on what type of job would be better and help him or her look for it. Or maybe you see this person, when they are busy does not in fact think about you at all. Does that mean he or she doesn't love you? No, because again, it's not about you being unloved, it's simply about someone you love who gets busy at work and when that happens, that person doesn't think about you. But then maybe you want someone in your life that does think about you, even when they are busy at work. You are now free to move past your reactions and think about that as well.

Creating feelings of security, value and love within yourself will invite others to treat you in those ways as well.

By using the affirmations in this situation, you have the clarity to see it is not about the other person not doing what you think he or she should be doing but about you and how you are reacting to his or her actions. You have the clarity to decide what you wish to do with the person you are currently with, because you've gotten past the hurt of him or her working late.

Ultimately, the affirmations to be said in the example above are "I feel secure," "I feel valuable," "I feel loved" and "I love myself." Creating those feelings of security, value and love within yourself will invite others to treat you in those ways as well. You will no longer be dependent upon the words or actions of others to feel good about yourself, to feel loved, to feel valuable, and that is the power of using affirmations.

Words are Important

In the example above I used the phrase "When someone I love gets busy with work I feel loved." Maybe for you, you want to feel cherished by the person you love. The word "cherished" holds much more emotional impact than the word "loved." Use "cherished" then. When creating affirmations for yourself, use what ever words or phrases that have the most meaning to you. You are creating and affirmation to replace a negative thought, feeling or belief, and you want the affirmation to have as much power as what was said or done to you that created the bad feelings in the first place.

Concrete Affirmations

The idea of affirmations is not new, but the way in which affirmations are normally used are far too esoteric and general to be effective. While, for example, an affirmation such as "I am a radiant light-being, working to bring the highest good to all concerned" may indeed be true of someone wishing to do good in the world, it does little to affect the feelings of anger aroused when that same radiant-light being gets cut off in traffic. Affirmations work best when they address a specific feeling, belief or reaction to a situation or thought you wish to change. For example, "When I get cut off in traffic, I remain calm."


Affirmations should be short and be easily said in one breath. Anything longer will simple be too much information for you to absorb.


You should keep your affirmations to yourself. It is a private practice. What may seem very important to you could seem silly or childish to another person or even a close friend. He or she may say something or give some non-verbal gesture to indicate a negative response to your affirmation. Telling other people your affirmations can undermine your process. Using the example above with the person that works late, telling that person you are trying to be more understanding of his or her work hours is okay. Telling them how you do it is your business. If that person is open to the idea of affirmations, then sharing this process, but not your actual affirmations, is okay as well.

copyright 2004 affirming love