It all starts with what we believe. Our minds and thoughts are powerful, and that means our words are, too. What we think and say becomes true very often. If we say “I’m so bad at singing” then chances are you’ll believe that and never give yourself the space to learn, grow, or improve. But if you say “I’m open to improving my singing skills” or “I’m getting better and better at singing every day”, there is room for a shift. This is a basic fundamental pillar of a growth vs. fixed mindset – something I work on with my coaching clients often.
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
Our thoughts and words also determine our relationship with ourselves. For a long time, my voice inside my head was really mean. “I can’t do this”, “who do you think you are”, “you’re just going to mess it up”, “you are so ugly and fat.” Oooooof. Not nice. And those not nice words became unkind actions toward myself. I decided I wanted to change. So I went from mean girl to best friend. And it started with what I was saying to myself.
I did a lot of beautiful work on the inside, digging out old stories and uncovering the truth. I’d let go of misunderstandings that I am alone and unloved and invite in the truth that I am supported and divinely created. But this whole uncovering thing is a process. And I would need reminders from time to time of just how powerful, loved, supported, and beautiful I really am. So I started using and creating affirmations. I still use, create, and enjoy them to this very day. Hurray!
There are so many ways to use affirmations and I encourage you to experiment with them! Personally, I turn to them on a very regular basis. I use them to remind myself, to feel and believe the truth again in my body and heart, to push through fear, and to call in my hurray. Below are a few ways that I use affirmations that you can explore. In fact, I’ve even created some for you to use and share! You’ll find a few of my very favorite on this page, and loads more on my Hurray Affirmations page. They’re yours to use, to share, and to come back to again and again.
FYI this post contains some affiliate links that help keep this website going. Plus, some of the images are repurposed from past partnerships with brands. Hurray!
Quick tip: There is a difference between an affirmation and a mantra. Though they can be used similarly, they came from different origins. In essence, a positive affirmation is a short phrase, sentence, or word that is used to inspire you and can be used throughout the day, as a reminder, in meditation, etc. A mantra is typically a sacred word or phrase that is repeated over and over, or used in meditation as a practice to connect with the divine.
How to Use Affirmations
Photo by Laura Boyd of Own your Sexy wearing Ridge Merino.
Use The Truth: The most effective action I’ve taken when creating and using affirmations or mantras is using language that I truly believe. Our truth is that inner knowing, that divine guidance, that deep understanding of who we really are. It and our hearts are smart and not easily fooled. It doesn’t matter how many times you say “I am the best piano player in the world” if you don’t really believe it. Your heart will call BS. That means there’s real value doing the work of uncovering the truth before creating or using an affirmation. Feel into what you really believe and what feels good for where you are NOW and use words that support that. If that means saying “I am doing my very best” instead of “I am the best”, or “I am open to learning” instead of “I know it all”, that’s ok because it’s TRUE for now. You may even try some compassionate self-forgiveness to let go of any misunderstandings or old stories so that you can uncover the truth.
Affirmation Not Validation: Speaking of true, it’s important to understand what’s true from within you and not look for other things or people to inform you of the truth. When working with my coaching clients, often one of the very first concepts we discuss is the difference between validation and affirmation. It’s a deep and beautiful opportunity to evaluate which they are most often seeking. In a nutshell, seeking validation means you are looking for something or someone outside of you to inform you of how or who you are. If you are seeking affirmation, that means that someone or something outside of you is simply reminding you of something you already know to be true.
For example, seeking validation that “I am beautiful” would mean that whatever others thought of me would inform me of how beautiful I am. It would mean that if someone says I’m beautiful I’d believe it. It also means if someone says I not beautiful, that I would believe that to be true. And it means that I would not believe I am beautiful until someone else says it and validates it for me. Meanwhile, an affirmation that “I am beautiful” means I already know and trust in my own beauty, and this is a reminder. We all forget sometimes and being reminded is totally OK. It’s needing that validation that leads to a less empowering view of yourself. Thus, it only makes sense when using affirmations to use them for affirmation, not validation.
Write or Print Out: You can use the affirmations I’ve created by printing them out and placing them around your home, office, or other space to remind you throughout the day. You can also write out your own! Write them in a journal or on paper. Often people put them on sticky notes and place them all around. I wrote some on beautiful notecards and have them in a pile that I read regularly in a special place.
Create a Space: If you’re not one to want sticky notes all over the house, choose one special place to house your affirmations. In my office I have them taped to my tall desk. In my home, I created an altar space that holds great sacred meaning for me. It’s a simple bookshelf, but it has my gemstones, special books and journals, sage and candles, precious photos, and my hand written affirmations. I sit with them and go through them with great intention because they are housed in a special place.
Set as Your Screen: I specifically created my #HurrayAffirmations for you to use in many ways, and one is as your phone screen! Let’s face it, we are living in a modern age where the computer, phone, and other screens are constantly in our view. Use this to your advantage and set your computer or phone screen to a graphic of your favorite mantra or affirmation. That way you can remind yourself of this affirmation each and every time you see your screen. Switch it up from time to time to the affirmation that really resonates with you!
Share With Others: One of the reasons I love hosting Wild Woman Circles so much is because we get to speak our intentions out loud and let others witness them. I started doing the same with my affirmations. I write them on my Facebook page, I share them with a friend, I post a version of them on social media. It not only solidifies them for myself, it also spreads the hurray to others.
Another specific idea I had in mind when creating the #HurrayAffirmation images was to make them sharable on social media. There are plenty of hurrays and what the heys to social media, and one of my favorite hurrays is that we can truly spread joy, love, compassion, and understanding in a big way. You may think that sharing an image or affirmation doesn’t matter much, eh? But trust me, it does. Even if one person sees it and it reminds them of their own power, beauty, or truth – it matters. I have witnessed it over and over again, and I’m sure I have had thousands of other positive impact moments of which I’m not even consciously aware. Spread the love and watch it grow.
Make it Physical: When we set intentions for the new moon in my women’s circles I would often bring gold and silver flash tattoos so that we could adorn ourselves with them. In addition to looking cool, we also assigned our intention to these. That meant that every time we looked at them we were reminded of our monthly intention. Now I do the same with affirmations. Pick an affirmation and a tattoo (it can be the actual words or just a symbol) and every time you see it you can remind yourself of the affirmation. Who knows? Maybe one day you’ll want to make it permanent! You can also tie a piece of string around your wrist, or paint something on your nails, etc.
In addition to flash tattoos, I also do this with jewelry. You can wear a special piece with the exact words on it, or assign an affirmation to a piece you love. I wear this Joan of Arc bracelet that is a gorgeous reminder that “I am not afraid. I was born for this.” It affirms a really powerful visualization I had around my purpose in the world and my ancestor’s support. Though it doesn’t say the words on it, I remember them every time I see it on my wrist.
Set a Reminder: Put a timer on your phone, calendar, or alarm and set it to go off at the desired frequency. You can set the title of the reminder as your affirmation, meaning the notification reminder will pop up with that affirmation. Set yours to “I am supported” or “It is all working out for the highest good of all involved” and set yourself up for a dose of hurray throughout your days.
Photo by Katelyn Perry
Meditation: Meditation and prayer are legit my most favorite way to use affirmations. First, it’s one of my favorite ways to uncover truths, which I turn into affirmations. I also use guided meditations to help others and myself tune into affirmations in a deeper, more intimate way. Seeing them on a regular basis, wearing them, and saying them aloud are all lovely and deep. And for me, being with them inside my being is the deepest of them all. Use an app or some meditative music to spend some time with an affirmation. Or simply repeat it as a mantra over and over again, letting it fuse into the fibers of your being as a deep and sacred truth.
After meditation, there’s a lot more space for affirmations to go deep because the surface thoughts have quieted down. It’s like the difference between planting seeds in a plowed field with good soil and planting them in a field that’s overgrown with weeds. Chances are, the seeds that are planted in tilled soil will bear more fruit. In the same way, when the mind is calm and spacious, our positive thoughts and affirmations can grow deeper roots.
–Carrie Grossman (Dayashila), MA, devotional artist
During Anxiety: I can not tell you how many times a positive affirmation has helped me during times of anxiety. Sometimes just saying it is a beautiful reminder and all I need. Other times I repeat it over and over again, like a mantra, focusing on the power of it in my body. This can be a phrase, a verse, or any other such helpful affirmation. One such example was in an MRI machine when my head and neck were locked into place and loud sounds vibrated through my being. In full-on panic attack mode and without being able to move, I kept repeating “Be still and know that I am God.” Other times I think over and over again “Peace is in me. I am peace.” Often when I’m scared I say “God’s got me.” Many times when I am unsure of my steps, I say “It’s all working out for the highest good of all involved.” Soothing yourself with an affirmation when you’re anxious or worried is a big way to say hurray.
Cards and Decks: There are plenty of affirmation decks out there with different (often beautifully illustrated) cards in them. Each one has a different affirmation. Create a practice that includes pulling a card, knowing that it is showing up for your highest good and exactly what you need. Or choose a card and place it around your home (I tuck mine into the frame of the bathroom mirror), or in our wallet.
Say It Loud and Proud: I totttttally judged the whole saying affirmations in the mirror thing. It just felt so dumb. But that’s mostly because I was using cheesy affirmations that I didn’t really believe. Now that I’m using affirmations that feel aligned and true for me, I love to say them out loud to myself, especially in the mirror. Print or write a favorite one and tuck it into the mirror frame so you can look right into your own eyes and say it.
Use Other’s or Create Your Own: We’ve all found an affirmation that just resonates, right? It’s like “omg this was written for me!” And sometimes, something else may be coming up for you. You may want to create your own. Write it down, create a graphic, or google search it for crying out loud. OMG create a t-shirt, wall decal, or custom jewelry with it if you want! I literally have custom leather high-top Converse shoes that say “Hurray” on them, because it’s a constant reminder to live my life to the fullest, and to find joy in every moment. You are the creator of your experience and if a mantra or affirmation graphic doesn’t exist that supports your unique phrase or word, MAKE ONE.
Your Turn: How do you use affirmations? What did you learn here, or want to try? How can you start using affirmations in your life or routine? Which one of the #HurrayAffirmation images resonate with you? Which one do you want to see next? What affirmation can you create for yourself? Share here with us!
The affirmations you see here are just a taste of what’s available and what’s to come. Explore the Hurray Affirmations page for more!