In this write-up, I'll be covering the following:

  • What are affirmations?

  • Who are they for?

  • Why are they important?

  • How can we create them with intention?

  • How can we get our teens & kids to use them?

  • Examples of meaningful affirmations

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So before we start diving into the world of positive self-talk, I'll give you a quick story on how affirmations began to change my life throughout my college years.

I was walking to chemistry lab my sophomore year when I started to realize how much time and energy I was wasting on my phone- scrolling through social media, reading negative news, comparing myself to others, you name it.

It was to the point where I was wasting hours and hours per day on meaningless "stuff"... & I can almost guarantee your kids (or maybe you) are doing the same.

I was always aware of how much time this was taking away from me, but I had no clue how much confidence it was taking from me.

There's a quote that is incredibly simple but holds so much truth and power.

What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.

I saw that quote and started thinking to myself, "what if I could replace my screen time with positive reading?" I mean if I truly become what I think about, why am I solely thinking about what I don't have, what I'm not, or what I can't do?

And that's when my confidence began to slowly shift. Instead of scrolling through social media on the way to class, I began reading "I AM statements" & positive affirmations.

I would walk around campus like I OWNED the place... probably a little too much looking back... but hey, one of my affirmations was "I own this place, I'm here to grow and reach my maximum potential" so I'm not surprised.

Affirmations work if you let them. Like anything, you get out what you put into them. It's time to take them seriously and restore your confidence❤️

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What are affirmations?

  • Affirmations are positive statements, ideally 3-4 sentences long, that help you challenge and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts.

Who are they for?

  • Everyone. You, me, your friends, your kids, everyone! The things I would've done to begin learning about affirmations in high school... sheesh! I bet you can say the same. The earlier you start, the better.

Why are they important?

  • Affirmations are important for many reasons. They combat our self-sabotaging thoughts. Like the quote said, what we think about, we become. This is good news and bad news. When we're filling our minds with thoughts like "I'm dumb" or "I'm not good at X", or "I can't do X", think about who we're becoming in that process. We're slowly becoming someone who doubts every action we take, who worries about worst-case scenarios, who socially withdrawals, the list goes on and on. On the flip side, if we can replace self-defeating thoughts with intentional, empowering ones, over time we can develop the confidence we've always dreamed of having.

  • Affirmations are important because they're the most effective way to strengthen the "self-talk muscle".

    Our bodies are made up of muscles. If we want to grow those muscles, we must work them out. Our thought patterns & self-talk habits are no different. Reciting affirmations is simply lifting weights for our confidence.

How can we create them with intention?

  • Good affirmations follow a few rules. They're in the present-tense, they're "I am" statements, and they're a few words long. GREAT affirmations follow a few more rules. They're still in the present tense, they're 3-4 sentences long, they combat very specific self-defeating thoughts you have (examples below don't worry), and they spark emotion in your heart.

  • I want you to get the typical "I am strong" or "I am enough" affirmations out of your head. They're better than nothing, but not nearly as effective as what affirmations can be. Effective and intentional affirmations hit 3 main things. WHAT am I wanting to be, HOW will I be that, and WHY is being that important to me?

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    Here's a simple step-by-step process I use with my students to create their affirmations:

  • Write down 3-5 of your most common self-sabotaging thoughts (Ex. I'm a terrible math student)

  • Next, write the positive opposite to that thought (Ex. I am a good math student)

    (*Pro tip: if you can't believe this positive opposite, turn it into a PROCESS. "I am becoming a good math student.)

  • Think about WHAT you want to be, HOW you'll do it (what action steps will get you there), and WHY that's important to you? (Ex. I'm striving to be a great math student. I'm making progress every day by focusing in class, taking my time with homework, and studying for tests. This is important to me because I know doing my best will lead to me getting into my dream school)

  • Write it down in a notebook or make it the background of your phone. Put it somewhere you'll see it multiple times per day and recite it to yourself as often as you can❤️

Remember, this takes time. Lots of time. Consistency is key. I believe in you, now go believe in yourself!