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The Secret to Making Affirmations Work

We all know the Stuart Smalley SNL skit.

via GIPHY

And even though affirmations can be awesome for practically anything (think workouts, career goals, improving confidence, etc.), they get a bad rap. Because a lot of time they seem cheesy. And when you do them, they can also feel cheesy.

via GIPHY

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had great results in any area of my life when something just felt off or — worse yet — forced.

Yet, if you read many self-help books or articles, you’ll hear all about the power of affirmations. (Heck, us included!) And if you’re looking to make a change or improve something, hey, it seems like affirmations are a decent place to start. After all, they’re quick, easy, and don’t require anything other than a few moments of your time.

But, how can you use them and not feel all Stuart Smalley when you do it? How can you actually make them resonate and therefore be more powerful?

We got some dynamite advice from Patricia Moreno in the second part of our podcast interview with her (it was SO good, we had to break it up into two parts — get part one here) on this. In it, she said, “Without the emotion, affirmations don’t work.”

It’s so, so obvious — and so, so true! An affirmation is never going to work for you unless you’re feeling it.

So, before using any affirmation (whether it’s one another expert recommends or one you “think” you should use), check in with how it makes you feel. Does saying it feel like it’s possible? Does it make you feel hopeful and light you up a little? If so, use it!

If not; if what you’re saying feels forced or unrealistic, is there a way that you can back it up a bit so that it does feel a little more real? For example: If, “I love myself unconditionally,” feels forced, does, “I am learning to put myself first,” feel a little bit more authentic?

Play with it and see if you can get to a place where your affirmation feels good and right … with just the right level of cheese for you.

If you want to go more into this (and you should; it’s great!) be sure to listen to our full interview with Patricia here (it’s ep 104 if you’re a subscriber) or below!

Now you know we gotta ask: Do you use affirmations? What’s your go-to? —Jenn

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!

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8 Comments
  1. You’re right about affirmations feeling cheesy as that is how I always used to view them. Strangely enough, I started doing gratitude affirmation during a low point in my life and I found a lot of positive things began to manifest around me. I still can’t escape the fact they still feel cheesy though – which is why I don’t talk too much about them, but when you think about it: they’re almost the same as routines – take for instance you have a fitness goal and you know where you want to be with it? You follow a program and little by little you end up reaching that goal. The progress may be only incremental but in the end, you will make it to where you wanna be.

    Thanks for the post! Made me reflect back again on the power of affirmations.

  2. You offer some excellent advice about affirmations. Interestingly, this is the topic of my first book reads, Affirm Your Life.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Really interesting article. I enjoyed reading this. Thank you for sharing.

    – Dr.yogesh Chavan

  4. Thanks for sharing this valuable information with us, it is a really helpful article!
    Thank You So Much 🙂

  5. Robb says:

    Thanks for this informative article. I’ve noticed looking at yourself in the mirror when doing affirmations is essential too.

  6. Thanks Jenn. I couldn’t agree more. I’ve used affirmations on and off throughout my adult life, and I think the main reason today’s are more effective for me than some I’ve tried in the past are because I chose some that resonate as truthful–or at least possible–for me. One of my favorites right now is “I choose love over judgment.” Not only do I repeat this every morning, but if I catch myself being critical at any point throughout the day, I stop myself with a gentle reminder, “I choose love over judgment.” One other I’m really feeling currently is “I love my strong, healthy body.” It helps me remember that my body doesn’t have to look perfect to be wonderful and lovable! I love your blog. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    ~Christie

  7. Floranet says:

    What a Fantastic Post!! Love your work.