Affirmations are kinda like the new trendy exercise program for mental health.⁣ It’s all shiny and new and GUARANTEED to give you results if you try it.⁣ It worked for you sister-in-law, and Sarah at work swears by it.⁣ But for you? It just never really clicks. You can’t seem to find affirmations that actually work. And much like that shake weight in the back of your closet (PLEASE tell me you bought the shake weight) affirmations just get shoved aside, leaving you wondering if they really work, or just another thing you can’t get right.⁣

The truth is, unlike the shake weight, affirmations DO work. But you have to make them work for you. ⁣Wondering how to say affirmations that actually work for you? Check out these strategies and examples!

Step 1: Pick affirmations that you connect with. I know that sometimes we need a little inspiration and finding examples of affirmations can be a great way to plant the seed. However, if you’re not invested in the affirmation, if you don’t connect to it, or if you don’t actually WANT to say it or believe it then it will just be empty words.

Step 2: Don’t add disclaimers or exceptions to your affirmations. Do your affirmations look like “I look great…for just having a baby” or “I felt like such a great mom today, except for when I lost my temper”. Every time we add in disclaimers or exceptions we minimize the affirmation and don’t truly internalize it. Drop the disclaimers, exclude the exceptions, and just focus on the affirmation.

Step 3: Make your affirmations short, sweet and easy to remember. Affirmations that actually work don’t need to look like a Dear Diary entry. Ideally they are easy to remember, pack a punch, and bring you a sense of calm and presence when you can quickly recite them as a mantra. Don’t let the benefits get lost in the details.

Step 4: Add helpful phrases on to your affirmations. Have an affirmation that usually works but find that you’re not buying it some days? Try to add on phrases like: “I’m open to believing…”, “I’m working to…”, “Sometimes…”, …before”.

Need some examples of how to make affirmations actually work even when you don’t believe them?

Instead of “I’m a great mom” try “I’m open to believing I’m a great mom”, or “I’m working to be a great mom”, or “sometimes I feel like a great mom” or “I’ve felt like a great mom before”.

Need more strategies on how to improve your inner narrative and create affirmations that actually work for you? Check out our resources and coaching.