25 Affirmations for Self-Confidence:
How & When to Use Them
Self-confidence is about valuing yourself and your needs and trusting your abilities and judgment. If you struggle with low self-confidence, you may have difficulty speaking up for yourself, asking for what you need, and prioritizing your feelings. A low self-belief can lead to further thoughts and behaviors that make achieving your goals more difficult than necessary.
There are many reasons why people have low self-confidence, and often the circumstances are beyond their control. Genetics, anxiety, and depression can play a role, as well as life experiences like trauma, bullying or discrimination. While the circumstances that lead to low self-confidence may be beyond your control, fortunately, there are steps you can take to build a powerful sense of self-confidence over time.
Everyone is worthy of love, acceptance, and joy. Some of the most self-assured people have come through extremely difficult circumstances. You have the power and ability to begin speaking kindly to yourself and making your inner world a better place to live in.
How Affirmations Help Build Self-Esteem
A simple way to begin to build self-confidence is by examining and changing the way you speak to yourself. Positive self-talk and affirmations can be the first step in taking accountability for your happiness and can lead to improved self-esteem and confidence.
Your inner dialogue can highly influence your emotions and how you experience the world. How you speak to yourself matters. Negative self-talk or comparing yourself to others can cause doubt, worry, and stress. By becoming aware of your inner dialogue, you can observe some of your conditioned thoughts and responses. You can also start to change your inner dialogue for the better by replacing negative self-talk with positivity. This can greatly improve your mental health, happiness, and overall well-being.
The Science Behind Affirmations
Positive thinking can have a significant impact on your overall happiness and self-worth. That doesn’t mean you should bypass real problems and pretend things are okay when they are not. But, cultivating a positive and self-compassionate outlook can improve happiness over time. Studies have shown that positive thinking often starts with positive self-talk, and there are significant health benefits to positive thinking and reduced stress levels.
Having a more positive outlook can help you cope with stress and difficult circumstances and boost your mood on a day-to-day basis. Positive affirmations can help retrain your brain to focus on what you want rather than what you don’t want. It’s important that you take time and create affirmation in this way, specifically focusing on the positive outcome.
The subconscious mind actually can’t differentiate between negative and positive or between imagination and reality. So, if we want to have confidence, we can’t say things like “I’m not going to fail” because the subconscious mind will hear the word fail and skip right over the words “not going to”. Instead, we should affirm, “I have confidence in myself and my abilities”. The way we frame affirmations is critical to the subconscious mind.
1. I trust myself to make decisions.
2. I have joy in my heart and allow it to flow through me.
3. I give myself permission to outgrow what no longer serves me.
4. I am creating a life I love.
5. I am whole, healthy, and loved as I am.
6. I trust that those who share my vision will find me.
7. My creative thoughts flow freely into tangible goals.
8. I speak with intention, my words hold power.
9. I am discovering new ways to create abundance daily.
10. I am a confident advocate for myself.
11. I make decisions that elevate me.
12. I am capable of feeling calm, peace and ease.
13. I have all the tools necessary to heal myself.
14. I give myself the care and attention that I deserve.
15. I trust that what is meant for me will naturally be in harmony with me. I let go of what is not.
16. I trust that my journey is leading to a brighter place.
17. I am evolving. I change my mind as many times as I need to without the need to explain myself.
18. I am intentional with who and what I share my energy with.
19. I honor my intuition and let it guide me.
20. I am choosing to be in the moment.
21. I am free of self-doubt and self-sabotage.
22. I am resilient. I celebrate how far I have come.
23. I am the ultimate authority of my life.
24. I hold myself with love and compassion as I am healing.
25. I fully accept myself as I am. I stand bravely in my truth, even when I am standing alone.
Here are 25 powerful affirmations to grow your self-confidence:
How to Use Affirmations (Step-By-Step)
1. Write down a list of your favorites
It can feel overwhelming to start from scratch with affirmations, but thanks to the internet, there is no need to. In addition to the affirmations I’ve listed here, you can search the web and find lots of lists of affirmations. Until you become practiced at creating your own, borrow any that appeal to you. Don’t overthink this process; just keep a list of what appeals to you. You might start keeping a list in the note section of your phone. This way, if you come across one when you are busy, you can make a note of it for later.
2. Make post-it notes as visual reminders
Have you ever heard the phrase out of sight, out of mind? Visual reminders can be so helpful! I love a brightly colored lined post-it note to grab your attention. You can put your affirmations on your altar if you have one, on the bathroom mirror, in your car, or at the top of your journal. Someplace where you’ll see them regularly is key. It might feel forced at first, but trust that over time and with practice, affirmations will become a natural way you speak to yourself.
3. Repeat them out loud every morning
This can feel uncomfortable at first, especially if you’re not in the habit of speaking kindly to yourself. Speaking out loud has a powerful effect energetically and is a great way to train yourself in this practice. By beginning in the morning, you’ll start your day with an act of self-care. You’ll also have a chance to connect to yourself before your mind is cluttered by schedules of stressors. If you already have a morning routine, consider adding affirmations to it, even if it’s as simple as leaving a note for yourself on the coffee machine.
4. Practice in a safe, comfortable space
Especially in the beginning, if this process feels awkward, giving yourself a bit of privacy can make this habit less challenging. If you live with others, you don’t want to share your process. Find a time when you are alone, perhaps in the car or the shower, to practice your affirmations. You might also decide to share what you’re doing ahead of time with your family or partner. Letting them know that you will be practicing positive affirmations ahead of time will make it more comfortable for you if they overhear you chatting to yourself. By giving yourself what you need to be successful to help build this new habit, you’ll have a greater chance of success.
5. Stick with it for at least 1 month
Your mind wants to keep you safe, so it will take the path of least resistance or known behavior first; that’s why building a new habit can feel so hard. Decide ahead of time to stick with your affirmations for one month. You might even decide to write a contract with yourself. Habits practiced over time can benefit you because you’ll have a chance to track your progress, and you have a greater chance of the habit sticking once you’ve reached the month mark. Leaning into the challenge of stretching yourself with a new routine can give you a sense of accomplishment that you won’t get by giving up the first week.
6. Celebrate the small wins
Small wins build momentum. When you start to catch yourself interrupting negative thoughts with your new positive affirmations, practice celebrating yourself. I’m all for finding a reason to celebrate, especially regarding self-development or the work you do with yourself “behind the scenes.” This could be as simple as weaving a moment of fun into your day or hugging yourself. If you’ve shared your new practice with a friend or partner, you could share your small wins with them as well. Practice saying something like “Can I share something with you that I’m proud of’ or “The new habit I’m practicing is paying off; can I tell you about it?” By celebrating your small wins, you’re more likely to continue along this self-affirming path.
Creating Your Own Affirmations
You may decide that you’d like to write positive affirmations for yourself to fit a specific situation or goal you are working towards. When writing your own positive affirmations, keep in mind that positive affirmations have three parts to them.
1. Affirmations are in the present tense
This is important because in order to change long-standing thought patterns you need to target them in the present as they occur. You are sending the message to your brain that right now in this moment you are worthy. Your life is happening right now, in the present moment and that is where new thoughts are created from.
2. Affirmations use positive language
Focusing on what you do want instead of what you don’t want will naturally boost your positivity and bring your awareness to the positive things you want to create. Being positive also evokes a sense of gratitude for what you already have, which is proven to be a factor in overall happiness levels.
3. Affirmations are stated as facts
It’s great to have goals, however, affirmations are different. Affirmations tell your brain what you are, not what you hope to be. State them as facts, and affirm to yourself at the moment that you are already worthy, competent, trustworthy, etc.
Best Times to Use Them
1. In response to negative thoughts
Positive affirmations can be said to yourself at any time, but they are particularly helpful in response to negative thoughts. For example, if you are nervous about having to speak in a meeting and have the thought, “I hope no one asks for my input because I never know what to say in these situations,” you could try interrupting that thought with “my mind is full of brilliant ideas and I am excited to share with others.”
2. When you’re feeling nervous or anxious
It can be helpful to use positive affirmations to give your mind something to focus on when you’re feeling nervous or anxious. This is especially true if you have performance anxiety or stage fright. Even if you cannot think clearly, affirming what you want can still be helpful and affect your subconscious. This is also a good strategy to curb racing thoughts before they get out of control. Anxiety can affect the nervous system, but you can still choose your thoughts. You might also try some breathing techniques to slow down symptoms of anxiety.
3. Every morning
You might hear much talk about morning routines because they work so well! What starts well often ends well, and being intentional with how you start your day can give you the best possible chance at following through on your intentions. In the morning, you also may have the benefit of feeling more clear because you haven’t yet had the stressors of work, commuting, or iterating with other people. In the morning, you’re more likely to feel rested and mentally clear so that you can give affirmations your attention. You also benefit from starting to operate from your affirmation immediately. So, for example, if my affirmation is “I am intentional with you and what I share my energy with,” I will be a lot more likely to resist listening to office gossip or scrolling on Instagram before I start my day. Or, I might interrupt my scrolling after a few minutes because I remember the affirmation I stated that morning because I’m only human. There's lots of room for error with thoughts and affirmations. The goal is not to be perfect but to stay on track and be as intentional as possible.
4. If someone makes you feel small
No one can make us feel small, but we all experience moments that trigger our insecurities. By practicing your affirmations at the moment after this happens, you take some of this power back. This can help you to bounce back quicker in tough situations and get back to a place of feeling confident. When someone says or does something rude or unkind, that can leave you feeling helpless. Affirmations remind you that you are not helpless and you might not even need to have a confrontation to do something about the situation. If someone says something that makes you question yourself or belittles you, reminding yourself of your worth can lessen any setbacks and over time help you feel empowered. Even if the situation isn't worth addressing out loud, affirmations help you take your power back internally.
5. Right before putting yourself out there
Before putting yourself out there, why not give yourself a bit of a pep talk? Starting a new job, going on a date, or being vulnerable are perfect times to use your affirmations. We all feel some worry in these situations, and creating affirmations specifically around them can give you the most benefit. If you’re starting a new business venture and worried about what people will think or being so visible, that can be a great time to affirm, “By becoming more successful, I’m able to help more and more people.” This can take the focus off your nerves and remind you why you are doing what you do!
Words are powerful; when you speak to and about yourself with intention, the effects can be transformative. When changing negative thoughts or self-talk, it’s important to be kind and gentle with yourself. Make a conscious choice to be kind to yourself as you begin to use affirmations. Using positive affirmations in combination with actions that support your well-being will give you the best overall results.