How to Develop Personal Affirmations

Hello there!

You have probably seen positive affirmations all over Instagram or Pinterest. But what are positive affirmations? In a nutshell, positive affirmations are statements and short sentences that can help you cope with anxiety, low self-esteem, worry, negative thoughts, stressful life events, and other adverse situations.

As a professional therapist that practices cognitive behavioral therapy, I love affirmations! Since the mind has thousands of thoughts daily, your mind needs a reminder to think positive thoughts. An affirmation is a cognitive technique to remind ourselves of realistic and logical facts about certain situations in our lives that cause distress.

Developing your personal affirmations will be the most effective way to gain the benefits of using affirmations for coping, rather than using general quotes or motivational statements. Your affirmations will address the particular life events you are experiencing or have experienced.

Below are a few pointers to guide you in a long and a short process to develop your affirmation.

What you need:

• A Journal

• A Pen

• About 15-30 minutes

Long Version:

Step 1. Choose something in your life that you struggle with currently or have struggled with in the past.

Step 2. Write that thought down in your journal

Step 3. Replace that thought with a new realistic, positive, and beneficial thought. Here are a few questions to help through this step:

• Is there another way to see that situation?

• Ask yourself these three questions; What is the worst-case scenario? What is the best-case scenario? What is the most realistic scenario?

• What are the chances of that stressful thought becoming a reality?

• What makes you think the thought is true?

Step 4. Now summarize your findings from the questions above and decide on what your affirmation will be. I recommend that the affirmation is more than a sentence with as many details you can add. Go ahead and write it down. You’ll see an example below.

Short Version:

1. Think about the area in your life that you struggle with and what you want to remind yourself of daily.

2. Develop a statement that will address that struggle in a realistic positive manner.


1. I am not good enough

2. New Affirmation: I am a funny, friendly, and determined person that has many values and accomplishments. I have managed to keep my job and run my household successfully. My mom, brother, friend, and co-workers accept me for who I am.

How to Use Affirmations:

1. Write them on a post-it or index card and place them at work, in your car, your mirror, your nightstand, or your phone, anywhere where you will see them.

2. Read them daily, preferably in the morning.

3. Adapt your affirmations or develop various affirmations when needed.