Motivation takes many forms. For some, it is the end game—the promise of a goal yet to be achieved. For others, it is a collection of well-crafted rules and guidelines that narrow the path forward. No straying, no flailing. Eyes on the prize.
But for many, success is not merely about one’s own rulebook or the opportunity to advance. It is about being valued in their relationships and knowing their skills are integral to the growth of the community around them. For these people, affirmation is necessary for success.
A recent article in Psychology Today explains this desire:
According to Walter E. Jacobson, M.D., there is value in affirmations, because our subconscious mind plays a major role in the actualization of our lives and the manifestation of our desires. What we believe about ourselves at a subconscious level, he says, can have a significant impact on the outcome of events.
While some high-performers eschew the idea of affirmation as a motivation—claiming it creates a false, fluffy reality—it has clear purpose as an impetus for growth.
Indeed, the best way to start experiencing renewed energy for those struggling with self-doubt is by crafting self-affirmations. After all, you can’t control what those around you say or think, but you can recognize your own value.
Here are a few tips for implementing a self-affirmation routine in your daily life. Whether you need a boost at work, at home, at school, or somewhere else altogether, these guidelines will set you on the path to redoubled confidence.
1. Bookend your day with self-affirmations—one in the morning and one at night.
This is an ideal way to bracket the work you’ve done in a spirit of positivity and forward momentum. Consider what you’ve contributed to your office, your home, and your relationships. How have you made these spaces and these people better? Don’t dither in apologies or mitigate your affirmations with doubt. Tell yourself what you know is true and articulate the intentions behind your actions.
2. Whenever you accomplish something positive in your day, write it down.
At the end of the day or week, review the list to remind yourself of how often you do good deeds—for yourself and others.
3. Don’t forget that YOU are as important as your peers and family.
These affirmation aren’t just about what you accomplish to help and support other people. They’re also about what you do to take care of yourself. Write these self-care insights down, too.
You can’t control what those around you say or think, but you can recognize your own value.
4. Remember: Little things are the big things.
We may think that a pat on the back or a smile during a co-worker’s stressful morning is of no consequence. But the exact opposite is true. Moments like these reshape perspectives and help our peers move forward with positive energy and determination—even if they don’t recognize it.
5. Profess; don’t confess.
For many, the temptation to sidestep into confessional thinking is strong. But the object of self-affirmation is not to counterbalance good deeds and heartfelt intention with guilt. Don’t fall into the habit of “equalizing” your virtues with transgressions. This is about well-earned recognition.
6. For every good deed you affirm, think of another you can perform the following day.
Ask yourself what skills you’re not using and what passions you’re not sharing. How can these be used in your daily life to inspire others and make your community stronger?
7. Hold on to good intentions.
Articulating your good intentions—even if they don’t result in positive action—is a way to make them tangible. When you know they are part of your active “life engine,” you’re more likely to act on them in the future.
8. Watch, listen, and learn.
While self-affirmations are about you, there’s always opportunity to learn from the good deeds of others. Take these and make them your own. As the old saying goes, “Pay it forward.”
At its core, self-affirmation is designed to help balance the harsh realities of frenzied life—not tip the scales of ego. But the bigger concern in our harried lives is forgetting ourselves in constant chaos. Now is the time to reaffirm your importance and impact to the people around you. Let your passions and virtues shine and the world around you will be a little bit brighter.