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Husnara Begum, owner & careers consultant

Affirmations are positive statements that can help us to challenge and overcome negative thought patterns. Regularly repeating affirmations to ourselves makes them more believable, enabling us to start making positive changes in our behaviours by switching thoughts from “I can’t” with “I can.”

For instance, if your goal is to bag a dream job in law your affirmation could read: “I am a strong candidate and will get a training contract with my preferred law firm.” Whilst a positive affirmation relating to my forthcoming charity swimming challenge could include: “I am brave and will enjoy the swimming challenge.”

Examples of other affirmations include:

“I am a valuable and highly regarded member of my team and will get that promotion.”

“I am proud of myself for getting the interview.”

“I am successful.”

“I can do this.”

“I can stand up for myself.”

Sceptics reading my blog might consider affirmations as unrealistic pie in the sky thinking. But look at it this way. Exercise when repeated regularly goes a long way towards boosting our physical health so why not apply the same principle to our mental health? Personally, affirmation statements have been a game-changer for me.

Therefore, before dismissing them, I’d suggest having a go at writing a couple of your own by using the simple step-by-step guide set out below.

  1. Start affirmations with “I am or I can….” See examples above for ideas.
  2. Use the present tense as this helps to imagine yourself being in the moment and experiencing the reality of your goal being achieved. For example: “I am well-prepared for my job interview and feeling confident about impressing the partners.”
  3. State affirmations in the positive. Write down what you want rather than what you don’t want. Or what you can do as opposed to what you can’t do. Turn negatives into positives. For example, instead of saying “I’m a rubbish candidate” say: “I am an excellent candidate and will get a job offer from my favourite law firm.”
  4. Keep affirmations brief. The easier it is for you to memorise and repeat your affirmations the easier it will be to focus on your goal and work towards turning it into a reality.
  5. Make affirmations credible, specific, and achievable. Vague affirmations have less sticking power. For example, a daily affirmation that reads “I am organised and will complete two job applications today” is more realistic and impactful than “I am superwoman and will get shed loads of applications submitted today.”
  6. Add some emotion. For example, rather than keep telling yourself you are terrible at job interviews say: “I’m well-prepared for my job interview and feel excited about meeting the partners.”

Still not sure? Check out the tools page for some free guided meditation and affirmations exercises.