Affirmation a powerful self-development technique

One of the most powerful self-development techniques to re-programme thinking is the ‘affirmations’, a positive statement that you repeat to yourself at various times of the day. It will help you develop your positive self-talk and can have a dramatic impact upon your behaviour and achievements.

What you are doing when you do affirmations

When you are doing affirmations, you are influencing the thoughts that occur in your mind. Your mind can only hold one thought at a time, so an affirmation works by “filling” your mind with thoughts that support your goal. The words suggest to the mind what it should be thinking. For example, if you are affirming to your mind “I am a confident person” your mind will begin to think related thoughts about being confident. Your mind effortlessly picks up on the implications and message of your affirmation. It sounds very simple, but this technique can be remarkably effective in helping you gain the results you want.

Affirm whatever it is you want to happen and use it regularly.

Affirmations are phrased in a unique way. They are:


Stating precisely what you want rather than what you don’t want. For example, if you want a meeting to go well, you wouldn’t say, “I’m not going to make a mess of this meeting.” For some reason the mind does not pick upon the “not” and you will find yourself focussing on the very thing you don’t want.


Describing a specific quality, you want. Start your affirmation with the words ’I’ or ‘my’, for example, “I am a positive person who sees the best in every situation.”

Stated in the present tense:

Write it as if you already have the quality. For example, “I am always positive” rather than “I will be positive”.


Be clear about when you want this to be achieved by.

Keep your affirmation short:

An affirmation should be short, and like a mantra, easy to say and easy to repeat. Ten words or less is good.

Be careful that you don’t use affirmations against yourself without realising it. Words such as:

“I’ll never…”

“It’s impossible…”

“I’m no good as…”

“I’m always making mistakes…”

These types of mantras are affirmations, you repeat to yourself without even realising it. Be careful and watch out for them.

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