I am really, and I mean REALLY into positive affirmations. I say ’em, they are the background on my phone, I have alarms that go off with them, I have post-its with positive affirmations EVERYWHERE… walls, table, fridge, chairs, folders, wallet — you get the picture. I purposely surround myself with super nice words. Because my mind — my ego — it’s not always super nice.

When I first wrote this article over a year ago, I was listening to an audiobook by Louise Hay and heard her say something that I thought was really insightful:

when we hear the word “affirmation” we typically associate it with “positive” but really everything you say or even think to yourself is an affirmation.

The first thing I thought when I heard that (and every time I remember it) is: “shoot!” haha.

How many times a day do I declare “I’m stressed” or “ugh, I’m an idiot.” Or, “I’m broke”…“I’ll never be able to do that” … “I’m a hot mess.”

I’ll give you a hint… many, many times!

Which is how I’m now on the second time writing this article. Because, as I reflected over the past few weeks, I realized life had been feeling HEAVY. I had been seeing hate and fear instead of love. I had been beating myself up at work. I had been worshipping at the altar of busy where nothing is ever enough. I had been keeping great track of what I don’t like and what sucks about the world right now and skimping on keeping track of the incredibleness that surrounds me. See, I may LOVE affirmations and put them everywhere, but it doesn’t mean I always see them! 😉

The key is to shake. it. off.

Embrace all your feelings, your worries, and your fears. Acknowledge the mean and scary things you say to yourself or that you say about the world around you. BUT, when you catch yourself being, let’s just say a jerk, don’t latch on and start beating yourself up for being a jerk and don’t fall down the rabbit hole of catastrophizing everything.



Reach for a positive thought.

Declare that it is all going to be okay.

(Because, it is. Promise.)

I think there is a common misconception that affirmations involve lying to yourself or being ignorant — wearing rose colored glasses so you don’t have to see the inhumanity, cruelty, or downright wrongs in the world.

I disagree.

There are a lot of bad things happening around the world (and in your own backyard), and you sure as hell are entitled to think life sucks sometimes.

But, you have a choice.

Love or fear. Light or darkness. Accepting your feelings and letting them go, or letting them run your life.

You want to change the world? Change your mindset.

I’m not asking you to pretend like everything is sunshine and rainbows and butterflies. I am asking you to try something different.

Over the next week, simply try to be more aware of how you talk to and about yourself and your world — watch your words and your thoughts. When you catch yourself being mean or negative, don’t judge yourself, just pause and reframe it. Danielle Laporte puts it brilliantly in her book The Desire Map:

So when you’re jammed up, or feeling hopeless, or blind with rage, play the desire card: I desire harmony.” “Confidence, please.” “Freedom, thank you.” (p. 53)

It’s a simple shift. Instead of focusing on lack, or what you don’t want to feel, or on any negative feelings, thoughts, and circumstances — see these parts of your experience for what they are, accept that that’s where you are at — accept that there is bad and crazy things going on in the world, and ask for more and better. Ask for perspective. Ask for the strength to be strong and persist in challenging times. Most importantly:

Ask for how you want to feel. State your intentions. Focus on what you DO want.

Feeling overwhelmed? All is well.

Panicky? I am safe.

Stupid? I am learning and growing and I love and accept myself just as I am.

Not feeling good enough? I am exactly where I am meant to be. I am worthy and deserving.

Hating your job? I am open to wonderful and exciting new opportunities in my career.

Frustrated with your family? I am in loving and balanced relationships.

At the end of the day, it is all about what you want to AFFIRM. And, I’m saying: acknowledge your frustration/anger/hate/sadness/etc., but don’t affirm it — bring it into the light so you can shift your perspective.

You can confront any negativity or self-doubt you are feeling head on by blasting it with some powerful positive affirmations about yourself and your life. There are infinite affirmations you can reach for, and you can even write your own.

The affirmations don’t have to be true (at least not in this moment) and you don’t even have to believe them. There are no rules, but I will offer four guidelines for successfully changing your mindset with affirmations:

  1. Practice.
  2. Make your affirmations things you WANT to be true.
  3. Be kind.
  4. Be willing to be willing to believe that what you are thinking and saying is true. One day, you’ll wake up and it will be 🙂

As my favorite spiritual lifestyle strategist Lauren Wardell says: “Change your mindset. Change your life. Change the World.”

Can you imagine a day when every time you said something mean or negative you flipped the script and said something positive or stated your desires? Your day would go from sad/mad/frustrated/dark to one that is filled with love and light. And, my friend, when your day is filled with love and light… you can see the darkness, accept it, and then, you can fight it.

Originally published at medium.com


  • Kirsten Lee Hill, Ph.D.

    Researcher, Creative, Entrepreneur

    Kirsten Lee Hill, Ph.D. is an expert in creatively leveraging traditional research expertise to support community-driven change, and has worked with global leaders in innovation such as Virgin Unite and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Kirsten partners with people and organizations with inspiring ideas for how to change the world so they can leverage the powers of research and personal wellbeing to advance their cause. She also inspires changemakers to embrace gracefully breaking rules through her podcast, Graceful Rulebreakers.