by Corinna Wood
Self loving affirmations—love ‘em or hate ‘em?
Gotta say, I used to hate them! I felt frustrated repeating words that didn’t seem to have much impact.
What's the deal? Why weren’t they helping?
You see, when I first tried using self loving affirmations, I didn’t actually believe the words I was speaking. You know what I’m saying?
When you’re trying to tell yourself, “I feel happy and free” . . . but you’re actually feeling miserable or frustrated, it’s easy to head into a downward spiral. As you repeat the mantra, you may even start to wonder if something’s wrong with you for still feeling down.
Hang on, sister, it’s not your fault!
The key is to feel out what works for you. I'd love to show you how to create affirmations that support and strengthen you—rather than causing you to spiral down into old self-criticism and blame.
In this article, I'll share 4 tips for making your affirmations for self love more authentic and more powerful.
I'm excited for you to experience the power of self loving affirmations that really work—as I have.
These practices will shift the way you think and the way you interpret your experiences.
You’ll experience more self-acceptance, a greater sense of freedom, and joy.
Table of Contents
I'll go into 4 tips for creating your self loving affirmations
- Make your self loving affirmation a journey
- Acknowledge and embrace your feelings
- Break down your self love affirmations into tiny steps
- Dig down to your old underlying beliefs
Or skip right to some of my favorite self loving affirmations:
You ready? Let's dive in!
Make your self loving affirmations a journey towards a goal
Rather than thinking of an affirmation as a statement of fact, see it as a map to help guide you on a journey.
So, the first tip is to think of your affirmation as your north star, helping you to navigate through rough seas. You know that storms will come, and you may drift off course. And when that happens, use your affirmation to get your bearings and to help you renew your focus.
To get you started with developing affirmations that you can truly believe, here are some of my favorite phrases—thanks to Belleruth Naparstek.
Phrases for affirmations your mind can truly believe
- More and more I ….
- I look to a time when I …
- I am able to ….
- Deep inside myself I know …
- I envision the day when I …
- I see myself …
This approach to building affirmations allows room for imperfection and gives you the space needed for growth.
Thus you’re removing the pressure of having to “get it right” by eliminating the sense of either/or—for example, either happy or not. In the Wise Woman Tradition, we orient toward both/and rather than either/or.
In making your self love affirmations a journey toward a goal, you’re recognizing that self love is a process—one without any time limitations. You’re affirming that self love is a way of life, not a static point in time.
Wondering where to start? Grab my free guide on 5 Steps to Create a Space for Self-Healing (pdf) to support your journey of healing and wholeness.
Acknowledge and embrace your feelings rather than pushing them away
My second tip is to start with what you're feeling now, instead of starting where you want to be.
Have you tried to “think good thoughts” only to find yourself discouraged, and instead thinking, “I must be doing something wrong," “I can’t get this,” or “Geez, I have way too many feelings…”
Hold on, lovely.
What if you could acknowledge the truth of what you are feeling before trying to change anything? I’ve found this to be a more organic and natural way of working with affirmations.
Whatever you’re feeling at this moment, sweet sister, know that all of your feelings are natural. They’re an integral part of who you are. We all experience the whole spectrum of emotions.
As a woman, you may have been told you’re too emotional or too needy. Perhaps you’ve been taught that sad, angry, or frustrated feelings are not okay—so you tried to suppress them. Maybe you’re ashamed that you still struggle with processing feelings such as anger, resentment, hurt, or anxiety.
Did you know that your feelings can help you identify what’s going on beneath the surface? That your feelings connect you directly with your intuition?
It’s true. Your feelings are your friends, even the rough ones because they point back to underlying needs that are met or unmet.
Creating affirmations to honor all that you’re feeling
Rather than trying to ignore your feelings or stuffing them inside, create space for them. Affirmations can support you with this.
As you lean into your feelings, connect with what's beneath them. As you get a sense of what the source is, you may be able to create an affirmation that speaks to what you need to hear.
In any case, healing comes from acknowledging and accepting your feelings—even when you don’t understand why you're having them.
Sample self love affirmations to cultivate acceptance of your emotions
- I acknowledge when I am feeling ______________
- I recognize and accept my feelings of ______________as my inner truth at the moment
- I understand that my feelings of ______________are normal and natural
- As I breathe into my feelings of ______________the energy of my breath softens them
- Even wise and wonderful women experience feelings of ______________
- Right now, I’m feeling______________ and I have space for it
You may find that working with these affirmations brings your feelings to the forefront. If you notice tears or anger rising, that just means that you're reconnecting with yourself in a deep way—another opportunity for healing.
As emotions come up, settle into your body. That's the holistic approach, recognizing the interconnectedness of your body, mind and spirit.
Breathe into any places you notice of tension, anger or hurt. And then breathe out, releasing the energy held there in your body. Do that several times, each time letting go a little bit more.
Notice how that changes your bodily sensations. You may notice a softening inside, which can create an opening to accept something new.
You can also visualize your emotions being poured into the Earth with each breath, grounding them, giving them to the earth to compost.
A wise old woman once told me, “Don’t worry about giving your tears or pain back to the Earth—she’ll just transform it into food and medicine!” (And it’s true—did you know many wild plants are edible and medicinal? Ah, how I love the earth-based ways of the Wise Woman Tradition.)
Break down your self love affirmations into tiny steps
My third suggestion is to break up your affirmations into smaller steps. This is especially helpful when the gap between your present state and a new self loving affirmation is too wide to be believable. As much as you may want the affirmation to be true, on a physiological level, your mind may simply not be ready for it.
So think about the affirmation that you want to adopt, and work backward to where you are right now.
Ask yourself, “What do I need to believe before I can believe my desired affirmation?” Jot down what comes up. And then ask yourself again.
Do that three or four times, recording each statement until you have an affirmation that is more believable.
Rearrange the statements you jotted down in reverse order, with your last statement first. Now you have identified some tiny steps that will lead you to your desired affirmation. Congrats!
This practice may not always be simple or straightforward, so engage your sense of discovery. Think of it as a treasure hunt. Each statement you find that affirms your value is one piece in your treasure trove of self love.
Layers along my own journey to a calm state of being
To share a story from my own journey, at one point I decided I wanted to feel more calm and relaxed. Yet I wasn't there a lot of the time.
I couldn't pretend to myself that I felt calm when I didn't.
Here's the progression that organically emerged and worked for me. It reflected my true internal experiences as I navigated through the layers along my road home to a calm state of being.
- 1st layer: I am okay
- 2nd layer: I am stable
- 3rd layer: I am content
- 4th layer: I am calm
- 5th layer: I am relaxed
Steps along the journey of self worth
Let's look at an example of a woman wanting to move toward believing, “I am inherently worthy.” Let’s say that you try that one out, and it feels like too far of a stretch for your brain to actually believe.
It’s okay, there’s a lotta years of programming that you’re un-learning.
Let’s start with:
From there you might go to:
- I have a place in the world
- My place in the world is of value
As you feel ready...
- I have worth
- I am inherently worthy
Bringing your self love affirmations into your life step by step
When you're ready to begin working with your first step, post it somewhere you will see it every day. Write it on the cover of your journal or scribble it on your hand.
Or how about being silly or flirty with it—lipstick on your mirror or with your finger on the fogged up mirror after a shower.
Allow the words to sink in. Feel the words in your body. Envision the truth of those words in your life.
You’ll know when you are ready to take the next step along the path. Remind yourself that there’s no time limit. This is your own unique journey. Let your process unfold at its own pace.
Dig down to your old underlying beliefs
Wanna take this even deeper? Let's look at the fourth tip.
In working with self loving affirmations, I’ve found that the most powerful results come when you dig down to explore your old beliefs that may be running the show.
As women, most of us have internalized beliefs based on the message that “something’s wrong with you.”
Maybe you were told you’re too much or not enough. Sadly, there's so many variations on that: too loud, too strong, too big, not smart enough, not tall enough . . . the list goes on.
Of course, these concepts are exacerbated by societal and media messages that narrowly define female beauty.
Unfortunately, heard often enough, these messages affect how you view yourself. You’re not alone—almost all women and girls today struggle with those internalized voices.
In fact, your most ingrained beliefs were probably formed when you were a girl and then reinforced by societal messages over the years.
Unearthing the roots of those old mistaken beliefs
Where do those beliefs come from? And why would your mind come up with such painful (and false!) beliefs about yourself?
Here's the deal. If you grew up in a difficult environment where your needs were not met, your young mind may have made sense of that by assuming it was your fault.
You may have developed a belief that if only you could be better, could meet expectations, could be perfect . . . then life would have been easier or happier. Those beliefs may have helped you survive.
No wonder these beliefs are so hard to change.
Yet awareness is key. When you understand the power of old beliefs—and become conscious of some of the old voices that may have been running the show behind the scenes—it’s easier to have compassion for yourself as you work to transform them into more healthy, self loving beliefs.
A sampling of self loving affirmations for your journey
Now that we've covered these 4 tips on forming affirmations, how do you put them into practice?
Once you have an affirmation to work with, develop a routine to remind yourself of those self loving words several times a day.
One of the most effective ways to do this is repeating your affirmation while walking or exercising, allowing the words to sink into your body with movement.
Or take advantage of liminal brain states, especially as you’re falling asleep or when you’re just waking up—when your brain is more open to new ideas and new ways of thinking.
Here is a sampling of affirmations to get started. Feel free to modify and develop wording that suits you based on the suggestions below and the tips above.
Affirmations to honor your strength
- I am connected to my strength and power as a woman
- I look to a time when I am healthy, strong and free
- Deep inside myself, I have the courage to stand in my own power
- I am building resiliency to persevere even in difficult times
- I am learning to appreciate my inner strength
Affirmations for self acceptance
- I appreciate my body and recognize that beauty comes in many forms
- Deep inside myself, I know that I have beauty in my uniqueness
- More and more, I am able to walk with confidence in myself
- I am developing a stronger sense of self each day
- I am cultivating a sense of appreciation for who I am
- I see myself as beautiful and free
- More and more, I celebrate myself as I am—with all my imperfections
Affirmations that acknowledge trust in yourself
- I am expanding my capacity to respect myself
- I honor my connection as a woman to the Earth and myself
- More and more, I stand strong in my truth and give myself voice
- I see myself growing in my power with each passing day
- I am able to trust my decisions
- More and more, I feel grounded within myself
Affirmations for developing more self love and healthy relationships
- My primary relationship is with myself
- I see myself loving myself so much that I overflow to loving others
- I have the capacity to create deep, loving, healthy relationships
- Love is always here for me even when I'm not perfect
- I am surrounded by love. I am love. I am in love.
You’ll notice that the language used in these self loving affirmations indicates a process. You’re acknowledging your growth and healing.
Self love is a journey! One that never ends. In honoring that journey, you create affirmations that are more believable. And the more you believe, the more you'll embody these healthy self loving messages and find them reflected back to you in various aspects of your life.
Self loving affirmations the wise woman way
In the Wise Woman Tradition, we embrace the spiral of all that we are—including both dark and light. Of course, having sad, angry, or frustrated feelings is uncomfortable . . . I hear ya!
You’ve probably been told that you can change those "negative" feelings and thoughts into more positive healthy ones through self loving affirmations. Is that too good to be true?
Yes and no. The challenge is to avoid the temptation to stuff things down, cover-up, or bypass your pain and discomfort. Or, in other words, to disconnect from yourself.
In order for affirmations to work, they need to be believable to you. In other words, you need your affirmations to meet you where you are now.
So rather than pushing away your emotions, acknowledge your feelings and even embrace them.
I invite you to also become aware of subtle forces at play beneath the surface—beliefs that have formed to make sense of the pain and discomfort you have experienced in the past. As you begin to unearth these silent—yet potent—messages, you create more self compassion and open up the space for change.
Be patient with yourself, go at your own pace, and break it into as many tiny steps as needed. It’s not just about the end goal, it’s also about the journey. More and more . . .
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