#21 - 5 Tips to Create Powerful Affirmations that Work


We’re switching things up in this podcast! No more once-a-week. We’re kicking things up a notch, because so often some of the actionable and tangible steps that we cover in each and every interview can get buried in the conversation. And sometimes, we’re just covering something that I want to elaborate on. So, starting this week, we’re going to add a new episode each week. A solo episode where I can dig a little bit deeper into the topic to provide you with actionable tools that you can take and apply to your own life.

So, in this episode, we’re going to continue the conversation about affirmations. Today, I’ve got my 5 top tips for to create affirmations that work – create affirmations around a the specific paradigm/limiting belief that you most need to shift, create your own affirmations (don’t simply adopt someone else’s), use positive and present language, consider using passionate language that snaps you out of your old state, and consistently use your affirmations. Enjoy!


Well, if you’re an avid Coach Ellyn reader, you know that I talk about these damn things a lot!

Tip #1 – Identify the paradigm/limiting belief that you most need to shift.

The big first step with affirmations is that you need to create affirmations in a part of your life that you need it most. This the way in which the are going to be most impactful. So, how we go about doing this is to consider the paradigm or limiting belief that we most would like to or need to change. How do we do this? Well, we can do this is one of two ways.

  • Consider the global, generalizing statements that we make all the time. These can be things about you, about others, or about things. For example, let’s consider paradigms or limiting beliefs around money. A statement about you could be “I’m terrible at managing money.” A statement about others could be, “Rich people are greedy”. A statement about money specifically could be, “Money is scarce and limited.” These are all slightly different things but they all color a very negative perspective on money and someone who holds one or all of these beliefs probably doesn’t have an abundance of financial wealth and they probably struggle with creating more financial abundance. So, one way in which to identify what your biggest limiting beliefs/paradigms are that hold you back is to pay attention to these generalized statements that you may make and the aspect of life that you tend to make them about.

  • Another way to do this is to do a life evaluation. I teach this for free here. But this free training walks you through an exercise wherein you identify the parts of your life where you’re the least satisfied, where you’re struggling the most and where you are the most out of balance. It might be your health, your finances, your relationships, your career, etc. Once you identify that area (or areas), you can focus your affirmations on that part of your life.

Tip #2 – Create your own affirmations (don’t simply adopt someone else’s).

One of the biggest things that people do wrong when it comes to affirmations is that they adopt other people’s affirmations. For a really long time, that’s what I was doing and I wasn’t seeing the benefits of affirmations. So, I gave up for a while. And then, I realized something – the affirmations I was using weren’t mine. Not only were they not written in my words, but they did resonate with me. They sounded good, but they weren’t my language and they weren’t for my struggles.

So, that’s tip #1. Create your own affirmations. By all means, use other people’s affirmations as inspiration, but reword them, rewrite them in your language. And if you do actually decide to use someone else’s pre-existing affirmations, this is the one caveat. They have to resonate with you. If it doesn’t stir something deeper in you, you shouldn’t adopt that affirmation as your own. It’s either your affirmation, written in your own words, or someone else’s affirmation that resonates with you deeply.

Tip #3 – Use positive and present language.

This is another common mistake people make when it comes to affirmations. They don’t write them in positive and present language.

Positive language means that the statement doesn’t include words like “don’t” or “not” or other negative phrases. For example, “I am not a negative person…” is an example of negative language. The reareasony this type of language doesn’t work is that our brains don’t hear the word “not”. When we hear the statement “I am not a negative person”, or brain hears it as “I am a negative person.” It has exactly the opposite effect that we want it to on us. Thus, we need to re-write our affirmations using positive language. “I am not a negative person” should become “I am a negative person.” We need to make a concerted effort to write our affirmations using positive language.

Present language refers to writing something as if it were currently true. Not that it was true in the past or that it will be true in the future. When people are writing affirmations and goals, they often write them in future tense, saying things like “I will be… X, Y, Z,” such as “I will be financially abundant.” The problem is that this type of phrasing overtly tells our brains that we aren’t currently what we aim to be. We’re not currently financially abundant, making it much harder for us to embody the characteristics that we’re hoping to embody. However, if we make our language present tense, “I will be financially abundant” becomes “I am financially abundant” and we’re much more apt to start embodying that.

Language is important and these two aspects of it – positive and present language – are crucial in your affirmations.

Tip #4 – Consider using passionate language that snaps you out of your old state.

Passionate language….aka swear words. Why should we consider using passionate language in our affirmations? Because there are certain taboo words in ever culture that are able to cut through the noise and snap us to attention. When someone says “fuck”, we pay attention. We key in!

If you’re someone that’s comfortable with swearing, inserting a swear word into your affirmation can help take it to the next level. Just think about it – “I am unstoppable” vs. “I am fucking unstoppable”. Say both of them out loud! Which one sounds, more motivating, more passionate, more like it’s going to kick you in the butt? 

Now, you may not be comfortable with swearing. In this case, don’t try to force it! It will probably simply make you feel uncomfortable. But if you were are comfortable with swearing, play with using curse words in your affirmations. It may just help take them to the next level!

Tip#5 – Be Consistent.

This is the lynchpin of affirmations. They don’t work if you using them sporadically, once a week, month, etc. You need to make them a part of your daily routine.

You all know I’m big on habits and routines, but affirmations are one of the most important parts of your routine. Once you’ve gone through all the steps, determined where affirmations are most needed in your life, created affirmations of your own, made them present and positive and inserted passionate language as necessary, the next and final step is to consistently say your affirmations. Here are my tips:

  • Insert your affirmations into your morning routine that way you can set the stage for the rest of your day

  • Say your affirmations out loud, preferably in the mirror while looking into your own eyes.

  • If you don’t have time to say your affirmations our loud, record yourself saying them outloud as a voice memo on your phone and listen to this in the morning and anytime throughout the day you’re feeling your limiting beliefs and paradigms rear their head

Ellyn SchinkeComment