An Inspired Affirmations Based Approach to Self-Growth
Being your best self isn’t easy. There are some days where it feels impossible to show up authentically all the time. Negative emotions can make it a challenge to come up with positive affirmations.
When negative self-talk starts to bubble up, it helps to remember that something really important is going on: you’re growing. Personal growth isn’t a linear process and that means there’s not really a users manual for getting through periods of intense change and challenges (don’t I wish!). However, you do have some tools that can support your growth and journey toward a more authentic life.
Empower Your Personal Development With Affirmations
A solid step toward steady self growth is making affirmations as part of your daily routines. I talk about the transformative power of affirmations in my book, Inner Affirmations, especially those that come from within. I also learned 30+ years ago about the power of positive self-talk (when I coached for WW). These things are not just about improving my self-esteem — although positive statements certainly support my well-being.
Many experts and scientists have researched the power of positive affirmations. Self-growth affirmations might sound like:
- I am doing my best and that is enough.
- Today was a step in the right direction.
- This is out of my comfort zone, and that’s okay because I’m growing.
Did you notice something about these affirmations? They meet you were you ARE now and encourage growth.
Traditional affirmations can actually have a detrimental effect on people with low self-esteem. Here’s why: positive affirmations aren’t just wishful thinking. Without truly feeling or believing them, you may find them backfiring on you.
Supportive affirmations are words that will have an impact on your mindset, and when you practice positive affirmations for personal growth on a regular basis, you’ll start to notice small things that change: negative thoughts aren’t as scary, and you might even find that you stop wasting time on self-doubt— and start to build confidence.
Prioritizing Your Personal Growth
One of the most powerful tools or strategies that I’ve learned is prioritization.
As someone who runs their own business and personal brand, I have to take on new challenges and projects pretty often (and I love it). That means prioritizing some things, and setting aside others. And one of the most healthy habits I’ve developed is prioritizing my self-improvement. No matter what I have going on or how many tasks I need to get done, it doesn’t matter. I still make time for the activities that support my well-being (whether that is making music, a walking meditation or curling up on the couch to read a mystery).
Keep in mind that you might need to set boundaries around your personal growth—sometimes you might need to say no if you need more time for yourself. Setting boundaries like this can help other people understand the significance of your personal growth—and inspire them to do the same. You can learn more about setting healthy boundaries here.
Gratitude Tools for a Growth Mindset
I’ve talked before about the gift of gratitude. The practice of feeling grateful has helped me in a few ways:
- makes it easier to find fulfillment, even in the small things
- helps generate more positive thoughts throughout the day
- a reminder of the many blessings in my life
- an easy way to inspire a more positive outlook on things
Keeping a list of the things you’re grateful for tells your subconscious mind that you can achieve your goals. “Olympic athletes use this technique as part of their training,” May McCarthy told Inc. “They see themselves making the shot, winning the competition, celebrating with teammates and family. If you want to win and achieve your goals, see yourself doing so first.” Spend some time each to meditate on the things you’re grateful for in your life—it might not help you achieve immediate success, but will certainly improve your outlook on the present moment.
If you want to document your gratitude, you’ve got plenty of tools available to you. From something as simple as writing on a notepad or using the journal in the Insight Timer app, your expression of gratitude will change your life.
Small Strategies for Self Growth
Self-growth does not look any specific way, because your personal life and inner world looks different than everyone else’s. Here are a few simple strategies that everyone can stick to:
Recognize Self Talk
When you start to notice negative self-talk and feelings, don’t immediately avoid them. Take notice and see how you’re feeling about the negativity.
• What does that voice sound like? Is it angry, sad or scared?
• Or maybe it’s an entirely new emotion you haven’t noticed.
Usually that negative voice comes up when we’re dealing with change—which can be scary. Remember, you are not your feelings, and in fact, you’ve been capable of navigating hard feelings before. Take a moment to breathe deep and notice where you feel discomfort or tension. You might even thank that negative voice for trying to help you.
Develop Personal Affirmations
Work on your affirmations so they’re catered to you. Note that affirmations are positive statements, but they don’t have to be all sunshine and roses.
“Our lack of self-worth in the moment won’t allow us to believe the affirmations from people around us or ourselves. Positive self-talk is a crucial step in changing our patterns, but telling ourselves that we are the bee’s knees might be too grandiose at the moment,” write Keesha Dutes and Andee Dagle for NPR.
Positive Self Talk
Give yourself support regularly with positive self talk. You can adjust your perspective about anything when you are reminded of you potential and skills.
When I was looking for ways to manage my anxiety and depression while recovering from my abusive marriage, I gave myself loving support twice a day with my ‘bathroom affirmations’. Named such since I taped them on my bathroom mirror and repeated the affirmations morning and night after brushing my teeth. It helped me through that difficult situation and kept me focused on my goals.
Journal For Affirmations
If you want to create more of a positive impact with your affirmations, start writing them in a journal.
Journaling offers us so much support when we’re working towards our goals, and writing out a list of affirmations or daily affirmations will enhance your journaling practice. This also establishes a record of your self-growth journey, a history of everything you’ve worked toward achieving—you might just find that journaling this way creates an impact on your life in ways you don’t expect.
Hint: You can see one of my personal Inner Affirmations on my home page every day.
Additional Ideas and Affirmations for Self-Growth
There are a few ways that you can add to your toolbox of self-growth. There are endless resources, podcasts, books, and blogs to help with your journey. Here are a few of my recommendations when it comes to supporting self improvement in today’s busy world. Here are some of my favorite personal development tools:
- Angel Blessings: Cards of Sacred Guidance by Kimberly Marooney
- Cellular Wisdom by Joan C. King, PhD
- Find Your Happy Daily Mantras by Shannon Kaiser
- Insight Timer meditation app (where I also offer free meditations!)
- The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
- Welcome the Unwelcome by Pema Chodron
Take a peek at my Resources page for more ideas, or follow along with my newsletter to find out what I’m listening to or reading. If you need more ideas or support to help navigate negative thoughts, or need inspiration when it moves to positivity, I’m happy to help!