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Personal resilience, Day 19 – 26th of March 2020

Positive affirmations

  • I know, accept and am true to myself.
  • I eat well, exercise regularly, and get plenty of rest.
  • I never give up.
  • I enjoy life to the fullest.
  • I accept others for who they are.
  • I endeavour to be the best that I can be.

These are examples of positive affirmations that we may see on social media.  What are these magic words that claim to transform our mind and our life?  Positive affirmations are statements that are repeated to encourage and uplift the person speaking them.  In reality, a positive affirmation is actually part of the language of the brain.  Our brains are pretty strict and straightforward about their language rules.

  1. Positive affirmations are always in the present tense.  If you see a positive affirmation that says “I will,” “I used to” or “I’m going to”, move on.  Your brain only responds to present tense statements.
  2. Positive affirmations only include positive words.  If you see a positive affirmation that has words like “don’t,” “can’t” or “won’t,” it’s not a statement you’ll want to repeat.  It takes your brain a lot of extra work to get past negative statements and transform them into positive ones.
  3. Positive affirmations are spoken as statements of fact and truth.  Statements that contain words like “might” and “could” aren’t nearly as powerful as statements that contain words like “am” and “do.”

The brain doesn’t communicate in future or past-tense.  Everything that happens is happening in the moment for your brain.  When you think a thought, your brain processes the information literally and prepares you for the action that should immediately follow the thought.  For example, if you think to yourself, “I’m going to have a great time this weekend,” your brain essentially hears “good weekend” and starts firing off all the connections to make your weekend amazing.  Our brain is eager to set us up for success – all we have to do is instruct it.  This is why positive affirmations are so powerful.

Some tips to creating powerful positive affirmations:

  • Make sure your affirmation only contains positive words.  If your affirmation contains “don’t,” “can’t” or “won’t,” re-frame the affirmation to confirm what you’re trying to achieve.
  • Make sure your affirmation is in the present tense, even if it’s untrue.  The discomfort you feel will motivate you to change.  Even if you’re not rich, repeating, “I’m wealthy. I have plenty of money,” is a great affirmation to propel you toward financial success.
  • Be relevant.  If you’re creating an affirmation for a specific situation, think about the things you want to achieve.  If you want to give a great job interview, think about what that entails.  Does giving a good job interview mean you’re confident, experienced, likable and successful?
  • Create affirmations using those qualities in the present tense.  Don’t say, “I will give a great interview.”  Say, “I am confident, experienced, likable and successful.  Everyone notices these qualities.”
  • Repeat your affirmation.  There’s no formula for how often or how many times you should repeat a positive affirmation.


If any of these emails or exercises have affected you and you feel you would like to speak to someone, support is available through RSABI.  You can call them on 0300 111 4166.  Their helpline is open from 7am to 11pm all year.

These resources have been developed by Kim Walker of Advance Consultancy for the Farm Advisory Service.

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