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Affirmations: What are they and how do they work?

05 February 2014

affirmations young girl

Affirmations are by no means a new thing. They have been around for centuries in the form of affirmations, mantras and goals.

There can sometimes be a little confusion around the difference between these three elements. 

Affirmations are defined as “a declaration that something is true” Using an affirmation is a way of telling your body “this is already a fact” and using it repeatedly can begin to shift your beliefs in agreement with the affirmation - a way of affirming to yourself and the world a new pattern of thought. 

Mantras are defined as “a sacred word or formula repeated as an incantation”. That said, a mantra can be more than one word. Something you repeat to yourself as a reminder to yourself of who you are, what you want to be or how you want to feel.

Goals are defined as “the result or achievement toward which effort is directed”. Goals are a great way to get you to take action towards achieving your affirmation or mantra.

These three methods are all a way of creating change in your life on both the conscious and subconscious levels. So why do these work so well?

Your body can take on what you say very literally. This is partly why affirmations, mantras and goals, when repeated often, are so effective.

Many highly successful people swear by looking at and speaking their goal, mantra or affirmation many times per day and accredit this technique to their success. 

So, find an affirmation, mantra or goal that you like. Write it on a post-it note (or five) and place them in strategic places around the house or your office. When you see it, say it.

I also make myself an electronic version of it (take a photo of your post-it note for example) and set it as your desktop image or screen saver for your phone. Again, when you see it, say it to yourself. The more often you repeat it, the more likely it is to reprogram your way of thinking and naturally draw you closer to achieving your desired outcome 

Here’s three of my (current) favourite ones you might like to try: 

  • I deserve success
  • I am passionate, healthy and energetic
  • I am a money magnet

Find an affirmation that resonates with you and that reflects a change that you’re trying to create in your life. Make it visible and repeat it often. If you’re still not getting results, there may be some hidden belief patterns that aren’t congruent with your affirmation. If this is the case, it’s great to seek help in identifying what that incongruency might be, As soon as that block is released – you’re likely to see results very quickly.



  • Dana Atkin

    Dana Atkin 6 years ago

    Hi Louise, so glad you found it useful.

  • Louise Upton

    Louise Upton 6 years ago

    Dana, Thank you for this piece. Simple, strong advice.