Love Yourself Affirmations

One of the great lessons we have to learn in life is to love ourselves. On the surface, this sounds like a simple thing. How hard can it be to love yourself – to feel confident about your abilities and comfortable in your own skin, and to act in a way that is self-loving, rather than self-destructive? Most of us know it’s much harder than it seems.

For instance, many of us put our own needs aside. Often, we are afraid to shine – as if we didn’t have the right! We carry experiences and messages from the past that have ingrained into us feelings of unworthiness. Then we take on behaviors that reinforce those feelings. And yet we all have the desire to love – and to be loved. The love-impulse lives within us, and urges us to shine. It is our saving grace.

The development of self-love comes faster and more easily to some than to others, but it is something we all have to work toward and maintain. Even for those who have begun to grow into themselves, self-esteem can seem evanescent – one moment you feel good about yourself, and the next, something inside of you shifts, and those old feelings of inadequacy come bubbling to the surface. One tool that can help neutralize negative thoughts when they arise, and get you back on track, are positive affirmations – powerful statements that support self-love.

The naysayers
There are many who argue that simply saying “I am worthy” is not enough. In a 2008 study entitled “Positive Self-Statements: Power for Some, Peril for Others,” it was revealed that while affirmations such as “I am a lovable person” were beneficial to people with high self-esteem, it made people with low self-esteem feel even worse about themselves. Among individuals with low self-esteem, telling themselves something they didn’t believe only served to highlight their perceived flaws.

The believers
It makes sense that an affirmation you don’t believe in will have very little power or resonance, and may actually heighten negative thoughts. The most powerful affirmations are the ones you do believe in. Just as powerful are the statements that inspire you to reach out for your greatest potential. For an affirmation to manifest in your life, it must resonate with you so strongly that the vibration from it can be carried forward into the way you behave in the world. These types of affirmations can have beneficial effects:

• They are important reminders when wrong thinking begins to cloud your vision.
• In times of need, they can help shift your focus from the negative to the positive.
• They have a centering and steadying power.
• They give you the courage needed to go forward into difficult or frightening territory.

How to use affirmations
Affirmations can be found just about anywhere – in books, movies, speeches, poems, conversations or websites. The first step is to write down affirmations when you find them. Keeping a record gives them a place in your life. You can try some of these other popular techniques to help weave the power of affirmations into your daily life:

• Post them in places where you will find them (fridge, mirror, cupboard, daily planner, wallet, notebook).
• Whether it’s a good self-esteem day or a low self-esteem day, remind yourself of the affirmations that are important to you. Let them be part of your consciousness on a regular basis.
• Remember to call on the affirmations in times of need.
• You can say the affirmations to yourself silently – or out loud.
• Many people find that reciting an affirmation while looking at themselves in a mirror helps to reinforce its power.
• Meditate on the affirmation. Reflect on its meaning, and its importance in your life.

Powerful thoughts
Some of the most powerful affirmations will be the ones you write for yourself. These come straight from your own self-knowledge and self-love. But to get you inspired right now, maybe one of these affirmations will resound with you! This passage from Marianne Williamson’s A Return to Love best describes our need for affirmations:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Try these affirmations:

“Om Namah Shivaya” (I honor the God within me). – Siddha Yoga

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“What you think of me is none of my business.” – Wayne Dyer

“What I am looking for is not out there, it is in me.” – Helen Keller

“I have arrived. I am home. In the here. In the now. I am solid. I am free. In the ultimate I dwell.” -Thich Nhat Hahn, from a walking meditation exercise (to help keep us centered in the present moment)

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