Confidence & Wellness

3 Things They Never Tell You About Affirmations

We all have heard of countless blogs telling us how great it is to use positive affirmations for confidence.

You’ll be able to accomplish this, that, manifest, reduce stress and worries. But is this really true? I am here to tell you that you might want to reconsider it.

Here are three things that they NEVER tell you about those supposedly positive affirmations. 

1. Positive Affirmations do not work for everyone

Graph showing the effects of positive affirmations

Countless studies have shown that affirmations are not what these bloggers claim them to be.

Wood, Perunovic, and Lee (2009) found that positive self-statements are more likely to be effective for people with high self-esteem than people with low self-esteem.

This is believed to happen because affirmations are used to alter your conscious mind. 

It does not target your subconscious mind which is where the deep limiting beliefs are rested. 

When this happens, your conscious mind and your subconscious mind end up on a battlefield because they are both contradicting each other.

These conflict of feelings, leads to feeling even worse.

So if you already have good self-esteem, power to you. Use affirmations. 

But if not, you may need to do more to get to where you want your mind to be. 

In all honesty, if you struggle with low self-esteem, you may be better off trying subliminals.

2. Positive affirmations need to be very very specific to work

Instead of saying, “I love all of myself”, your affirmations need to be more specific like “I love my hair!” or “I love my personality!”.

If not, the affirmations will feel incredibly unrealistic, silly, and unreasonable.

Because when you are saying I love all myself or I accept all of myself, your subconscious will take over. 

Your subconscious will do everything in its power to try and find examples that contradict that statement when you are going about your day.

If you do use positive affirmations for confidence, then use specific examples that are consistent with what you truly believe in. 

Basically, what you see the most often.

Instead of saying “I love all of myself”, you can say “I am learning to love all of myself”., because that is what you are specifically working on.

3. Affirmations do not solve all confidence/motivation/manifestation/happiness issues

It’s good to think of affirmations as a step to getting where you want to be with your mind.

If you are on the journey of a calm, clear, and confident mind, there are going to be multiple key steps that you are going to have to take. 

Whether it’s hiring a coach or simply acting positively in small ways within your everyday life, it can all build up to a change in your mindset.

Changing your mind is not something that can happen overnight with a few positive statements. 

Just remember, that most great things do not come easily.

So what can you use if not affirmations?

From what I have learned, it is better to clean out the negative thoughts instead of putting positive statements on top of negative thinking. 

My coaching services are a great way to get past the negative thinking blocks that get in the way of relationships, friendships, and business opportunities. 

You can also start out with neutral statements. 

Statements such as “Tomorrow is another day.” or “I am not feeling confident, but I will do my best to try” are all great ways to correct negative self-talk.

Have you had any luck with affirmations? Do you think they work? Comment your thoughts below.

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  • Beth Elkassih

    Your title intrigued me to want to see what you meant by that. While I agree wholeheartedly that people with already high self-esteem probably benefit and get inspired easier with affirmations, mantras, etc. That said, I would argue that affirmations, if repeated 21 consecutive times to form a habit, CAN start rewiring your brain to become engrained in the subconscious of those who may be suffering from low self-esteem etc. Thanks for sharing!

    • Cherish Angel

      Thank you for your input. From the studies, it may be hard to believe that it can become a habit without some other additional added effort.

      • George

        You made some good points in this article. I completely agree that you can’t just force positive affirmations over a negative mindset. You need to uncover and work through at least some of the limiting beliefs first.

        And if you do that, you can rewrite those beliefs into personal affirmations that are more likely to work for you.

        Trying to force positive thoughts is like telling someone with depression to just think positive. They’ll end up feeling worse because ‘thinking positive’ will become just another thing they fail at…no matter how much they want to do it.

        I have had success with them. I use general ones as daily mindset exercise and I rewrite some of my own to overcome specific obstacles and goals.

        • Cherish Angel

          Hey George! I like your analogy. It’s pretty spot on. If it was that easy, depressed patients would not need multiple therapy sessions with their therapist. Our mind is such a deep thing to explore and so many thoughts are ingrained in us because it is a part of what we experienced throughout different traumas and different life situations. It’s great to hear that you are rewriting your own to fit your personal goals. Awesome, awesome!

  • Health with KJ

    Wow! Thanks for this great article, I’ve never heard anyone say that it might not work for some people which gives me a bit of hope lol. I’ve been trying them for a little while now and there have been minor improvements but nothing crazy like everyone on Instagram seems to claim!

    • Cherish Angel

      Yes. It takes more than affirmations. We actually have to do things out in the real world to get to the mood and confidence that we want to be in 🙂 Journals, acts of kindness, funny movies, influential people. Everything in that nature.

  • hari

    completely agree that affirmations won’t work for everybody.
    there is no doubt that you have to do the work in order to improve your self esteem.
    yes, great things doesn’t come easy to anybody and a set of affirmations won’t change you overnight.
    thanks for sharing this awesome post.

    • Cherish Angel

      Right! I think this may also apply to other areas of life. For example, if you just got into a heated argument with your boyfriend and you are angry as all outdoors, doing affirmations alone (Saying to yourself “I am a happy person” “I am in a great mood”) won’t help you to change your mood as much as doing affirmations AND doing something that makes you happy as well.

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