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The Power of Affirmations and How to Use Them

Tiara Abu

Some days I wake up and I think to myself…cue Beyoncé’s Flawless and please turn on my Beyoncé hair fan because I…am…IT! Other days I wake up and I’m like who picked me, no really, who tagged me into the game and why? I’m an absolute hot mess.

There was a time a few years ago when I was struggling with my health, we were dealing with some extremely challenging things at work, my husband and I were loving each other but not really INTO each other and my son was having a hard time in school. It didn’t seem like any part of my life was easy, nothing was seamless, everything felt chaotic and hard. I was tired. I mean capital T…I…R…E…D! TIRED!

One morning my alarm went off, I said a prayer and pulled myself out of bed. You’ve had one of those mornings. The kind of morning where you have to literally will yourself out of bed because somehow if feels like you are heavier than normal, and your limbs just won’t function. I willed myself up and I walked in the bathroom. As I was brushing my teeth, I looked in the mirror and felt empty and then out of nowhere, I saw myself in the mirror. I saw myself as if my reflection hadn’t been there the whole time. I looked at myself and said, “I’m made for this”. Out loud, with toothpaste foaming, I said it again, “I’m made for this”.

I felt liberated.

For days, I had complained and felt defeated, but on this day, I remembered all of the things I had overcome before. I remembered all of the ways I had been successful before this moment and I remembered what I wanted for my marriage, my work, my children and my life. And I reminded myself of these things. I will have a successful marriage that lasts until death. We will meet our goals despite the challenges that we face on our team. My son is brilliant and will be the engineer he aspires to be. This moment is finite. I was made for this. My affirmations of my strength and aspirations for my life fueled me and took me through a very difficult season in my life. I want you to know the difference, so you benefit from the power of affirmations and aspirations in your own life.

There is a distinct difference between affirmations and aspirations, and both have a psychological impact on your mental health and motivation. Please be clear, there are benefits in the way each affects your outcomes so keep reading and learn how to use them with intention.

Oh…and after you read, make sure that you download the small gift I have for you at the bottom of the post.



Root Word | Aspire, which means to direct one’s hopes or ambitions toward achieving something

Synonyms | hope, ambition, desire, goal, wish

Statement Starter | I will…

Example | I WILL pay my student loans before my children go to college.


Root Word | Affirm, which means to state as a fact; assert strongly and publicly.

Synonyms | declaration, assertion, statement, proclamation

Statement Starter | I am…

Example | I AM a brilliant woman, capable of everything I put my mind to.


Aspirations keep you motivated and focused. Making aspirational statements subconsciously sends signals to your brain that there is something more desirable to come in the future. Aspirations are challenges for our minds and give us purpose and intention. Think about how you feel when you say you’re going to happy hour with friends later. That’s the feeling! Or think about what happens to your drive and motivation when you say you are going to complete a task by the end of the day! What you are experiencing is your body’s reaction to aspirational thinking.

Now, let’s talk affirmations. We all want to know we are able to accomplish what we set out to accomplish. We all want to know we are ENOUGH. Humans love to have positive feedback. Our brains are not picky either, positive feedback can come from anywhere, even ourselves. Making positive assertions about our abilities sends signals to our brains that we are equipped to get to our outcomes. Affirmations are what people mean when they say, speak truth to power. For affirmations, think about how good you felt when you put on that new outfit and looked in the mirror. The moment you said, “I look GOOD, honey!” or when someone told you that you were the right person for the job. #dopaminerealeased

So the next time you are faced with something challenging, avoid negative self-talk. Instead remind yourself of who and what you are (affirmation) and challenge your mind to reach a goal (aspiration). You’ll find that the benefits of the positivity alone will boost your mood and motivate your mind.

Here are 10 ways you can…


  1. Grab a cup of your favorite tea, sit outside and write your aspirations at the beginning of each week

  2. Commit 10 minutes every morning to yourself. Pray/meditate and say out loud one awesome thing about YOU

  3. Keep your affirmations visible on a mirror, whiteboard, your computer or phone (we want to help you! See below!)

  4. Spend 5 minutes at the end of each work week reminding yourself of what you have accomplished and what about YOU made it possible

  5. Tell a close friend your affirmations and ask her to text you reminders! Make sure she uses…YOU ARE statements, you need to take it personal.

  6. Same as #1! Write…them…down! Use a notebook, notetaker (see below 😉) or journal to commit your affirmations and aspirations to memory

  7. Use your clothes and other products as reminders. There are a TON of online t-shirt companies that let you design and print your own products with ease.

  8. Whenever you think or say something you are NOT, say aloud something that you ARE.

  9. Whenever SOMEONE ELSE says something you are NOT (give them “the finger” in your mind) and say aloud something that you ARE.

  10. Practice forgiving yourself when you fall short. Simply say to yourself, “it’s ok, as long as I am breathing, I can be better and do better”.

Now, for your gift! I want to focus on your strengths girlfriend! Focus on what you want to do and go do it! Download your FREE AFFIRMATIONS PACK for your phone and computer screensavers. And your FREE ASPIRATIONS NOTETAKER to help you get your dreams on paper!


Born and raised in Kansas City, MO (not Kansas), Tiara graduated from the University of Tulsa (B.S.) and Dallas Baptist University (M.Ed). Tiara is a career educator and leadership coach, who has a passion for abolishing injustice in education, coaching/mentoring leaders of color and empowering women to be their best.

Tiara is the founder and editor in chief of The Affinity Blog for women, mother to Ayden and Micah, wife to Austin, and lover of snickers and popcorn. Her favorite quote is from MLK, "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere", she loves to write, talk and eat almost anything. When she retires (one of these days), Tiara plans to teach 5th graders, open a weekends only brunch restaurant, and rewatch every Marvel movie.


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