5 Core Themes of Positive Affirmations

Plus a total of 20 affirmations to exemplify these themes! 🚀

If you actively try to better yourself everyday and learn to become a better version of yourself, sooner or later you’ll learn about affirmations. If you jump on the wagon of affirmations, initially they feel silly, but over time you start to embody these affirmations in your daily life.

What Are Affirmations?

Affirmations can have many meanings, but generally they are reminders you tell yourself everyday to remind yourself of things you want to deeply internalize about yourself. These can be things to counter negative self talks, or these can be things to remind yourself of how you want to behave under different circumstances. These can also be reminders of who you want to be. Overall, they are positive self talks.

About 1–2 months ago, I bought physical flashcards, and when I got home, I wrote down on over 10 of them various affirmations. Over the next couple of days, I added more, and I decided that in my morning routine, I’ll read this list of affirmations to remind myself of things.

In other words, I jumped on the wagon. Then, earlier today I decided to reflect on my affirmations, and found 5 core themes within my affirmations. Likely, other people have different themes, but I believe that these themes are relatable and may help other people have a framework for developing their own affirmations.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Themes in My Affirmations

Theme #1: Having Full Ownership of My Circumstances

I want to start with this theme because this is one of my strongest life philosophies. Having full ownership of my circumstances means that whatever happens to me and however I feel, no matter what, is my sole responsibility. This is modeled after Jocko Willink’s concept of Extreme Ownership, and as the name suggest, it is extreme.

This philosophy doesn’t have to be true. In fact, it likely isn’t. There are things that have happened to me that weren’t my fault. For most people, their upbringing strongly affect their lives into their adulthood, and that is most definitely the case for me up to this day. Still, what this philosophy does for me is that it allows me to take matters in my own hands. Because I am responsible for my circumstances, I also have the agency to act on it, and that is where despite it not being true, this philosophy is useful, especially in fighting the victim mentality.

With that said, here’s 4 affirmations I have under this theme:

  • I am not a victim of my circumstances
  • I define and influence who I am and what I do—no one else does.
  • I am responsible for how I feel and how I act—no one else is.
  • I am responsible for how I respond to things that happen in my life.

Theme #2: Reaffirming the Importance of Boundaries

Most people have problems with boundaries, but I believe that to be happy, you have to learn to set and maintain boundaries. As of today, I’ve gotten a lot better with boundaries, but I still am not where I want to be and want to continue to find ways to better set boundaries in my life.

What makes setting boundaries difficult? I see three reasons. (1) Boundaries are inherently confrontational and disagreeable. When you say “no” to someone, you are creating conflict—at least a little bit. You are being disagreeable because you are saying “no” to something someone wants. (2) Another reason boundaries are difficult to set is because of wanting to conform. Say you’ve become better with boundaries and go back home to a group of old friends who used to cross your boundaries: in such a situation, there’s a high amount of social pressure for you to continue to behave the way you used to be among that group. To me, that is actually the place with the highest difficulty for setting boundaries. Finally, (3) setting boundaries can be seen as selfish, and being selfish is generally viewed negatively. If you say “no”, especially when it involves a lot of people, it can come off as you not caring about others.

With that said, it’s a skill to learn. The thing about boundaries is that when they are not set, they are worse for everyone. The person with boundaries crossed can feel hurt or resentful in the process, and this hurts the relationship in the long run and can lead to avoidance from that person. Situations with crossed boundaries do not result in win-win situations, and there’s two outcomes I see here: be with people who you know want a win-win situation (for both you and them) and cut off people who only care that they win regardless of how you feel—these people aren’t worthy of you if you ask me! For this being viewed selfishly, it’s tricky, but I believe it’s usually a question of expectations. When that happens, start a discussion about expectations with your counterparts to see what they expect or don’t expect of you and vice versa, and then decide on which expectations you’re willing to have and which you are not.

With that said, here’s 4 affirmations I have under this theme:

  • I can walk away.
  • If someone doesn’t respect me, they don’t have a place in my life.
  • I can and should be confrontational and/or disagreeable when things don’t benefit me.
  • My needs are important.

Theme #3: Shaping Up Who I Tell Myself to Be

The next theme of affirmations revolves around who I tell myself that I am. I am targeting two things in particular.

First, I want to remind myself of the kind of person that I am and that I want to be. Affirmations don’t have to be true at the moment, but they can act as guides of behavior. For instance, if you want to be a kind person, telling yourself that you are a kind person is a way of telling yourself to act kindly—and whenever you feel like acting unkindly, this affirmation will guide you to doing the right thing.

Secondly and most importantly, I target negative self talk. I target things I tell myself that limit who I am. Things that prevent me from achieving my full potential. I know for a fact that a lot of people deal with this type of stuff, and this is where the upbringing plays a huge role. If your parents constantly tell you that you’re not good enough (—they don’t even have to tell, they can simply embody that in the way they act around you), that is going to stick with you and become part of your identity in most cases.

The good things is about this theme is that our identities are infinitely malleable. If actors can jump into a new movie and be able to act like a completely different person, you can decide today to be who you want to be. Affirmations around this theme is specifically targeted to help you do that.

With that said, here’s 4 affirmations I have under this theme:

  • I am enough.
  • I am not boring. I am fascinating.
  • It is OK to be human and make mistakes.
  • Rejection is just information: it means nothing about who I am.

Theme #4: Reaffirming the Abundance of Life

Sometimes, we forget that life has abundance. Life has too much abundance. Life has so much to offer, and it is important to remind ourself of that.

The abundance mentality is another philosophy that I adopted recently, and it means that with practically everything in life, you have options and will have more in the future. When you have the abundance mentality, you don’t dwell over losses and even see them as opportunities.

A key example of this is in breakups. You’ve probably heard the saying, “there’s plenty of fish in the sea”: that saying is an embodiment of the abundance mentality. But I would go even beyond that and say that there’s so much more that you can do after a breakup: a breakup is an opportunity for you to become a better person, to do more things for yourself with your time, and to grow further as a human being.

Another example of the abundance mentality is believing that there is something you can learn from everyone. How I personally discovered this was through therapy. In therapy, my therapist asked me some questions I never knew about myself, and I was able to uncover so much about myself that I didn’t know. So, that made me wonder, “I spend 24 hours a day with myself and there’s stuff about myself that even I don’t know. What about everyone else in the world?” When I meet people, I always like to ask them deeper questions and stay away from surface level information because it excites me to learn so much from other people.

Finally, having the abundance mentality enables you to grow at a much bigger scale. When you decide that there’s so much to life, you stop worrying about BS from other people. You start wondering where life can take you if you choose to take a particular choice. You become more exploratory in your decision making because you know that nothing is the end all be all. All of this enables personal growth.

With that said, here’s 4 affirmations I have under this theme:

  • I have a lot of options in my life.
  • Fear guides me towards what I should do.
  • I miss 100% of the shots I don’t take.
  • The only way to fail is by quitting or not starting.

Theme #5: Targeting What Prevents Me From Getting What I Want

The last theme in my affirmations targets things that prevent me from getting what I want in life or from being who I want to be. These can be what I will tell myself to get out of a scary situation. These can also be things I believe about myself that prevent me from being capable of doing something.

For me, the affirmations under this theme act as a line of defense under pressure situations. They are there to stop my head from overthinking and not acting. I kept this theme as the last theme because every other affirmations build up to what I actually end up doing: this theme targets that at the forefront but still relies on the other themes for a solid foundation.

With that said, here’s 4 affirmations I have under this theme:

  • I have nothing to be ashamed of.
  • Everybody poops just like I do.
  • I don’t need other people’s approval.
  • I can express my emotions freely.

Final Notes

One thing I want to emphasize is that many of these affirmations don’t necessarily fall under only one theme. Some fall in more than one, but I’ve put them where I felt like things made the most sense for me.

With all of that said, I hope you’ve found something useful here. When I was writing out my affirmations for the first time, I had to look up online affirmations and find things that I felt like I could relate to or use for inspirations. Now, I have these themes that not only give me a framework to think about these things but also they tell me what areas of my life I feel that I need a reminders. For you, you may not agree with these themes, but you may find the idea of having themes useful. You may also find some of these affirmations good for inspiring your own. I surely hope you got some value out of this.

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Robert M. Vunabandi

Robert M. Vunabandi

124 Followers

I’m a human, living on earth, and doing Software Engineering. I enjoy reading thoughtful posts, and I like to write! So, here we are.