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Last Updated on February 16, 2021

50 Self-Affirmations to Help You Stay Motivated Every Day

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50 Self-Affirmations to Help You Stay Motivated Every Day

Contrary to popular belief, a self affirmation will work to motivate you, but there’s a catch: it is only effective if you have high self-esteem.

According to a 2009 study,[1] present-tense positive affirmations had a positive effect on people with high self-esteem but a negative effect on people with low self-esteem. The researchers found that people with already low levels of self-esteem who made present-tense (“I am…”) positive affirmations actually ended up feeling worse than people who made positive statements but were also allowed to consider ways in which the statements might be inaccurate.

Therefore, if you have low self-esteem, repeatedly telling yourself how great you are won’t help you because, deep down, you don’t believe what you’re saying. It’s important to keep that in mind before you start yelling out affirmations every morning. Joining the free Fast-Track Class – Activate Your Motivation is helpful for you to shift your mindset. Join the focused session now for free!

However, if you’ve got your mind right, and you’ve got confidence in yourself and your abilities (i.e. self-esteem), then choosing a positive self affirmation from the list below could be a great way to boost your motivation.

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50 Positive Self-Affirmations

Think of this as a menu of options. Each morning, immediately upon rising, select a few and say them out loud and/or write them down. Doing this will set the tone for your day and get you moving in a positive direction.

  1. I am successful.
  2. I am confident.
  3. I am powerful.
  4. I am strong.
  5. I am getting better and better every day.
  6. All I need is within me right now.
  7. I wake up motivated.
  8. I am an unstoppable force of nature.
  9. I am a living, breathing example of motivation.
  10. I am living with abundance.
  11. I am having a positive and inspiring impact on the people I come into contact with.
  12. I am inspiring people through my work.
  13. I’m rising above the thoughts that are trying to make me angry or afraid.
  14. Today is a phenomenal day.
  15. I am turning DOWN the volume of negativity in my life, while simultaneously turning UP the volume of positivity.
  16. I am filled with focus.
  17. I am not pushed by my problems; I am led by my dreams.
  18. I am grateful for everything I have in my life.
  19. I am independent and self-sufficient.
  20. I can be whatever I want to be.
  21. I am not defined my by past; I am driven by my future.
  22. I use obstacles to motivate me to learn and grow.
  23. Today will be a productive day.
  24. I am intelligent and focused.
  25. I feel more grateful each day.
  26. I am getting healthier every day.
  27. Each and every day, I am getting closer to achieving my goals.
  28. Through the power of my thoughts and words, incredible transformations are happening in me and within my life right now.
  29. I am constantly growing and evolving into a better person.
  30. I’m freeing myself from all destructive doubt and fear.
  31. I accept myself for who I am and create peace, power and confidence of mind and of heart.
  32. I am going to forgive myself and free myself. I deserve to forgive and be forgiven.
  33. I am healing and strengthening every day.
  34. I’ve made it through hard times before, and I’ve come out stronger and better because of them. I’m going to make it through this.
  35. I do not waste away a single day of my life. I squeeze every ounce of value out of each of my days on this planet—today, tomorrow, and everyday.
  36. I must remember the incredible power I possess within me to achieve anything I desire.
  37. I do not engage with people who try to penetrate my mind with unhelpful thoughts and ideas—I walk away when a person or a situation isn’t healthy for me.
  38. I belong in this world; there are people that care about me and my worth.
  39. My past might be ugly, but I am still beautiful.
  40. I have made mistakes, but I will not let them define me.
  41. My soul radiates from the inside and warms the souls of others.
  42. I don’t compare myself to others. The only person I compare myself to is the person I was yesterday. And as long as the person I am today is even the tiniest bit better than the person I was yesterday—I’m meeting my own definition of success.
  43. Note to self: I am going to make you so proud.
  44. I finish what matters and let go of what does not.
  45. I feed my spirit. I train my body. I focus my mind. This is my time.
  46. My life has meaning. What I do has meaning. My actions are meaningful and inspiring.
  47. What I have done today was the best I was able to do today. And for that, I am thankful.
  48. One small positive thought in the morning can change my whole day. So, today I rise with a powerful thought to set the tone and allow success to reverberate through every moment of my day.
  49. I set goals and go after them with all the determination I can muster. When I do this, my own skills and talents will take me to places that amaze me.
  50. Happiness is a choice, and today I choose to be happy.

How to Use Self-Affirmations

Daily self talk[2] is a simple and highly effective self-affirmation technique in which you begin each day by talking to yourself (i.e. your non-conscious mind) as if you were talking to someone that was eagerly ready and willing to receive and carry out your orders, instructions, or suggestions.

Here’s how it works: Instead of speaking to yourself as a single individual, speak to yourself as if you were divided into a group of three: your thoughts, your emotions, and your body. Use a self affirmation from the list below to guide you or to help you create your own self affirmation.

For Your Thoughts

Thoughts, listen up! Stop being so scattered. Stop wasting your time and energy with fears, doubts, worries, and past memories that don’t do us any good. From now on I want you to think positive, powerful, purpose-driven thoughts. Think about love. Think about beautiful and inspiring things. Think about how we’ll overcome our obstacles and crush our goals. Think about our vision for the future and our plans for achieving it. Think about helping others and contributing to the greater good. Think about new ideas. Think about ways of improving. Think only of thoughts that I can use to better myself. If any other thoughts come along, look at them, kick them out, and go back to useful thoughts.

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For Your Emotions

Emotions, listen up! Stop dwelling on fears and anxieties, the pain and problems from the past. Stop holding on to anger, guilt, resentment, jealousy, and similar emotions. When any of these emotions arise, go ahead and feel those feelings for a little bit, and then let them fly away and replace them with empowering feelings. I want you to dwell upon empowering emotions, successful feelings, good feelings, happy feelings, confident feelings, loving feelings, and feelings filled with optimism. I want you to experience these kinds of emotions as often as possible moving forward.

For Your Body

Body, listen up! You are phenomenal, and you do all kinds of wonderful things like pump blood through my body, replenish and rejuvenate my cells, and allow my heart to beat over a hundred thousand times a day — all without me ever even having to tell you to do so. But now I want you to do everything even better. I want you to increase our energy. I want you to increase our strength. I want you to increase our health in every possible way, so that we do everything at the highest level and maintain a perpetual state of peak performance. It’s time to be even more skillful and graceful in all you do, to utilize every ounce of food and air even more effectively than you already do, and to stop any habits that inhibit our strength, energy, vitality and health. And body, I want you to relax more, feel pleasure more, enjoy life more, and give more pleasure to others.

Thank You

Thank you Thoughts, thank you Emotions, thank you Body, thank you for being the unstoppable force of nature that I am!

Final Thoughts

Self-affirmations don’t have to be aspirational in nature; you can use them for maintenance, too. For example, you might already consider yourself a confident person, but that doesn’t mean you can’t consistently use a motivational affirmation like, “I am confident” to reminder yourself to keep that confidence-train chugging along. After all, that’s what personal development is all about in the first place — maintaining a constant and never-ending dedication to lead yourself — to keep growing and getting better every day. Personal development is not a one-and-done game; it’s a one-on-one game with yourself that never ends.

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Also, keep in mind that affirmations aren’t a science. In actuality, you may get cheerful compliance from yourself (or your subconscious) with some affirmations, push-back with others, and straight-up resistance with others.

So what do you do?

Keep affirming your greatness.

Keep giving yourself the commands you want carried out until you get results…

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And then keep going.

More Tips on Creating a Self Affirmation

Featured photo credit: Thought Catalog via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Dean Bokhari

Author, Entrepreneur, Podcast & TV Host

How to Develop Self-Empowerment to Live the Life You Want 50 Self-Affirmations to Help You Stay Motivated Every Day Why You’re Not Interested in Anything And Have No Motivation How to Actually Make Your Goals Happen 7 Things That Cause a Lack of Motivation (And How to Fix Them)

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Published on September 27, 2021

What Is Incentive Motivation And Does It Work?

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What Is Incentive Motivation And Does It Work?

We’ve all needed a bit of inspiration at some time in our lives. In the past year or two, that need most likely has grown. Who hasn’t been trying to shed those extra pounds we put on during the pandemic? Who hasn’t felt the need to fake a little enthusiasm at joining yet another Zoom call? Who hasn’t been trying to get excited about trekking back into the office for a 9 to 5 (longer if you add in the commute)? Feeling “meh” is a sign of our times. So, too, is incentive motivation, a way to get back our spark, our drive, and our pursuit of the things we say we want most.

In this article, I’ll talk about what incentive motivation is and how it works.

What Is Incentive Motivation?

Incentive motivation is an area of study in psychology focused on human motivation. What is it that gets us to go from couch potato to running a marathon? What spurs us to get the Covid vaccine—or to forgo it? What is it that influences us to think or act in a certain way? Incentive motivation is concerned with the way goals influence behavior.[1] By all accounts, it works if the incentive being used holds significance for the person.

The Roots of Incentive Motivation

Incentive motivation’s roots can be traced back to when we were children. I’m sure many of us have similar memories of being told to “eat all our veggies” so that we would “grow up to be big and strong,” and if we did eat those veggies, we would be rewarded with a weekend trip to a carnival or amusement park or playground of choice. The incentive of that outing was something we wanted enough to have it influence our behavior.

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Growing up, incentive motivation continues to play a major role in what we choose to do. For example, while we may not have relished the idea of spending years studying, getting good grades, pursuing advanced degrees, and graduating with sizeable debt from student loans, a great many of us decided to do just that. Why? Because the end goal of a career, a coveted title, and the associated incentives of financial reward and joy in doing something we love were powerful motivators.

One researcher who believes in the power of incentive motivation is weight management expert, co-author of the book State of Slim, and co-founder of the transformational weight loss program of the same name, Dr. Holly Wyatt. Her work with her clients has proven time and again that when motivation fizzles, incentives can reignite those motivational fires.

“Eat more veggies, exercise, keep track of my weight: These things and more DO work, but bottom line, you gotta keep doing them. Setting up rituals and routines to put your efforts on auto-pilot is one way. And along the way, the use of both external and internal motivators helps keep people on track. External motivation sources are those things outside of ourselves that help to motivate us. They’re powerful, like pouring gasoline on a fire. But they may not last very long. Internal motivators are more tied into the reasons WHY we want to reach our goals. In my State of Slim weight loss program, we spend a lot of time on what I call ‘peeling back the onion’ to find the WHY. I think the internal motivators are more powerful, especially for the long-term, but they may take longer to build. They’re the hot coals that keep our motivational fires burning.”

Examples of Incentive Motivation

In the way of incentive motivation, specific to the external motivators, Dr. Wyatt challenges her clients to commit to changing just one behavior that will help them reach their weight loss goals. Clients must then agree to a “carrot” or a “stick” as either their reward for accomplishing what they say they will do or as their punishment for falling short. Those incentives might be something like enjoying a spa day if they do the thing they said they would do or sweating it out while running up and down the stairwell of their apartment building a certain number of times as punishment for not following through.

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Whatever they choose, the goal must be something they really want, and the incentive must be something that matters to them enough to influence their behaviors in reaching those goals. Some people are more motivated by some sort of meaningful reward (a carrot) whereas, other people are more motivated by some sort of negative consequence or the taking away of a privilege (the stick).

Another example of incentive motivation is playing out currently with companies and government entities offering perks to people who get the Covid vaccine. Nationwide, offers are being made in the way of lottery tickets, cash prizes, concert seats, free admission to events and discounts for food, and even free drink at local restaurants and bars. The list of incentives being offered to the public to increase vaccination rates is pretty extensive and quite creative.[2]  These incentives are financial, social, and even hit on moral sensibilities. But is this particular incentive motivation working?

Remember that a key to incentive motivation working is if the individual puts importance on the reward being received on the ultimate goal. So, not all incentives will motivate people in the same way. According to Stephen L. Franzoi, “The value of an incentive can change over time and in different situations.”[3]

How Does Incentive Motivation Differ from Other Types of Motivators?

Incentive motivation is just one type of motivating force that relies on external factors. While rewards are powerful tools in influencing behaviors, a few other options may be more aligned with who you are and what gets you moving toward your goals.

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Fear Motivation

In many ways, being motivated by fear is the very opposite of being motivated by incentives. Rather than pursuing some reward, it’s the avoidance of some consequence or painful punishment that sparks someone into action. For example, married couples may “forsake all others” not out of love or commitment but out of a fear that they may be “taken to the cleaners” by their spouses if their infidelities are revealed.

Another example wherein fear becomes the great motivator is one we’re hearing about more and more as we’re coming out of this pandemic—the fear of being poor. The fear of being poor has kept many people in jobs they hate. It’s only now that we see a reversal as headlines are shining a light on just how many workers are quitting and refusing to go back to the way things were.

Social Motivation

Human beings are social creatures. The desire to belong is a powerful motivator. This type of social motivation sparks one’s behavior in ways that, hopefully, result in an individual being accepted by a certain group or other individuals.

The rise of the Internet and the explosion of social media engagement has been both positive and negative in its power to motivate us to be included among what during our school days would be called “the cool kids” or “cliques” (jocks, nerds, artsy, gamers, etc.). We probably all have experienced at one time or another the feelings associated with “not being chosen”—whether to be on a team to play some game or as the winning candidate for some job or competition. Social rejection can make or break us.

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Before You Get Up and Go…

Know that, especially during these challenging times, it’s “normal” and very much “okay” to feel a lack of motivation. Know, too, that external motivators, such as those we’ve talked about in this article, can be great tools to get your spark back. We’ve only touched on a few here. There are many more—both external and internal.

Remember that these external motivators, such as incentive motivations, are only as powerful as the importance placed on the reward by the individual. It’s also important to note that if there isn’t an aligned internal motivation, the results will more than likely be short-lived.

For example, losing a certain amount of weight because you want to fit into some outfit you intend to wear at some public event may get you to where you want to be. But will it hold up after your party? Or will those pounds find their way back to you? If you want to be rewarded at work with that trip to the islands because you’ve topped the charts in sales and hustle to make your numbers, will you be motivated again and again for that same incentive? Or will you need more and more to stay motivated?

Viktor Frankl, the 20th-century psychiatrist, Holocaust survivor, and author of the best-selling book, Man’s Search for Meaning, is quoted as having said, “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.” As important as external motivators like incentives may be in influencing behaviors, the key is always to align them with one’s internal “why”—only then will the results be long-lived.

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So, how might incentive motivation influence you and your behavior toward goals? Knowing your answer might keep you energized no matter what your journey and help to further your successes.

Featured photo credit: Atharva Tulsi via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Britannica: Incentive motivation
[2] National Governors Association: COVID-19 Vaccine Incentives
[3] verywellmind: The Incentive Theory of Motivation

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