Confidence affirmations are silent or spoken declarations that a person repeats to reinforce his or her self-esteem. These affirmations rely on channeling the inner voice to stimulate feelings of self-worth, and they are repeated like mantras. They are statements of belief in one’s value and ability to achieve goals. Confidence affirmations should always be stated in a positive manner. Words such as "worthy," "strong," "intelligent," "lovable" and "attractive" might be used.
Usually, a confidence affirmation is a simple sentence. A person who does not want to create his or her own affirmations might consider using inspirational quotes or confidence quotes. Positive affirmations of self-confidence are repeated to force the mind into healthier patterns of thinking.
Confidence affirmations are a form of autosuggestion, which is defined as a method in which a person affects his or her own behavior or beliefs by providing a suggestion, either consciously or subconsciously. Émile Coué, a French apothecary, is credited with developing autosuggestion in the early 1900s. Coué realized that his patients responded better to the medication that he dispensed when he commended the medication’s effectiveness. He came to believe that repeating a positive thought could alter a person’s subconscious mind and aid in the healing process.
According to theories of autosuggestion, reinforcing negative thought patterns can be lead to self-sabotage. For example, a man who constantly tells himself that he is a failure at public speaking is more likely to be uncomfortable and lacking self-assurance at an annual meeting where he is expected to give a progress report for his department. Negative thinking can give tangible form to the person’s fears and perceived inadequacies.
Many people acquire their destructive thought patterns during childhood and automatically think in damaging ways without questioning the validity of their inner voice when negative thoughts about failure or perceived inadequacies arise. Affirmations of self-confidence are intended to overcome and replace negative patterns that can stem from childhood. Confidence affirmations rely on the conviction that what the mind believes to be true is, in fact, true.
Positive affirmations for confidence are thought to be a means to influence the subconscious as well as the health and physical capability of the body. Many athletes claim that they have successfully used confidence affirmations to boost their athletic abilities and excel in sports. Coué claimed that his autosuggestion methods cured many patients, although his theories had not been clinically proved as of 2011. A related form of psychological suggestion, autogenic training, focuses on relaxation and has been proved in clinical trials.