I used to not believe in the effect that affirmations have on our mindset. I would associate affirmations with what I thought to be cliche messages like “You’re a rockstar,” or “Believe in yourself.” Then one day, I took an imposter syndrome workshop at this co-working space in Chicago. I learned that “Imposter Syndrome,” often provoked by negative self-talk, can lead to heightened anxiety, which can lead to an unhealthy sense of self and severe panic attacks.
“Despite being kept in identical environments, one plant wilted while the other stayed green and vibrant over the course of one month. The difference? Positive affirmations.”
Plant A listened to positive affirmations for 30 days while Plant B listened to negative talk for 30 days. Guess which one flourished? *Hint* It certainly wasn’t Plant B.
While this campaign was about anti-bullying, we learned that which we often hear: words have power.
Think about how people who are bullied feel. They often internalize the negative things said about them. Now, think about how often you may bully yourself? Daily negative self-talk is harmful for our minds, body and soul. In Islam, we believe that our bodies have rights over us. We will be held accountable for our actions, including how we treated ourselves.
I used to complain so much about various parts of my body or how I didn’t deem myself qualified to participate in certain activities or level up in a position. Now, Alhumdulliah, I am working on self-worth work with positive affirmations. I’m human, so some days I slip up and forget to say an affirmation in the morning or even the whole day. That’s ok! Baby steps are still steps.
So, where does one begin with affirmations? First, make dua, set your intention and as soon as you feel a negative thought trying to make it’s way in your space, hit it with an affirmation. Here is a list of 7 affirmations that you can start with:
1. I Have. I Can. I Will.
This one speaks for itself. You already have what you need. You can do what only YOU can do, so don’t beat yourself up. You will achieve whatever you want InshAllah. One of my friends posted this on Instagram last month, and it has been my phone screensaver ever since. Seeing this on a mellow yellow backdrop everyday has really lifted my spirits as the winter blues tried to creep in.
2. I Love Myself.
How often do you tell yourself “I love you”? Probably not enough. Tell yourself you love yourself out loud, not in a vain way, but in an unconditional way.
3. I Am Beautiful.
“Having a time when the world didn’t see me as beautiful allowed me to develop other parts of myself.” – Lupita Nyong’o.
There are so many different kinds of beauty. We are often bombarded by what specific areas of the world deem as beautiful. Be your own beauty, because you come from the Most High, and you were created in a beautiful way.
4. I Am Grateful for All That I Have.
The current culture of the “First World Problems” is the fear of scarcity or FOMO (fear of missing out). Remember that when you are grateful for everything you have, Allah (SWT) blesses you with more.
5. My Thoughts Become My Reality.
What you think can literally change your life. Period.
6. Allah (SWT) Will Not Give Me More Than I Can Bare.
Whenever I feel like the weight on my back is too much to handle, I remember that Allah (SWT) promised us that we will never be given more than we can handle. Allah believes in us so much, that He gave us what we need to manage because He knows that we can do it. How can you not see yourself as strong after that?
7. Alhumdullilah Over Everything.
All praise to GOD over everything. I can not stress this enough. The grass is always greener on the other side. Your circumstances may be hard, you may have went through so extremely trying times but it will all lead you to be the best person you can be, InshAllah.
The words you speak over yourself are powerful. Everything you say can and will be true, InshAllah with prayer, persistence, and hard work. I would like to challenge you to create an affirmations list for yourself. I pray that the ones I provided will be useful for you InshAllah.
Binta Kane Diallo
Founder of www.internalarchives.com
Blogger, Muslim Girl
Senior Arts & Culture Coordinator, IMAN
Binta is a 1st generation Senegalese and Gambian singer-songwriter hailing from Chicago, IL. In addition to creating music, she is the Arts & Culture Manager for The Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN). @bintasings | Instagram @_bintak | Twitter