11 realistic affirmations for hard times

Jenna Hellberg
4 min readOct 21, 2020
Photo by Louis from Pexels

I’ve never been one for overly positive fluffy affirmations, and they are especially unhelpful if I’m feeling low in some way.

While some positive affirmations might stick better when you’re feeling kinda positive overall, forcing positive thinking can be damaging when you’re feeling crappy. Thinking that you have to change your perspective is essentially blaming yourself for feeling a certain way vs letting your feelings be about the thing that’s wrong.

So — as more neutral and realistic statements have been helpful to me throughout all the A LOT that 2020+ has been, I wanted to share a few that might be helpful to you, too:

“I can learn from this”

This is really helpful for when you’ve made a mistake — instead of thinking of it as a failure, think about what it is that you learned.

“I already have everything I need”

This I’ve found most helpful if there is a thing, a skill, or an experience you want but sort of feel like you can’t have. We have an incredible ability for resourcefulness that we can call on when we need it — we simply need to remember that it’s in there.

So far I’ve noticed three ways how this mantra can help:

  1. Helps you realize that you have the resources to make that thing happen
  2. Helps you see that you have the ability to take steps towards that thing
  3. Helps you be happy with the way things are or with what you already have

“I am allowed to say no”

Yes, you are.

“Struggle doesn’t mean that something won’t work out”

Life is hard — and instead of us giving ourselves a hard time about it, we can remind ourselves that struggle is part of the process.

I’ve you’ve been following along for a while you *know* that I’m not talking about pushing too hard or about hustling, I really don’t believe in always pushing past your limits nor in putting lots of energy into things that you don’t actually want.

But it is natural for things, especially new things and growth, to feel hard even in times when we’re working towards things we actually want. The energy of the struggle is just different between doing what’s wrong for us and what’s important to us.

“I am allowed to WANT”

Sometimes when we don’t get what we want or things don’t go our way, we might quickly feel guilt for feeling disappointed — because we’re supposed to be grateful for what we have. But you’re allowed to WANT while also being grateful for what you already have.

“I can’t control what happens”

This is especially helpful when you’re feeling really conflicted about a decision and are agonizing over what the right thing to do is. You can’t know for sure what’s the right option, because you don’t have control over what happens after you’ve made your decision. You can’ only make the best choice with the information you have, and then leave it up to what happens.

“I can’t control what other people think or do”

No matter what you do or say, you can’t control how the other person will respond to it. Everyone has their own stuff going on, so their reactions may not be about you at all.

“I am resilient, AND I deserve to rest”

We might feel really bad about taking a day off *especially* if we pride ourselves on being resilient, productive etc — but even resilient people deserve to rest. We all need rest as a part of the cycle of our daily existence, but we also need more rest in different seasons of the month/our hormonal cycle, the year and in life.

“I deserve kindness, from myself too”

When we’re stuck feeling in a certain way after an interaction with someone else, even if we don’t get that kindness from them we can remind ourselves that we deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. And that goes for how we talk to ourselves in our inner monologue, too.

“I won’t judge my life by just one day”

It can be really easy to let a low mindset day suddenly predict our entire future — but trust that those not-the-best days will pass.

“I deserve to feel happy”

You do. I promise.


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Jenna Hellberg

Helping small business owners make progress without hustle. Get my free planning guide that helps you prioritize impactful tasks: www.jennahellberg.com/plan