A powerful way to help students build confidence and achieve more of their potential is to show them how to revise their limiting beliefs (e.g., “I’m not smart enough for college,”  “I’m disorganized,” “I never finish what I start.”).  Affirmations are powerful tools for helping them replace this negative inner chatter with a more supportive thought.

When I have my students create affirmations, “intelligent” is the quality they most often want to be. “Persistent” and “organized” are two other top choices.

How about college educators?  What personal qualities do they want to strengthen in order to reach their goals? In one recent On Course workshop the top choices were “persistent” and “intelligent.”  In another workshop, the runaway choice was “organized.”  Perhaps we are not so different from our students, after all.

Here are some affirmations created by college educators in a recent On Course Workshop:

  • I am an honest, intelligent, and hardworking man.
  • I am a competent, intelligent, caring, and lovable woman capable of doing anything I choose.
  • I am a bright, humorous, healthy woman who is happy with my chosen life.
  • I am a strong, intelligent, compassionate woman, and I am a role model for others.
  • I am an intelligent, self-motivated, knowledgeable woman determining to reach my potential and trusting God to lead me.
  • I am a determined, persistent, motivated woman striving to achieve my greatest goals and aspirations, and I genuinely believe I will be successful.
  • I am a patient, persevering, focused person committed to redefining my value system.
  • I am a friendly, affable, caring man who is eager to see how God will use me next.
  • I am an intelligent, persistent, and organized woman capable of achieving all that I choose.
  • I am a disciplined, determined, and persistent woman, and I am confident I will achieve my dreams.
  • I am a strong, healthy, and intelligent woman, and I can do anything I put my mind to do.
  • I am a persistent, capable, creative, positive, caring person.
  • I am a strong, confident, persistent, supportive woman, and I am enjoying life.
  • I am a skilled, determined, persistent individual creating my own goals.
  • I am a patient, listening, open man achieving my goals for life.
  • I am an organized, persistent, and goal-oriented woman achieving my potential.
  • I am an intelligent, focused, and determined woman, and I am successful.
  • I am a bold, joyful, lovable man.
  • I am a sensitive, honest, and intelligent woman who is getting it right.
  • I am a creative, organized, motivated woman.
  • I am a caring, persistent, knowledgeable woman, helping others to succeed in college and in life.
  • I am an intelligent, powerful, committed woman, and I love life.
  • I am a secure, compassionate woman with abundant willpower, and I keep my word.
  • I am a persistent, energetic, confident, and capable woman, realizing my potential.
  • I am steadfast, conscientious, and focused.
  • Life is simple, caring is profound, and I believe in both.
  • I am a healthy, focused supported woman enjoying in this moment the life
  • I am a positive, caring, well-balanced woman, who takes time to nurture myself and those I love.
  • I am a strong, honest, saved woman, making things happen with God, and I love life in Him.
  • I am a humor-filled, persistent, courageous person discovering my purpose.
  • I am a caring, motivated, peaceful person.
  • I am an assertive, creative, and confident person who enjoys caring people and humor.

An easy process for helping students (or yourself) create a personal affirmation is described in Chapter 3 of the ON COURSE text. 

–Skip Downing, Facilitator, On Course Workshop, Skip@OnCourseWorkshop.com 

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Thank you so very much for posting the affirmations! I had just printed them off my computer when a student came in and asked for help in dropping a class because she had just found out that she probably has cancer. I handed her my printout of the affirmations while I filled out the paperwork. We then discussed her situation and talked about her fears. I am so THANKFUL that I had something to give her. I talked to her about how affirmations can really change her body chemistry. I believe that she will follow through with stating the affirmations. –Molly McCorkindale, Director of Student Support Services, North Arkansas College, AR

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I was concerned that the students might not remember their affirmations between class meetings. I want them to experience the power and see the changes first-hand. Thus, I invited them (along with myself…and now You) to identify a “bell of awareness.”  A “bell of awareness” is something that might have formerly irritated You — stop lights, long lines, rude behavior, funky smells, yapping dogs — anything at all.  One of the students uses feeling homesick as her “bell.” 

The bell of awareness is a reminder to repeat your affirmation silently to yourself.  We turn a negative, harmful reaction into a positive, healthy one. “That dog didn’t start howling while I was trying to concentrate on my reading just to irritate me; he started howling because he knew that I needed to take a break and remind myself that I am a grateful, persistent and non-judgmental person.” Of course, we can benefit from having more than one “bell.”  The bell of awareness could be any time we experience a negative reaction.  The cheezy, “I know better than this” feeling itself could be the bell. Also, the bell can be anything we see, hear, taste, touch or smell regularly — an icon on the computer screen, the hangie thing on the rearview mirror (what is that thing anyway?), a tree, you name it.  It doesn’t have to be something that irritates. However, I do like the two-for-one benefit of getting rid of the bad feeling and driving something positive into my brain at the same time. It seems to help. –Tom Hale, Student Success Coordinator, NorthWest Arkansas Community College, AR

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