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Mental Health

Fake It ‘Till You Make It: Gaining Confidence Using Affirmations

For a long time, I did not consider myself to be a confident person until one day, I just did; I woke up and realized that I no longer wanted to live under the constant weight of my anxieties and insecurities. Now, I look back at days when I would constantly put myself down for no reason, make myself the butt end of every joke, look in the mirror with sadness, and I am shocked that I ever lived that way. 

Obviouslt this mentality of overarching confidence is much easier said than done. It truly took a great deal of faking it until I made it. Now I know this is the most cheesy, overused piece of advice of all time. But, people say it for a good reason; it truly does work!

It takes a switch in your mind to go off in order to change your line of thinking. You have to force yourself to push away any thoughts of negativity when they arise and replace them with neutrality, and eventually, positivity

For me, confidence is not about thinking you are the hottest in the room or having a sense of superiority. Confidence is being so sure of yourself mentally, physically and spiritually that no outside factors can shake your state of mind. You are the only person in your life that will be there forever. Once you realize that the only opinion that truly matters is your own, you find that the judgement of others you were once so worried about becomes irrelevant. I often tell myself that unless it is the opinion of myself, those I love, or someone responsible for my future (professors, bosses, etc), there is no need to spend a second worrying about it. 

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The biggest contributor to changing my mindset was the use of affirmations. Affirmations, if you have never used or heard of them, are basically just mantras of positivity that you can repeat over and over throughout your days until you believe them to be true. I am a firm believer that your mindset directly correlates to your reality. If you are thinking negatively, you will see negativity. If you start believing that your life is filled with abundance, that you are happy and fulfilled, you will begin to pick out these instances all around you.

At first, you may feel stupid repeating these silly little mantras, especially if you do not believe them to be true. This is where the faking it comes in. You have to practice feeling a certain way and living by the mantras that you set for yourself. For example, one of the first affirmations I started using was simply just “I am filled with confidence and gratitude.” As I began saying it and writing it more often, I began to see changes in myself and the world around me. Some examples of affirmations I have used in the past or have seen on social media (I actually have gotten a lot from Tik Tok!) are: “I choose to live fully for myself,” “I feel extremely grateful for my place in the world,” “I feel seen and loved by those around me,” “I am capable,” “I am happy,” etc..

My favorite affirmation recently has been “I choose to trust the timing of my life.”  This one is less about confidence, however, I think it could definitely resonate with other people as well! I often find myself scared that I am missing out on certain life experiences or that I am not where I am supposed to be. Especially with Corona, this feeling can become quite overwhelming. However, this affirmation has helped me to realize that everything happens for a reason and things will come and go as they are supposed to. Though we are in control of our own actions, many things in life will happen naturally and are out of our immediate control. 

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I cannot emphasize enough that life becomes worth living once you remove the judgments of others as a deciding factor of your value. At the end of the day, everyone is just doing their own thing and people are too consumed in their own lives to really care about whatever it is you are stressing about. Once you realize this, it becomes infinitely easier to love who you are and become grounded in your own values. If you have an unwavering grasp of who you are, nothing can shake you. 

Kately Martin

U Mass Amherst '23

Kately is junior at UMass Amherst studying Special Education and Anthropology. In her free time, you can find Kately working at Marylou’s Coffee to supplement her caffeine addiction. Kately also works part time at a day program for adults with Intellectual and Developmental disabilities as well as being the Best Buddies President here at UMass! In addition Her Campus, she enjoys running/lifting, hanging out with friends, and journaling!
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