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Positive Quotes for Self-Esteem: Find Happiness Through Changing Your Mindset

Positive self-esteem isn’t a destination, it’s a journey. Your journey to greater confidence and self assurance needs encouragement and nurturing – just as we nurture our children, or how the ground nurtures a growing seedling. If you’re struggling with a negative body image, low confidence, or just want to feel more optimistic on a day-to-day basis, positive quotes can really help with that. 

In this post, we’ll look at the importance of positivity and how it can help improve several areas of your life and your overall mindset. We’ll look at why it’s sometimes really hard to be positive, together with some practical tips to help give your perspective a positive boost. 

You’ll also find a list of positive quotes that you can add to your own wellbeing toolkit. To kick things off, let’s look at why positivity is so important when it comes to building up your confidence and self-esteem.

What is positivity? 

We all know what positivity is, but what does it actually mean? How does a positive mindset affect your day-to-day life? Being positive involves the physical act of thinking positive thoughts. For some people, being optimistic comes really easily. But others can really struggle to think positively, particularly when they already have low self-esteem. 

Why is positivity so important? 

The thing with thinking positive thoughts is that it creates positive emotions, which is what we want when we’re trying to bring more happiness, optimism, and growth to our lives. It’s particularly important for anyone who is feeling trapped, struggling with anxiety, or suffering with very low confidence. 

Positive thinking is a powerful tool in overcoming a cycle of negative self-talk. When you have the right quotes or affirmations that work for you, you can stop negative thoughts in their tracks. It stops your brain from running on autopilot, and forces it to pay attention. It puts you firmly in control of your own thoughts, and enables you to change your whole perception of a situation or yourself. You literally have the power to shape your own reality. 

“Your thoughts create your reality.” – Various

Positive quotes

Here is a list of positivity quotes that you can use right away. If you like, make a list of the ones that resonate with you and keep them in a place you’ll see regularly. 

“Now that your eyes are open, make the sun jealous with your burning passion to start the day. Make the sun jealous or stay in bed.” – Malak El Halabi

“Smile in the mirror. Do that every morning and you’ll start to see a big difference in your life.” – Yoko Ono

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive, to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” – Marcus Aurelius

“I get up every morning and it’s going to be a great day. You never know when it’s going to be over, so I refuse to have a bad day.” – Paul Henderson

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Keep smiling, because life is a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.” —Marilyn 

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch via Pexels

“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” —Oprah Winfrey

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” —Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Love the life you live. Live the life you love.” —Bob Marley

“The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.” —Steve Jobs

“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.” —Dolly Parton

“The best way out is through.” —Robert Frost

“You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens.” —Mandy Hale

“It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” —Confucius

“Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failures are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” —Dale Carnegie

“Confident people have a way of carrying themselves that makes others attracted to them.” —Sofia Vergara

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” —Eleanor Roosevelt

“Keep your face towards the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you.” —Walt Whitman

“If you don’t have any shadows you’re not in the light.” —Lady Gaga

“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” —Henry Ford

“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible!’” —Audrey Hepburn

“Always go with your passions. Never ask yourself if it’s realistic or not.” —Deepak Chopra

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” —Wayne Gretzky

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” —Eleanor Roosevelt

Why is being positive so hard? 

When we first embark on a course of positive change, we’re full of motivation and excitement for what’s to come. We make promises to ourselves about how we’re going to turn our lives around for the better, and feel empowered and ready for anything. 

However, our minds are wired a certain way, often based on our childhood, the things we’ve learned growing up, and subsequent past experiences. And once the initial excitement and motivation wears off, the negative voice pipes up again, chipping away at our new-found resolve. 

The good news is, that it IS possible to turn this around. It is possible to move past those limiting beliefs by recognising what they are, and where they have come from. You can literally take control by changing the story. Once you gain awareness of where your story and patterns of thinking come from, you have the power to stop unhelpful thoughts in their tracks and change them to thoughts that suit you better. 

Some things that may help you with this include self-help, journaling, counselling, and coaching. 

Negative thinking styles

When we’re stuck in a cycle of negative thinking, there are certain unhelpful thinking styles that have a habit of cropping up. Do you recognise any of these in yourself? 

Only noticing what the ‘filter’ wants you to notice – such as only seeing the bad stuff and discounting the good stuff.

Making judgements, instead of reviewing a situation based on actual evidence. For example, deciding a friend doesn’t like you anymore because they haven’t answered your text message (when they may just be really busy, or dealing with their own issues). 

Making a prediction about what is going to happen and believing it to be true (“If I go to the party, no-one will talk to me.”)

Assuming that because you feel anxious, something terrible is going to happen. 

Believing you know what someone else is thinking based on your own thoughts and concerns.

unhelpful thinking styles
Photo by Alexandru Zdrobău on Unsplash

Making a mountain out of a molehill – when something seems far bigger/worse than it actually is. Conversely, you may also play down the positive stuff (molehill). 

Ah, comparisonitis – the thief of joy! When we compare ourselves to others, it leads to feelings of despair and not feeling good enough. 

Imagining and convincing yourself of the worst that could happen. 

This is the inner critic hard at work; putting yourself down at every opportunity and believing that everything that goes wrong is always your fault. 

The belief that something can only be one way or the other – good or bad, right or wrong. Believing that there is no in-between. 

Saying “I should” and “I must” can make us feel inadequate, because we’re not doing what we “should” be doing. 

Where your past experiences of unpleasant memories can be triggered by something in the here and now. This can end up making you feel like something bad is going to happen. 

Read more: Overcoming Unhelpful Thinking Habits.

A quick note on body positivity

What does it really mean to be beautiful? The thing is, beauty isn’t only skin deep. How you feel on the inside can affect how you feel and view yourself on the outside. Feeling positive about your physical appearance begins with self-acceptance and learning to love yourself unconditionally, which I cover in this free Self-Acceptance masterclass

Also, we’re all unique. Instead of comparing ourselves to someone else’s idea of ‘perfection’, let’s focus on empowering each other instead. This is something we all do inside the free Self-Esteem Society Facebook group. A wonderful, supportive group of women who all lift each other up. Come and join us here.  

Practices to boost your positive mindset

While there is work to do to cultivate a lasting positive mindset, there are activities you can practise regularly to make your new way of thinking more likely to stick. Here are some ideas for you: 

Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay

Practising gratitude is a wonderful way to focus on the positives. When you’re having a bad day, thinking of all the things you’re grateful for can really help to change your perspective. To read more about how a daily gratitude list can help you, visit this post

Self-love starts from within, and a great way to start this is to write yourself a letter, outlining all the things you love about yourself, and all of the reasons you’re proud of who you are. Write down all of your accomplishments, and all of the things that you’re happy about. It’s a great way to focus on your positive points, rather than the negative. 

When things go wrong, it’s very easy to fall down a hole of gloom – it can feel like a domino effect where one thing goes wrong, and then another, and then another. Instead of focusing on the bad stuff, seek out the positive in any situation. After all, every cloud has a silver lining. By looking for the good stuff, you’re training your brain to shift the focus away from a spiral of negativity. 

Affirmations are really powerful when it comes to changing your perspective. Here are some tips to make things easier for you: 

Choose quotes that reflect your journey

Affirmations are very personal. What works for one person may not work for you. The best way to create your affirmations is to focus on something that you really want, and write it in the present tense. For example: “I am safe, loved, and supported.” 

To go deeper, identify a limiting belief you have about yourself, and rewrite it as a positive affirmation. 

For example, instead of thinking “I’m not good enough”, rewrite it as “I am enough.” 

NB: While affirmations can be effective, it’s worth working with a self-esteem coach or therapist to get to the bottom of why you have this limiting belief in the first place. A heightened awareness makes you more inclined to spot your negative thinking patterns and use that newly written affirmation in the moment. 

Create a positive environment

Working within a positive environment where you feel safe and calm is really important when it comes to saying your affirmations. Take a look at this post on how a positive environment can affect you for more information. 

Practice visualisation/create a vision board

Visualising how you want your life to be is a great way to support your affirmations. For example, say you want to change your career, you would choose images that represent your vision of your new job. And your affirmations will back up those visions with something like “I now have a wonderful, fulfilling career in [career].”  

Meditation doesn’t come easily to everyone, and our minds are often cluttered with noisy thinking that stops us from connecting and understanding what we want. 

Guided meditations make things much easier with a supportive voice guiding you through the process with prompts. With this support, meditation becomes easier, and you gain clarity on your problems, worries, and aspirations. With this clarity, you can create the affirmations you need that are personal to you. 

Final Thoughts

I hope these positive quotes and all the information surrounding a positive mindset have helped you.

If you feel like you may benefit from coaching support, I would love to work with you on a one-to-one basis. However, I also know that it might feel like a big deal, so we can take it one step at a time.

Why not book a free introductory call to decide if one-to-one coaching is for you?

Free Facebook Group

Alternatively, if you just want to dip your toe in the water, you might like to check out our free, private Facebook group, The Self-Esteem Society.

Click on the button below to find out more, and join a supportive, inclusive community of women who are all working on their body image, confidence, and self-esteem.

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