self-af·​fir·​ma·​tion ˌself-ˌa-fər-ˈmā-shən How to pronounce self-affirmation (audio)
plural self-affirmations
: the act of affirming one's own worthiness and value as an individual for beneficial effect (such as increasing one's confidence or raising self-esteem)
Patients were also asked to use self-affirmation to help them overcome obstacles to getting better by recalling moments in their lives they were proud of, such as a graduation.Lauren Paxman
also : a statement of self-affirmation
"When I look in the mirror and I see something that I don't like, I change that thought instantly into a self-affirmation where I say, '… You are beautiful. You're worthy of love and you're worthy of a happy and healthy life,'" she [Demi Lovato] told Dr. Phil … Rachel McRady

Examples of self-affirmation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web So part of my evolution in many ways is self-affirmation and self-love. Okla Jones, Essence, 25 Jan. 2024 The benefits of affirmation have been documented, with one study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences linking self-affirmation as the initiator that propels Black children forward and creates an environment that nurtures their potential. Whitney Roberts, Parents, 15 Dec. 2023 Coherence is the cognitive component of self-affirmation, which refers to being able to make sense of life events and find meaning in them. Mark Travers, Forbes, 29 Nov. 2023 The scope of self-affirmation exercises extends beyond students. Time, 17 Aug. 2023 Incredibly blonde and impossibly ripped, Ken pulls himself together and finds some value in himself through words of self-affirmation. Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 10 July 2023 One study even found that students practicing self-affirmations through writing activities in the two weeks before a test had a lower stress response measured by stress-inducing hormones than those who did not perform the brief activities. L'oreal Thompson Payton, Fortune Well, 7 Apr. 2023 Research shows that self-affirmations have been known to improve problem-solving skills in people who are stressed. L'oreal Thompson Payton, Fortune Well, 7 Apr. 2023 Research shows that self-affirmations can help children respond to challenges in healthier, more productive ways. Phyllis Fagell, Washington Post, 28 Feb. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'self-affirmation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1824, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-affirmation was in 1824

Dictionary Entries Near self-affirmation

Cite this Entry

“Self-affirmation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

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