These 21 empowering phrases will help you survive anything.

We all have brushes with self-doubt. Hey, we're human.

And this time of year can be especially challenging in the confidence department. 'Tis the season for rich foods, fancy parties, and family members you haven't seen in months. It's easy to get bogged down in worry, judgment, comparison, and doubt.

One way to stay positive during the holidays is to incorporate mantras and affirmations into your routine.


Research from Carnegie Mellon University shows self-affirmations can improve problem-solving abilities and protect against stress.

So this holiday season, before anxiety and self-doubt creep in, give yourself a break. Take a moment to breathe deeply and repeat one or more of these phrases. Taking a moment to pause and center yourself might just be what you need to get the most out of the festivities.


1. "I don't like myself, I'm crazy about myself." — Mae West


2. It's OK to cut loose.

This is your time to relax, unwind, and celebrate the season with friends and family. If that means dancing with your cousins in the kitchen to "Hotline Bling," or eating the last piece of pie all by yourself, so be it. Dance. Laugh. Go nuts! It's your holiday season, celebrate as you see fit.

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3. "I see the perfection in all my flaws and all my genius."


4. Steer your own ship.

It's easy to be swayed by everyone else. Coming home to discover what friends and family are up to and seeing how everyone's changed can be tough. It's hard not to get bogged down in comparisons. That's why it's so important to remember that you have a say when it comes to your mood or actions.

And whether you have a great time or a miserable one depends a lot on where you steer your ship.

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5. "I will let go of what is no longer serving me and make room for what inspires me."


6. "I belong here."

You belong wherever you want to be. Even if your Aunt Kathy made an offhand comment that makes you feel small or out of place, you belong exactly where you are right now. You're not in the way, you're not a bother or a pest. You're a part of the group, and the group is better because of it.

7. You are strong.

Get back, blue. Move over, orange. Whether you're more suited to warm tones, cool shades, or neutrals, everyone looks good when they're feeling strong. If the holidays are especially draining for you, physically or mentally, don't hesitate to remind yourself just how capable you really are.

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8. "To love yourself right now, just as you are, is to give yourself heaven." — Allen Cohen


9. Everything will be OK.

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10. "This is it, this is the only body I've got." — Whitney Thompson


11. "I define my worth, and I am worthy."

Around the holidays, it's easy to let family, old friends, or even the bathroom scale define you. But you get decide who you are and what makes you unique, no one else. So let Grandma Mabel go on and on about why you should settle down already. You're the only one you need to listen to.

12. You know yourself better than anyone else.

When stressful situations arise this season, you may not always be the picture of calm and poise you always envisioned. It's important to grant yourself a little grace. You need to be kind and patient with yourself so that you can extend that same courtesy to everyone else.

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13. "Yeah, I'm fat — but I'm also all the good things that I am." — Tess Holliday

None of us are defined by any one particular attribute. Plus-size model and all-around-badass Tess Holliday did not say this to imply that being fat is bad (because, just to be clear, FAT IS NOT BAD). Fat is just one more adjective without moral value, good or bad (see: tall, short, left-handed, blue-eyed). No matter how you describe yourself, what's important is appreciating and respecting yourself for the multitude of wonderful things that you are and expecting and appreciating the same in others.

14. "What other people think of me is none of my business."


15. *nail polish emoji*

Admit it: You're really, really good. Good looking. Good natured. Kind and generous. A whiz in the kitchen and quick with a joke with a keen sense of direction. OK, OK, maybe you're not all of these things, but you're definitely filled to the brim with talent and kindness. And that's all you need to stand-up and declare your awesomeness.

Photo via iStock.

16. "I am beneath no one." — Jim Kellner

Is your older sister back from her trip around the world making knit sweaters for senior dogs in need? Did your younger brother finally invent that cure for athlete's foot? Good for them! But don't let someone else's success cloud the way you feel about yourself. There's enough love, praise, and talent to go around. Don't dim your light just so others can shine.

17. Your brain is the most powerful muscle you've got.

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18. "I choose to think thoughts that serve me well."

As Mark Twain once said, "Worrying is like paying a debt you don't owe." There's plenty to worry and stress about during the holidays, but instead of giving in to negative thinking, try to stay present and think constructive, positive thoughts.

19. Be your own BFF.

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20. "My life is unfolding beautifully."

Your life, with all of its twists, turns, and surprises, is one helluva story. And it's a really good one. So when you bump into old friends who seem to have it all figured out, remember: (a) They don't, and (b) don't let comparison and self-doubt get in the way of celebrating your successes, big or small.

21. You got this.

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This holiday season, and throughout the year, remember to take good care of yourself.

Do what feels right for you, and do your best not to worry about everyone else. As my good-friend-if-we-only-met Emma Stone once said, "You're a human being, you live once and life is wonderful, so eat the damn red velvet cupcake."

Droolworthy photo via iStock.

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True

Macy's and Girls Inc. believe that all girls deserve to be safe, supported, and valued. However, racial disparities continue to exist for young people when it comes to education levels, employment, and opportunities for growth. Add to that the gender divide, and it's clear to see why it's important for girls of color to have access to mentors who can equip them with the tools needed to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers.

Anissa Rivera is one of those mentors. Rivera is a recent Program Manager at the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc., a nonprofit focusing on the holistic development of girls ages 5-18. The goal of the organization is to provide a safe space for girls to develop long-lasting mentoring relationships and build the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to thrive now and as adults.

Rivera spent years of her career working within the themes of self and community empowerment with young people — encouraging them to tap into their full potential. Her passion for youth development and female empowerment eventually led her to Girls Inc., where she served as an agent of positive change helping to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

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Inspiring young women from all backgrounds is why Macy's has continued to partner with Girls Inc. for the second year in a row. The partnership will support mentoring programming that offers girls career readiness, college preparation, financial literacy, and more. Last year, Macy's raised over $1.3M for Girls Inc. in support of this program along with their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programming for more than 26,000 girls. Studies show that girls who participated are more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, score higher on standardized math tests, and be more equipped for college and campus life.

Thanks to mentors like Rivera, girls across the country have the tools they need to excel in school and the confidence to change the world. With your help, we can give even more girls the opportunity to rise up. Throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases or donate online to support Girls Inc. at Macys.com/MacysGives.

Who runs the world? Girls!

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Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We've lived through Donald Trump's appeals to America's racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We've also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we've seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

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Photo courtesy of Macy's
True

Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

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Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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