I’ve struggled in the past with coming up with affirmations to adopt every day.
All the experts clearly agree, affirmations are a great thing. Everyone should totally be using them as often as possible.
Still, every time I try to list some out it just feels awkward.
I’m almost ashamed that it took me this long to figure out why, and resolve the issue.
I was talking to a friend who was struggling with the issue of wanting to get more people to see his work, while at the same time being held back by fear of rejection. Going into my “Be the Happy” mode I of course had some advice.
I told him to write down what he’ll gain from putting himself out there and why he wants to do it. I also suggested something like “rejection from strangers on the internet will not kill me”.
He loved the idea and mentioned that he’s never been able to do affirmations because they feel fake. He can’t repeat to himself stuff like “you are amazing!” without feeling funny. But this, sounding like something he would normally say, could stick.
I often feel the same way. Then I realized that sometimes I’m better at giving advice to other people than to myself.
Affirmations are really just us talking to ourselves
We do it every day, all day! We talk to ourselves.
It could be internal dialog about what to make for dinner. Maybe it’s fake arguments we make up while in the shower. You’re probably doing it right now even!
Think for a moment about how that internal dialog goes. HOW do you talk to yourself?
Are you kind? Are you critical? Do you use slang or are you prim and proper?
Remember, this is all in your head, so it can literally be whatever you want. Your internal voice could have a made up accent if you really wanted it to.
That’s where I was going wrong
And there is where I was messing up.
My normal internal dialog in a tough situation would be something like “Dude, this isn’t going to kill you. Literally, no way it can. You so got this, just suck it up and kick some ass.”
It’s no wonder that trying to adopt something like “I am a strong eternal being and the universe loves me” was failing me. It wasn’t my own voice saying it!!
Again the best realizations are the simple ones.
In order for an affirmation to REALLY take hold, to really believe in it, it has to be from me and by me. They have to be my voice, my words, my inflection. I have to believe in them from the very moment of creation.
My affirmations don’t have to be inspiring to anyone else. They do not have to be Pintrest worthy! They’re by me for me and can literally be whatever I want.
They don’t even have to be affirmations!
Even just being aware of my internal dialog and adjusting it to the results I want will have an impact.
What if the next time I was all: “Oh man, this is just going to suck and there is just no way I’ll succeed.” I made use of arguing with myself? “Mist, man. There is no way you would EVER talk like that to someone else. Why on earth do you think it’s OK to say that crap to yourself?”
It’s true. Beyond that, it’s honest.
I say self deprecating things to myself every day that I would never ever say to someone else. WHY?
There is probably a deep psychological reason for it. There have probably been studies and who knows what else. Truth is that as much as I want to say I’ll never do that again, I’m sure I will.
What I can do is try to be aware of it and stop it cold. Not with a pre-packaged affirmation I found online somewhere, but with my own words and logic.
I mean, if I can’t listen to myself, who can I listen to?