In the pursuit of finding myself, I kept coming across the word “affirmations”. All the self-help books, life coaches, and therapists kept emphasizing this word. Honestly, I didn’t believe in it. I always considered it as just another word that is pleasant on ears but cannot actually benefit in practical life.
I am glad to admit that my assumptions were false. There is a power in this word that can reveal the hidden aspects of your personality. After reading about it again in the self-help book “You Are A Badass” written by Jen Sincero, I decided to give it a shot. I wasn’t much hopeful but went along with it. I was surprised by the results.
“Affirmations” are described as the act of confirming something. It is one of the most used techniques in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to improve the self-image and self-esteem of a person. The act of affirming is meant to break the negative beliefs about self and replace them with positive self-beliefs.
Often, it is emphasized that a person needs to work on positive affirmations. But in my personal experience, breaking negative affirmations and then developing positive affirmations is the best way to improve negative self-image.
1: Breaking Negative Affirmations:
Before moving forward, I would like to cite some examples of negative thought patterns. We often have doubts about ourselves, our appearance, our intelligence, and our success.
” I am ugly”
“I am stupid”
“I am a failure”
And many other similar thoughts are major hindrances in our life. These thoughts keep us awake at night and make it difficult for us to operate in life. Countering these thoughts will help you to overcome these barriers which are the product of your own mind.
I won’t recommend starting by directly replacing ugly with gorgeous, stupid with genius, and failure with the conqueror, etc. Replacing one extreme with the other extreme will make it hard for your brain to believe these affirmations. Instead, every time you read them, you will laugh at yourself self-depreciatingly.
I will recommend you to go slow. Take baby steps and don’t bite more than you can chew. Start countering these thoughts by adding another word “Not”. Tell yourself that “I am not stupid, not a failure and not ugly”. Repeat this in your mind 10 times and then say it out loud. Write these on a page and stick it to your mirror or at some place where you can clearly see it.
Also, try to repeat these sentences before sleeping and immediately after waking up. Keep repeating until your mind starts accepting it instead of mocking you about it. There is no specific deadline when you should stop. Once you start believing these thoughts, congratulations you have just completed the first step.
2. Introducing Positive Affirmations:
After getting rid of the negative affirmations, your mind is more open to accepting the positive affirmations. Start by saying awesome things to yourself. All these extreme words will not sound as ridiculous as before. You will still struggle through acceptance of the positive thoughts but keep trying.
“I am gorgeous”
“I am intelligent”
“I am a conqueror”
Keep repeating these thoughts to yourself and gradually you will start observing positive changes in your life. Slowly, you will start accepting and welcoming these positive thoughts which will bring improvement in your self-image. You will start looking forward to the opportunities in your life instead of dreading them.
However, remember that patience is the key. Getting rid of negativity and replacing it with positivity is a long, and slow process. But rewards are definitely worth the wait.