Posted by: jedwardswright | April 17, 2010

Positive Affirmations

It is amazing how our parents’ voices still speak in our heads even years after they are gone! The reason, of course, is that they are integrated into our own self-talk. All of us have a tape in our heads that we keep playing over and over and over, so that the damaging words that hurt us or the world of our fears become our reality.

One of the main ways to reprogram our brains is called positive affirmations. This is an exercise I did that has helped. You cannot suppress a thought without replacing it. For instance, don’t think about a pink polka-dotted elephant. You just visualized that elephant, didn’t you? When we tell ourselves repeatedly that we should not think negative thoughts about ourselves, all we are doing is reinforcing those thoughts further. Instead, if we create positive affirmations to switch our thoughts on to, we will have better success.

1. It helps to first write out at least 10 good qualities you have. I know, this sounds impossible right now, but you can ask someone who cares about you to help. Just ask, someone”What do you like about me?” and the answers will lift your spirits immediately. Include things that people have told you that you do well, no matter how trivial it seems.

2. Take this list, and make positive statements about yourself from them. For instance, if on your list you put “I am good at crafts” your positive affirmation could be “I am a creative person.” The affirmations work better if you at least partially believe or hope that they are true. Here are a few more examples: I am a caring person who helps others. I am a good mother/father and I take good care of my children. I am intelligent and well-educated. I work hard at my job. I am a survivor who has made her/his way through tough times.

3. Get small recipe cards at the dollar store or somewhere else inexpensive.

4. Write a positive affirmation on each card. You should have at least 10 cards. Remember, you can add cards whenever you want. For instance, let’s say a few weeks from now you win a 1st place in a photography competition. That would be a good time to write a card that says, “I am a very good photographer” or even, “I am an award-winning photographer.”

5. Put an elastic band around your cards and put them in your purse, briefcase, or the pocket of a coat you wear every day. Whenever you have a minute, waiting at the doctor’s, lined up at the grocery store, riding the bus, in a traffic jam, etc. look through your cards. If you are somewhere where you can say them aloud, do so. Alternatively, you may decide to put one card each into, or onto, somewhere that you look all the time, like your underwear drawer or on your bathroom mirror. If you realize that you aren’t seeing one card much, switch it with one that you have seen a lot.

It is amazing how much of a difference such a small thing can make!

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Responses

  1. Jodi, I used to be good at doing affirmations, but have got away from it. I need to do it again because I know they do help.
    Thanks!
    Leslie

  2. Hi. I’ve recently found out about affirmations. It just changed my life. Great article here. Very inspiring. Guess what, I found this site http://www.createaffirmations.com and learn more about others who share same interests. Sign up – it’s free. Hope to see you there.

  3. I don’t know why…but I feel so WEIRD doing affirmations. What’s that all about?? I can talk for hours about all the things I hate about myself…I could write a daily blog about some other real/imagined flaw. But, the idea of purposely coming up with good things about me…writing them down and carrying them around makes me uncomfortable.

    I need to think about why I have such a problem with that. I recognize good things in me…but I feel very strange dwelling on those things. Hmm…

  4. Evie,
    The reason it feels weird is that you are so accustomed to thinking negatively about yourself. If you were used to thinking well of yourself, then there would be no point in doing positive affirmations! That it feels strange is actually a confirmation that you need to do them.
    In my family if anyone actually got around to praising you they would have to add on something negative, just so you “wouldn’t get a big head.” It was as if feeling good about yourself was a sin or character flaw.
    People with confidence, who believe in their own self-worth, tell themselves positive things all the time. Believe me, you won’t become prideful or narcissic overnight because you begin to think nice things about yourself.
    Try starting out with what God says about you as His child. If in your mind has been planted the thought, “I never do anything right!” turn it around into what God says, “I can do all things through God who strengthens me,” or “In my weakness He can be strong.” By no means are you limited to what the Bible says, but just remember, the negative statements come from the enemy of our souls, and he always lies.
    Jodi

  5. […] very first post on A Darker Shade of Blue back in April of 2010 was called “Positive Affirmations.” In a nutshell, it is about how to change in a positive direction the way you talk to yourself. […]


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