Today I want to share thoughts with you about affirmations and positivity. Of course, it would make sense to all of us that saying positive things to ourselves would be positive and self-criticism would be negative. However, how many times a day, a week, a month or year do we tell ourselves negative things about what we do, should do, didn’t do? Let me share a discovery with you.
I have found a huge shift in attitude and accomplishments when I use positive affirmations; especially when I say them out loud. For example, I can remember when I started taking piano lessons 8 years ago. I remember really struggling with a piece of music. I found myself saying negative things to myself like, “I will never be able to learn this stuff” or “What was I thinking, I will never be good enough”. You name it, I said it. I could not get through the piece. I then took the approach of saying out loud, I’m amazing and can play this piece like no one else and you know what happened? You got it, I was able to play.
Here are a few more short stories. When I decided to go back to college to get my bachelor’s degree, I was in my 30s. I was mentoring teenage girls, working full-time and had teenage kids of my own. My plate was full. I found myself struggling at times to write the many papers I needed to for assignments. I would sit down and my mind would swarm with negative thoughts about myself. Again, when I would say out loud, “I can do this”, the ideas would flow. It was as if magic – so cool to see this in action. Then more recently, I decided to pursue my love for writing and one of the first exercises in a class I took was writing the words, I am a Writer and then list the thoughts that came. Once again, I heard the familiar negative thoughts of not being good enough. As I replaced those thoughts with I can write and I’m a writer the next thing I saw was me writing and setting up the website where you may be reading this at this moment.
I have discovered the power of positive thinking and saying positive affirmations to yourself out loud. To explain a bit more I would like to a story about the holocaust. I have always been fascinated with the holocaust for two reasons. One, I can’t believe anyone would want to hurt another individual just because they were not the same race and or religion. The other reason is I am amazed at the courageous stories that have been told by survivors. I have read many of these stories and the one thing in common is the positive attitudes shown by these people. My favorite told by Corrie Ten Boom in her book The Hiding Place, she speaks of horrendous circumstances. The crowded barracks, the screams of abuse, and straw beds filled with fleas. Under these circumstances, one would feel justified in negative thinking and sadness but for some like Corrie Ten Boom, they give thanks for the fleas. They find positive thinking in negative circumstances. You see the fleas in this situation kept the guards out which enabled the prisoners to read the bible. A bible they weren’t supposed to have but they found strength in their belief and in reading the bible. The fleas which many may have found negative, those that chose to look at the positive, found the courage to get through a difficult time.
My point is, we have to be careful we do not tell ourselves negative misconceptions about who we are otherwise we will have difficulty reaching our full potential. Instead, tell yourself great things about yourself even if you fully have not reached that potential yet because guaranteed you will become that person with continued effort. Please stop filling up your life’s pack back with rocks that make it too heavy to achieve the journey to the top. People can be cruel, hurt us and have distorted views of who we are but please do not do that to yourself. So the next time you catch yourself saying something negative about yourself, speak up and tell yourself something positive. Say it out loud and with conviction. Practicing positive affirmations out loud on a daily basis will not only help you to be happier but I believe you will accomplish more in life. You can’t achieve anything great if you do not believe you can. We all have dreams and desires. I believe the differences between those that reach them are the ones that don’t let negativity and discouragement get in their way. Move forward and pursue your dreams and remember you are awesome and you can accomplish many things.