THE STUFF WE TELL OURSELVES –
CREATIVE, OBSERVATIONAL, OR WHAT?
Have you ever repeated “negative affirmations” like these (to yourself or out loud)?
I don’t deserve to succeed.
The world is against me.
Miracles don’t happen, I never get a break.
I am conflicted about most everything, I can’t make any decisions.
I am a disappointment.
I lead a life of self-deception and sheer stupidity.
I cannot be happy. Ever.
I have absolutely no love in my life. None.
I must play the part of a tragic figure.
I must act sad and moody most all of the time.
I am never really good enough.
My timing is pathetically awful.
Most anything makes me angry, then I feel guilty, then I feel ashamed, then I feel angrier.
Let’s stop right here. Do these words help to create negative conditions, or are they simply a sad commentary on what is? These examples are meant to be somewhat irrational, absolutist, all-or-nothing assumptions, ’cause that’s how we sometimes (or all too often) think.
It’s true that words have power and that thoughts trigger feelings. Obviously, some emotions can be motivating … and others make us want to get back to bed, pull the covers over our heads, and have a personal (possibly perpetual) pity-party (not pretty)!
Our thoughts … the words we tell ourselves … might or might not be true or helpful. Yet, often by habit, we have been known to focus our thinking on negative, false, (definitely not helpful) words —negative affirmations, so to speak.
Do negative affirmations work as well as positive ones? Or, perhaps a better question is: do affirmations “work” at all?
How did you feel when you read the set of negative affirmations? Read the next bunch slowly and carefully, savor the phrases, and notice the effect.
I can make my choices based on the outcomes I most desire.
I am loved and appreciated.
I value and appreciate my life.
I have tremendous potential.
I am allowed to pursue my best goals.
I can find out whatever I need to know.
I am fortunate, thankful, grateful.
I am perpetually inspired.
I’m open and receptive to miracles in my life.
I deserve to succeed. I am allowed to succeed.
I can make the choices that make me happy.
I can do what I love.
I have great timing (after all, I AM reading this!)
For me, some kind of affirmation practice is useful in managing thoughts, and the results that follow. Importantly, they have to be worded in such a way that we can accept them as statements of truth. I think an “affirmation” that is clearly bogus (inflated, unrealistic, irrational, inappropriate) is more like wishful thinking than a practical tool. Nonetheless, sometimes miracles DO happen, and working with positive affirmations could be a catalyst.
What do you think?