Monday, March 27, 2017

Motivation Monday: Using Affirmation To Keep Yourself Inspired.


Last week was a little better than the week before - I felt more hopeful, and far more positive. There were of course, some things that came up, but those things led to conversations that I feel truly enriched my relationships with my daughters, and that's something I wouldn't trade for the world.

Particularly with Josephine - we're moving into a different place in our relationship these days, learning to relate to each other in ways that we couldn't before. She's so very grown up for thirteen - sometimes I have to remind myself that she's still a child, and that she will therefore tend to deal with some things in childish ways. Other times, she's almost an adult in so many ways - and one that I'm incredibly proud to have raised.

A few days ago, I was frustrated to the point of tears, trying to juggle work stuff with home stuff and grandma stuff and mom stuff and life stuff. Eden didn't see any of this because she was upstairs crying over being told to wear her flip flops so we could hop in the van and run to the pharmacy, but Joey came to me and was so sweet. She gave me hugs (just like the ones I give her) and kissed me on the forehead (just like the ones I give her), and said to me, "I'm sorry you're having to take on so much right now, Mom, and that it's overwhelming. We'll try to do better at making sure your work time is better, and not interrupt so much. I know you're just trying to make a good life for us."

Which of course made me cry harder - but it's in the moments like that one that I'm so proud to have raised this young woman. She messes up and we butt heads so often but ... Damn. And knowing that for the most part, Eden is like that too? Now that's motivating.

Sometimes it doesn't work out that way though. Sometimes I feel like the whole universe is against me - something I thought was worked out turned out not to be, or didn't go according to plan. Something I thought would be successful wasn't. Someone I opened up to wasn't equipped (or willing) to meet the emotional need I brought to them. Sometimes my business isn't doing as well as I wish it was, ad revenue for this site dips, or affiliate sales don't pull through. Sometimes page views drop. Sometimes book sales drop.

Sometimes I need some help picking myself back up, because however hard I'm trying, I just can't lift those bootstraps.

Sometimes, even music doesn't work for me. And that's when I pull out the big guns.

That's when I use Positive Affirmations.

I used positive affirmation as a therapeutic strategy in my novel, Fat Chance (which is currently a free download, BTW), but I did it because I can personally vouch for how effective this simple technique can be when used with determination and an honest desire to change your thought patterns.

The trick is, you don't just jump into heavy mirror work and start telling yourself you're perfect and beautiful and successful and worthy, and that you love yourself if you don't. Don't just jump into a pool of woo-woo psychobabble if you aren't serious about feeling better, or if you aren't truly willing to give it a shot.

Don't pretend you're excited to fill the prescription when you know you aren't going to take the medicine.

You're smart. If you think you're worthless somewhere in a place buried too deep for you to even realize it's there, that's why when you look at yourself in the mirror, you have to avert your eyes. It's why when you straighten your shoulders and say, "I deserve better," your mouth turns down and you shrug those same shoulders and give up the effort. It's why, when you try to tell yourself that you're beautiful and strong and smart and worthy and lovable ... it feels wrong.

Because you don't believe it yet.

So you start small, yeah? Begin with something light. Something neutral.
  • "I am working every day to see myself in a better light."
  • "I am growing more positive with every day that passes."
  • "I am practicing gratitude IN THIS MOMENT. I am grateful."
  • "I am learning to appreciate my body and its strengths."
Try these for a week, and see where they lead. Try them for a month - internalize them and enrich them. Expand them and customize them, apply them to your own needs for growth and change. Read books about positive affirmation, about the power of positive thinking. If you need it, go ahead and allow yourself permission to be woo-woo.

And I think, after you're truly affirmed in the way that you deserve to be ... encouragement and motivation will begin to find its way to you, all on its own.

Thanks for hanging out with me today - I hope you'll take some time to really try positive affirmations, and if you do, I hope they work for you the way they work for me. And hey, if you've already been trying them and you feel ready for some serious woo, check out Mirror Work by Louise Hay - it's a powerful and truly amazing exercise.


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32 comments:

  1. I think I really needed to hear this today. I have been struggling with a few things lately and this helps :)

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    1. Definitely try it - affirmation really works!

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  2. I do try to stay positive. Some days are easier than others. I should try these affirmations out and see if they help.

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    1. I recommend it. It makes a huge difference for me, and I have personal stuff going on that requires me to practice confidence-growing skills constantly. I believe that if this can work for me, it can work for anyone.

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  3. I always use positive affirmations on myself. I think I am great and even if others don't, that doesn't stop me from motivating myself to keep at it!

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    1. Yes!! It's hard to feel that way sometimes, but practice makes perfect for sure.

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  4. I think using affirmations is a great tool and I like that you recommend starting small and noting that you really do have to believe what you are saying. Your daughter is such a beautiful, caring girl. What she said to you when you were overwhelmed made me tear up!

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    1. Yeah, she has her butthead moments (what teen doesn't?) but she really is an amazing young woman and I'm so proud to be her mom.

      As for the affirmations - it's definitely important to acknowledge your lack of belief, because they don't make any difference if you aren't really internalizing. Like, I can stand in the mirror and say "I'm a unicorn" all day long, but there's no way I'm going to believe that, and there's no way I'm going to morph into a unicorn. On the same tack, standing in the mirror and saying "I am BEAUTIFUL. I am WORTHY. I am SUCCESSFUL" means nothing and makes no difference if you don't believe it's even possible. So if you say to yourself, "I am beautiful," and your inner bully responds with, "Pfft. Yeah right, ya cow," then it won't change your belief. But you can start with, "I am learning to love my reflection."

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  5. I love affirmations! I use them daily! My bathroom mirror is covered in them! And I really like your phrase "Don't pretend you're excited to fill the prescription when you know you aren't going to take the medicine."

    Great analogy! Enjoyed!

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  6. I've been all about positive thinking and positive energy. I dipped a bit last week, but this has rejuvenated the energy lost.

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  7. I love all these affirmations and will start using them on a daily basis. It is so important to remain positive about life and oneself!

    http://prettyfitfoodie.com/2017/03/28/recap-ultimate-newport-beach-brunch-event-fresh-toast-oc-weekly/

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  8. Love the simplicity of the message yet so powerful in terms of the impact it can have on our lives!

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  9. Love this!!! I'm all about positivity and positive thinking. If you truly believe you can you will!

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    1. I agree - but the genuine version of that belief is sometimes hard to find, which is where affirmations come in.

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  10. It sounds like you have amazing daughters. It's really nice to see them grow into the young women that you want them to be.

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    1. I sure hope they will! If they don't, it definitely won't be for lack of trying.

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  11. I feel the same way towards my girls. It's nice to have a good and positive relationship with them. I love your affirmations. I could really use them.

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  12. My daily affirmation is, everyday is an adventure :) And i think its true!

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  13. Josephine sounds like a remarkable young woman who has the ability to empathize and is wise beyond her years. I think that positive affirmations really do work and it helps us feel more positive x

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    1. Yeah that's pretty much a perfect description of her! She used to get teased (playfully) by family members when she was little because she had a pretty advanced vocabulary - people would say, "She talks like she's a little old woman!"

      We thought she was just interesting, but then the second one came along and did the same thing - now we're thinking it's because we didn't do a lot of "baby talk." Josephine knew and regularly used big words like "hippopotamus" and "medications" and "asinine" by the time she was around four years old.

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  14. I hear you. I had read this book years ago called - Secrets, which has left a lasting impression on me and the reason being, I learned a great thing about staying positive. When I stay positive and keep saying to myself that, good things are going to happen, good things DO happen.

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    1. And it's more than just a strong theory - it's for real. I think of it as like prayer at work - I thank God for the things I want as if He's already granted them to me.

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  15. My daily affirmation is, "I can do it". I live for these kinds of motivation, I've always been a positive person. Really enjoyed this post, thanks! :)

    xoxo,
    http://janineladdaran.com

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    1. Thanks, I'm glad you liked the post! I love your affirmation, too - simple and to the point, but no less powerful.

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  16. Keeping yourself inspired is one of the biggest challenges that we face. I see why so many people use affirmation as it can really help to keep you focused and inspired when you might not be especially feeling it.

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