Say it louder for the thoughts in the back
Welcome back everyone! I hope last week treated you kindly, and if not I hope that your weekend made up for it. Besides falling ill for most of the week, I tried my very best to make something that resembled lemonade with the lemons I've been given. Despite how your week has been, it's gone now so we can either appreciate it or learn from it before letting it go. If your week was a total wreck, try gratitude. Be thankful for your right to education, your residence, your supplies, your mode of transportation to school, your support systems and of course being alive and well(ish). Be kind to your week as well as yourself. This can be done by the way you talk to yourself. We all talk to ourselves, some more then others, and some out loud instead of internally; point is we all chit chat with ourselves. I’m beginning to learn that the way I talk to myself or joke about myself (or current circumstances) has a significant impact on the turn of events. You reap what you sew, it’s that simple. You can’t expect positivity if all you spread is negativity, it just doesn't work that way. Negativity in your mind manifests itself in your words, actions and your environment. Also, you can’t successfully spread positivity if all you harbour is doubt, complaints and disbelief in yourself. The first step after making a goal (and adding a timeline to it) is believing that it's attainable. Having faith that your goal is attainable, that you are fully capable to achieve it and moving through the world as though you have already attained it (not in a boasting fashion but having a stress-free demeanour) is key to everything wonderful.
My dad is a strong believer in the verse that says that the “power of life and death lie on the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). Meaning, whatever you say has power and control over your life and decisions. What you speak, focus on, and think about becomes your reality. I find this comforting because you have control of your peace of mind and become less of victim who allows "life" to happen to them. You have the power!
Here are my simple tips on achieving goals by being nice to yourself (with your words) this back to school season...
I'm hoping we've already mastered the Golden Rule at this point in our lives. If not today's a good day to start treating people the way you would want to be treated. A good place to start is treating yourself the way you would treat a friend. The things you say to yourself on a daily basis are probably not your go-to choice of words you would vocalize when comforting a close friend. Also, what you say to yourself you probably wouldn't let anyone else talk to you in that manner without things escalating. So why bombard yourself with such language? You are your #1 best friend and you should start acting like it! Mocking or joking negatively about yourself only gives permission for others to do the same. Or second case scenario is making fun of yourself so others don't get the chance to do it doesn't help you in any way whatsoever.
Recite Affirmations (Say it loud)
I've been showered with positive affirmations from the day I was born to this very morning. I have had and continue to have an all-you-can-eat buffet of "you can do it", "you are smart", "you are a good person", "try again", "you'll get it next time" etc. that every human needs. This is not intended to be a Boasting Fest but a practice to speak against negative feelings and thoughts. Affirmations are personal and not a one size fits all kinda deal. You really have to search deep for your doubts, false beliefs and negative self talk to know how to counteract them. Exhibit a: "I'm an awful friend" to "I am becoming a better friend with each passing day", "I forgive myself for not always being a good friend" or you can be bold and claim that "I am a good friend". It's meant to be addressed in the present as if you have already received what you are asking for/working on.
Stick with it
Affirmations will definitely feel odd because 1. You're talking to yourself 2. You are repeating things that are not necessarily true (at this moment in time) and 3. You are uprooting thoughts and beliefs about yourself and others that you have probably harboured for a very very long time...Creating a new reality is unsettling before it's no longer unsettling, so stick with it. Stick with saying new beliefs about yourself on the daily (even if it's just in your head and not out loud in front of a mirror), stick with writing down the same affirmation for a whole page, stick with sticking them where you need to see them (keep a "you are beautiful" in the bathroom or "you got this" on the inside of your weightlifting glove or even "you are smart enough" on the inside of the cover of your Stats notebook. Whatever you need to hear, let your environment help you out. When applying this odd practice if at first you don't believe, believe that one day you will believe what you're saying. Believe that you can have, feel or experience what you're claiming in its due time.
And that's that! Affirmations are something I've always been surrounded by but have never found necessary to tailor to my own personal needs. It's nice for people to encourage you in the way they think you need, but only you know what thoughts, feelings and habits you need to alter. So give yourself the time of day to meditate on your train of thought and how you talk to yourself. To be very honest, journaling and affirming only started becoming appealing to me after discovering that the most successful people on the planet incorporate it in their morning routine as well as throughout their day. There's no doubt that these successful people are on to something and jumping on this bandwagon is the best gift I could have given myself! This is a stepping stone to many good things to come especially when it comes to one's self-esteem not just body-image but habits, standing up for yourself, faith in yourself, faith in your dreams etc.
So I'll leave you with affirmations to inspire your own list and I hope you write, recite and repeat the affirmations you oh so desperately need to hear even if it makes you cry before anything good comes from it...
"OUR DEEPEST FEAR IS NOT THAT WE ARE INADEQUATE. OUR DEEPEST FEAR IS THAT WE ARE POWERFUL BEYOND MEASURE. IT IS OUR LIGHT, NOT OUR DARKNESS, THAT MOST FRIGHTENS US. YOUR PLAYING SMALL DOES NOT SERVE THE WORLD. THERE IS NOTHING ENLIGHTENED ABOUT SHRINKING SO THAT OTHER PEOPLE WON'T FEEL INSECURE AROUND YOU. WE ARE ALL MEANT TO SHINE AS CHILDREN DO. IT'S NOT JUST IN SOME OF US; IT IS IN EVERYONE. AND AS WE LET OUR OWN LIGHTS SHINE, WE UNCONSCIOUSLY GIVE OTHER PEOPLE PERMISSION TO DO THE SAME. AS WE ARE LIBERATED FROM OUR OWN FEAR, OUR PRESENCE AUTOMATICALLY LIBERATES OTHERS.”
-- MARIANNE WILLIAMSON
Affirmations for beginners:
I believe in what I'm saying
I believe that all my heart's desires will eventually come to pass
I am able to be completely honest with myself
I am able to improve
I have everything that I need to do/be better
I have control over my life
I have control over my decisions
I have control over my words and actions
Something good will come out of this
I am thankful for everything that is coming my way
Affirmations for school:
I am a morning person
I am improving with each passing day
I am easy going
I am smart
I will figure things out
I am patient with myself
I trust the process
I don't crack under pressure
I love to learn
I am not afraid of failure