“We can’t hate ourselves into a version of ourselves we can love.” – Lori Deschene
When you think about who you are, what do you say? Is it harder to come up with positive things about yourself than things you wish were different about you? If you tend to focus on the stuff you wish were different such as “I wish I was skinnier” or “I wish I had more money” etc., you are not alone.
We are conditioned to think about the things that we want to be different more than we do positive things about ourselves. Part of our conditioning is evolutionary. We need to be our best self to survive and to reproduce. The other part of conditioning is societal.
Social media, friends, family, school, work all impact the way that we believe we need to look, act, behave, and what success looks like. We are constantly striving for better. While wanting to continue to grow and become more successful is awesome, it can be easy to forget about celebrating ourselves for who we are.
When was the last time you told yourself you looked good in the mirror or you are proud of the person you are? Chances are is has been too long. When we are constantly telling ourselves, we need to be better and do better, we end up thinking we aren’t good enough.
One of the most common reasons for people going into therapy is for that exact reason. We want to feel good about ourselves but feel selfish doing so. When my clients come to me for therapy nine times out of ten there is something that keeps them from feeling confident in who they are. One of the ways I help my clients out of this is by using positive affirmations.
Positive affirmations is about changing the way we talk to ourselves. Instead of saying, “I wish I was skinnier”, we say “I am beautiful for who I am, and my identity is not just my weight”. Speaking positively does not change a goal you have for yourself; it just celebrates who you are while you are striving for your goals.
You might be thinking, I know I should think more positively about myself, but I just can’t do it or I don’t know how. Positive affirmations are very simple, easy, and quick that can fit into any lifestyle. However, there is a catch. Affirmations need to be practiced daily and might not make you feel better about yourself in a day. Think about it this way, if you spend ten years being told you aren’t good enough it’s going to take more than a few tries to start believing you are good enough. The other part people get stuck in is feeling like they are lying to themselves. Starting affirmations may not be easy or comfortable. It takes time for our brains to learn and believe a new way of thinking before if gets comfortable again. Every time you do it, the next will be just a little bit easier so be patient with yourself.
Download this a simple worksheet that can get you started.
You deserve to feel good about yourself and the life you live.
You are good enough.