I had never heard of affirmations until my stay in the mental health unit. There, I learned that it is necessary to nurture myself in order to keep my emotional health. Affirmations are one way to do this. They are one sentence statements containing truthful information that speak to our souls. Repeated regularly, they build up our feelings of worth and give us the ammunition we need to fight the distorted thought patterns that try to take over.
A favorite affirmation for me is “I am a worthwhile human being.” I sing it as a vocal exercise starting on a low note with the syllable “Ah” and slurring up an octave higher with “I”, then coming down the scale with the words “am a worthwhile human being.” It gets my heart pumping and my feelings of worth strong.
In Overcoming Fear of the Unknown in the Workplace (see article), I talk about the difference between irrational affirmations and rational ones. When choosing affirmations, we have to be careful that we do not set ourselves up for problems. See the examples below from the article:
Irrational Affirmation – I am in control. Problem: being in control means we are responsible for the outcome. When the outcome is not good, our self-worth decreases.
Replace with this Rational Affirmation – I am prepared. Benefits: preparation breeds flexibility. When outcomes do not look good, we are able to rethink what is happening, change our course of action, and keep our self-worth intact.
Irrational Affirmation – I am important. Problem: feeling important makes us think that our needs will be met by others. When they are not, our feelings of importance decrease and we loose our self-esteem.
Replace with this Rational Affirmation – I am needed. Benefits: no matter where we serve, there is always something that needs to be done. As we see these things and act on them, our feelings of self-worth increase, as well as our value to the organization.
When we choose affirmations that build our feelings of self-esteem, we re-enforce the innate worth that we already have. This gold mine in our souls is a never-ending source of strength and stability. It keeps us moving in a positive direction, no matter what happens in life.
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Leave a comment – What is your experience with affirmations?