Self-loving affirmations are difficult for me. No matter how hard I try, I can’t look in the mirror and tell myself, “I am enough” or “I am beautiful.” My default mindset is to look in the mirror and figure out what I can work on to be better. In other words, I have a negative focus with a positive vibe. It’s tricky. So when I look in the mirror to try and say, “I am pure beauty,” I will tack on, “If I work on my skincare regimen” or, “But my anxiety makes me less beautiful, especially on the inside.” I have always struggled with the “fake it ’till you make it” mindset in other aspects of my life, so it is no surprise that I can’t fake myself into believing these affirmations.
I was the type of student who learned from taking notes and making piles of flashcards, so I tried writing affirmations over and over. But I could not shake the image of Harry Potter writing, “I must not tell lies” in Order of the Phoenix. And even though that comparison is silly, I still could not believe what I was writing.
I did not want to give up on affirmations. You can’t go wrong with positive statements about yourself. I knew I was just having a difficult time identifying what worked best for me.
Then I found it! I started using affirmations as journal prompts. It required me to write out the statement to assert it into my memory, but then I just delved in and asked myself some questions:
- What does this affirmation look like in real life?
- Why don’t I believe in this affirmation? More importantly, is that reason out of my control, in the past or an external force?
- OR! Why do I believe this? What is the truth in this affirmation?
- How would I benefit from believing in this affirmation?
- Do I want to believe in this affirmation?
- What can I do [today/this week/this month] to believe in this affirmation?
Some words of advice from Jen Sincero in her book You Are A Badass, “This can’t be just rattling off nonsense-you have to feel it and want it and get worked up by it in order for it to work.” For me, being able to take an affirmation and play around with it like a rubix cube, really gets me involved and helps me find the practicality in self-loving affirmations.
I would love to hear about other people’s experiences with affirmations. Do you have any favorite self-loving affirmations or affirmation practices?