I want to talk about affirmation. I don't know about you, but so much of my life has been spent seeking approval from the people in it. Parents, teachers, siblings, friends, mentors--you name it. I believe every one of us is inherently "programmed" to seek the approval of those we deem the 'most' important. The irony in that is those people, whomever they may be, are likely vying for that same approval/value placement from us. If that is the case, what do we do with that knowledge? How do we become the well-balanced, unbothered person we tell ourselves we are (or at least pretend to be around others) in between acts? The easy answer...you fake it. I know, what am I saying??! The whole point of doing "the work" is to be our truest and most authentic self, right? Absolutely, AND it's not a thing that can happen until we learn to trust our own judgment--our own knowing that we are enough and that the approval we all seek is inside of us. That's where AFFIRMATION comes in. In my own life, I practice affirmations frequently and I encourage clients to do the same. Often, when they first begin the practice, clients will say things like "But what if I don't believe that about myself?" The goal is not to convince yourself that you are something you're not. It is instead to reinforce an already existing (positive) truth about yourself. Affirmations are less about focusing on what you are not and more about emphasizing who/what you are. Acknowledging these truths allows us to come to terms with our "enough-ness" and be realistic about how we want to show up in our lives--not for the sake of others' approval, but for the sake of feeling good about ourselves without the added pressure of pleasing others. If the affirmations you are creating feels untrue in some way, I invite you to shift your focus to what the message is you're wanting to convey and build around that.
In my own life, affirmations are an always useful tool that is available to me whenever I need it. In my practice, they serve as a foundational skill for a client to keep in his/her/their toolbox for use at any time during the healing/growth journey. Do you use affirmations? If so, what are some of them? Are there ways that you have struggled in affirming yourself throughout your journey?