A friend of mine posted this article on Facebook today. It is well-meaning and right on point, but like so many other articles of the same theme it tells you what not to do instead of advising a solution. Yes, running from your problems, for example, is destructive, but what do you do to stop that?
By flipping the language around on these bits of advice and turning them into an affirmation you can claim as your own, then looking at or saying those affirmations every day you will begin to shed these habits. So go read the article to get an idea of what's going on here (I'll wait), then come back and read the affirmations that go along with it.
- I face my problems, do what I can, and let the rest go.
- I am always truthful with myself and others.
- I allow myself to live in the present moment.
- I allow myself to have my feelings, including happiness.
- I am able to be independent and responsibly interdependent.
- I always do my best, regardless of whether I may fail or succeed.
- I learn from my mistakes.
- I allow myself to be intimate with others.
- I live from a place of compassion for myself and others.
- I am allowed to be myself. My loved ones are allowed to be who they are.
- I acknowledge my genuine reasons and motives for my actions.
- I let go of things that I cannot control.
- I err on the side of optimism.
- Today, I am grateful for the following 5 things: [list 5 things]
- I use my time wisely.
- I allow myself time to rest and breathe.
- I am proud of myself, and impressive all on my own.
- There is only one me, and I am [chosen pronoun].
- I am allowed to enjoy life.
- Right this second I am enough. I love me. I'm allowed to love me.
See how much more practical that is than trying to shame yourself into changing? Feel free to use these or make up your own. Just remember that the formula for an affirmation is a positive action or belief that you either can grow into (it's like hypnosis like that) or already believe. If you say an affirmation and the voice in the back of your mind is screaming LIAR!!! try something a little closer to how you feel. For example, if "I love myself" feels inherently false to you*, try "I am allowed to love myself". If it still feels like a lie at that point, you can try stepping back to "I am allowed to like myself", but find a way to stick with it.
Affirmations skip over words like "don't" or "am not" in the direct action. Also, consider skipping words like "should/shouldn't" and "need". These words subtly shame you and we want to avoid that. Instead, consider replacing these words with "must", "want", "desire", and "require". More specific language feels weird at first, but when you stop shaming yourself you can have an easier time building yourself up to the point where you can say all of the above affirmations without that little voice calling you a liar.
*No shame in that. A lot of people feel that way but are still great.