Positive self-talk keeps us in the positive energy zone and away from the dregs of negativity. When we’re in the positive energy zone, healing happens.
Positive self-talk is one of the most important parts of your healing and it can’t be overstated just how important it is. We tell ourselves hundreds of non-positive things throughout the day, most of the time without ever realizing it.
It all starts with catching yourself in the act. When you’re running late or when you’ve forgotten something, maybe you’re saying to yourself, “I’m always late!” or “Why am I so stupid?” These are the things you want to catch and change. It’s not enough to tell yourself to just stop saying it, because that might also turn into a non-positive message like, “Stop saying those bad things to yourself!” Non-positive. Oops.
Instead, turn it into something positive and say it a few times in a row. “I’m embracing this opportunity to learn to leave earlier next time,” and “I’m always learning new things and my mind is expanding.” I know. It might sound hokey, so put it in our own words.
This translates to our physical bodies as well. Our bodies hurt. They are unwell. It’s frustrating and challenging. Maybe you’ve got a “bad” leg or “stupid” joints that “just won’t work.” Maybe your stomach is “always acting up.” When we tell ourselves, our bodies, these messages over and over, they are more and more true.
In order to make room for change, we make the change with our words first and the belief follows. “My leg is asking for extra support today.” “My joints are doing the best they can and I appreciate all they do to help me get around. They are improving every day.” “My stomach is requesting a period of gentle foods.” (I said that one A LOT.)
Saying these things might feel strange at first, but removing judgments and negativity from our words gets easier over time and believing the words comes after you start saying them, even if it’s only silently in your mind, but saying them out loud to yourself in the mirror? Even more powerful.
Affirmations and Afformmations – An affirmation can sometimes feel false. You look in the mirror and say, “You are the best ever,” but because your mind doesn’t believe it, it won’t ring true to your heart, which makes the affirmation useless and worse, possibly damaging. What your heart or mind perceives as a lie won’t be healing or helpful.
To overcome that and be able to say positive things to a heart or mind that isn’t quite on board with your new-found positivity, try afFORMmations, the invention of Noah St. John (warning, there’s an auto-play video), author of The Secret Code of Success.
An affirmation is to state as a fact where an afformmation is to ask as a question, leaving it open to the Universe to fulfill the answer. Example: I am so awesome vs. Why am I so awesome? In the book, The Spirit of Kaizen, Dr. Maurer talks about how the power of the question is in our brain’s intention to solve it. It’s ok that you don’t know yet. That’s the fun part because out brain likes to work on puzzles.
In an afformmation, it’s already a given that you don’t know the answer and that’s ok. You don’t need to know. Make peace with that and embrace the wonder of possibility. “Why is my body so good at healing itself?” “Why am I getting so great at being on time everywhere I go?” “Why am I so competent and able to perform my job with aplomb?” Alright, aplomb might be taking it too far, but insert your words of choice.
If you find you can’t authentically say your affirmation to yourself, try nudging it into the afformmation category and keep at it until it feels honest to turn it back into a statement.
Why do we even care about affirmation or afformmations?
Because they help you get from Here —> There.
It all goes along with creating positivity in the world and most importantly around yourself. Our thoughts have weight and energy. They are vibrational. What we surround ourselves with, we become.
If we allow the doubting and non-positive thoughts to stick around unchallenged, especially under the surface where we don’t look at them very hard, they create a layer around us that can get dark and heavy. It’s important to be accountable for our feelings and thoughts and then turn them positive or at least neutral. It’s estimated that we have somewhere in the neighborhood of 25,000 subconscious non-positive things run through our minds in a day. That’s a lot to combat, so we have to be vigilant and aware.
Surrounding ourselves with higher-vibrational energy, like positive thoughts, helps us heal. Simply looking at yourself in the mirror and smiling can start a healing chain reaction for the day. In a recent study, it was found that a smile from someone you care about (and that can include you!) hits the pleasure center of the brain the same as if you ate 2000 bars of delicious chocolate or received $8,500 in cash. That’s some pretty great smiling energy!
Lining your heart and mind up together – Sometimes your heart says one thing and your mind says another. If you’re having trouble getting your affirmations and afformmations to stick, this might be happening to you. This is probably because you have an underlying belief you haven’t addressed that is surfacing and demands attention before you can move forward.
Here’s what that might look like: You are using your mind to state your affirmation, “I’m smart and competent and able to handle my work today.” But your heart, which isn’t ruled by your mind, has a different feeling, “I feel overwhelmed today and everyone in the office thinks I’m stupid.” Your heart will always win. Your feelings will always trump your thinking.
The first step would be trying to turn it into an afformmation and seeing if leaving it as a question to the Universe to answer will help. “Why am I so smart and competent and able to handle my work day?” If you just can’t get your heart on board, it’s time to do some underlying belief work.
Keep asking the question but add in some free-style journaling. These are pages for no one to read and not for keeping. Write this type of journaling in a notebook you can tear pages out of and throw away.
Write the question at the top of the page and then start writing all the things that come to mind. It might be a whole lot of things you didn’t know you were thinking or feeling. Things you’ve blocked out for one reason or another.
Do this with no judgment. Don’t censor yourself. (Remember, you aren’t keeping it and no one is going to see it.) And in the course of your writing you will see your underlying beliefs start to take shape. “I’m a stupid person. I dropped the food at dinner one year at Thanksgiving. I’m never going to be as good at anything as Francis is at everything.” And you might even see things like, “Women aren’t as smart as men. My Mom said I’d always be a dullard.” Ok, doubtful you’d use the word “dullard” unless you are from another time period, but I threw it in there to make sure you know you can REALLY write whatever comes up.
Just keep writing until there isn’t any more to write. Maybe you’ll wake up tomorrow and need to write some more pages and throw them away. And maybe the day after that. That’s ok. It’s a process.
Eventually, you’ll get those limiting beliefs out where you can see them, look at them, and decide if you want to keep them or release them. If they aren’t serving you well, send them on their merry way and make room for new, positive beliefs. Tell them, Hey. I don’t need you anymore, and put them in a bubble and blow them out in the sky. If they show up again tomorrow, do it again.
Go easy on yourself. You’ve been carrying some of those beliefs around for many years and it might take a little while to get them nudged out.
Now you can go ahead and try your affirmations and afformmations again. See if they feel differently this time. See if they fit a little better. Check in and see if your heart and mind are on the same page. If you need more help with this, use the worksheet.
A Word of Caution – There is a funny thing that happens sometimes when we let go of our limiting beliefs. Our old programming that left us leaves a space in our energy. You’ll be working hard and trying to be consistently aware to fill it up with new, positive vibrations, but for a little while, you might feel a longing for something, maybe feeling a little sad, and not quite sure why. You might even find your mind or habits turning to old and unhelpful things that you’ve let go of, if not recently, maybe years ago. This is totally normal.
First, you get the cleansing of fresh, new vibrations. And then in the spaces where your old energy used to be, your old programming that’s now gone, there is just an uneven feeling that if left unexamined, can try to undo the work you’re doing by pulling you into old patterns before you’ve successfully created your solid new patterns.
This might manifest in ways that seem familiar but unnecessary. Maybe you’ll have moved from reaching for highly processed foods over a year ago but suddenly find yourself automatically putting a big box of mac-n-cheese in your cart at the grocery store. Or you’ll be hanging out with your significant other, talking about one thing and suddenly realize you’re really talking about things you’ve ironed out months or years ago that have nothing to do with your present situation. Maybe you’re falling into old co-dependent habits where one of you “needs” to be sad/angry/depressed and the other one of you ends up being happy and joyful with a can-do attitude.
These are ways the slight unevenness of your energy is trying to right itself – by pulling in old, familiar, yet unhelpful situations that in an odd way feel comfortable because you remember the echoes of them on a cellular level. This is why habits are so hard to break without awareness.
Try to notice when this happens, and similar to releasing limiting beliefs, simply let them go without judgment. You don’t need them anymore. Goodbye. And remind yourself that you are doing SUCH A GREAT JOB. Way to go, you. We’ll go into this more when we get to Healthy Energy Ideas.
If you have children watching you – particularly girls watching older women, they will watch how you talk to yourself and about yourself. You are teaching them how to feel about themselves as they grow older. Yes, you may be telling them that they are beautiful just as they are, but if you turn around and pick your own person apart, that’s truly what you’re teaching them.
It’s ok to feel beautiful. It’s ok to feel sexy in your own skin. It’s ok to have imperfections and love yourself anyway. Perfect doesn’t really exist and if you’re waiting for that before you love yourself, you’ve got a long wait coming.
You’ve probably heard asinine comments and songs that say something like, “She was so beautiful because she didn’t know it.” Boo. That’s so counterintuitive and simply a way to keep women submissive and unsure and less-than-powerful.
Know how beautiful you are! Right now! No matter what you physically look like, you are a beauty, and knowing it is what makes it so. It’s how you carry yourself and who you are on the inside, too. How you take care of yourself and those you love. It’s being kick-ass in every single way you can think of. There is nothing wrong about feeling beautiful and sexy every dang day.
If you’re in a relationship with a significant other, it’s super easy to rely on them to make you feel good about yourself. You can wait until they tell you you’re attractive or smart to feel like you are. But that sets us up for the opposite, which is, if they are having a bad day and act towards us in a non-positive way and we perceive that as them not thinking we are smart and attractive, then, POW straight to the gut. We crumble.
Take that power back and hold it in your own hands! What your partner in life tells you about yourself is only true if you let it be, and if it’s positive, sure, let that in. But if it’s non-positive, you’ve just been given an opportunity to grow a little and love yourself through it, thinking you’re awesome even when they don’t show it.
If this is difficult for you, and granted, it can be a little difficult for anyone who is starting, but if it’s really difficult for you, perhaps you have some underlying beliefs about your person and body image and what women and men are supposed to be like and perhaps taking a closer look at those will help.