Have you ever thought about doing affirmations but convinced yourself they are a waste of time? Are you frustrated and annoyed at the very thought. Does it make your skin crawl to imagine looking yourself in the mirror and saying nice things. Well, if that’s you, you aren’t alone. If you love affirmations and have no idea why everyone isn’t doing them you might want to keep reading too. Understanding why affirmations can be such a struggle for some and why they are necessary could lead to so much joy and the breakthrough you’re looking for!
If you’ve been watching my videos you may have caught that I had a HUGE problem with affirmations when I first heard about them. Surely you have also heard me mention that my affirmation practice is the single biggest thing I’ve ever done to change my life. If you’re wondering how I went from being so infuriated I was in tears to shouting from the rooftops that this is the most important thing you’ll ever do for yourself look no further!
A Little Background
The first time I’d heard anything serious about affirmations I was in my mid 40’s. I was SO frustrated with myself I didn’t know what to do. I kept telling anyone with ears to hear how fed up I was.
I’d been smoking for over 30 years and despite my father dying at 43 of a massive heart attack I couldn’t give it up. I was also 30lbs over weight and 2 sizes bigger than I wanted to be. Countless times I’d tried to lose weight and get into a good exercise routine. I would lose 10 – 15 lbs & start working out everyday and then lose momentum or get distracted and go right back to my old ways. My old ways being eating sugar hand over fist and skipping workouts (especially cardio and yoga).
Life changes and transitions
To top it off I was about to become an empty nester, had just become a grandma and had no sense of life purpose. I was going through so much transition. It seemed like I was just spinning my wheels and I had no idea how to break free. I was at the bottom of my priority list. It seemed like I couldn’t get anything done and I was absolutely disgusted with myself.
My dirty little secret
I was too disgusted with my lack of progress to even admit how disgusted I was! I was seeing a therapist who I’d never told. And when speaking to my friends I would make excuses and brush it off. But make no mistake, I was SO angry with myself! For the condition I was in and for my absolute lack of self discipline! I just couldn’t stop thinking, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!!!” I couldn’t stop beating myself up and couldn’t admit that I was doing it.
This obviously led to a cycle of nasty, negative self talk. I made sure I covered ALL of the bases, not just how lazy I was and that I was a big fat quitter failure. But also touching on how no one liked me. How bad I was at relationships. How undeserving and unworthy I felt I was. etc. My hostility towards myself was my dirty little secret.
I share this because if you’re in this cycle you should know you aren’t alone. This swirl of negativity and hostility was so much my norm that I didn’t even really notice it was there. I would struggle with bouts of depression and anxiety and never saw this lying beneath. Sure others got close to it sometimes and would ask me about my “self talk” or self esteem. But I always played it off that I had a healthy self image and had it under control. Absolutely not true! Like most things in my life, I was white knuckling this!
It never occurred to me that enduring my own negative self talk was what was behind any of my struggles, let alone all of them. Struggles to take care of myself, kick those bad habits, and find purpose. My perspective was that when I proved to myself I deserved better I’d do better. So, when I quit smoking THEN I would believe I deserved good health. When I worked out regularly and ate healthy THEN I would believe I was worthy of dropping the extra weight. I’d set myself up on a prove it path. On a destination happiness and self worth path. I was trapped in a never ending cycle. Doomed to fail because of my negative self talk. And adding to and validating my negative self talk with every failure or struggle. It just wasn’t working and my negative self image was growing exponentially every time I failed!
How it worked
So… in one of my many hopes to get myself motivated, I went back to my research phase. This was something I did often. When I was getting ready to hit it hard… dive back into my “healthy” life, I would do tons of research. Then I would use that to game plan all of the changes I’d be making.
Implementing the new knowledge
“You just need an elimination diet!” I’d tell myself. And I did, and it helped, until I started eating ALL of the sugar again! “You just need to start cardio training like that woman in the movie!” And I did, and it worked until I became frustrated with the shortness of breath from smoking & quit.
I’d like to say that each time I quit I would beat myself up but the truth is that I never stopped beating myself up. The whole time I did the elimination diet I chastised myself for not doing it sooner and for letting it get so bad! I questioned whether I was eating too much rice while on the plan… so many carbs… obviously I was screwing it up!!! While I did cardio I compared myself to others in the class. Those older than me and younger than me were all in better shape. Why couldn’t I move faster? Why was I so uncoordinated? And I kept it all a secret.
Stumbling across affirmations
So back to my story, I was in the research phase & I was watching a documentary about food. It was a great one and I was thoroughly enjoying it. I was feeling very motivated and using what I was learning to come up with a plan of attack! Everything was going great!
Then something went VERY wrong! There I was, on the edge of my seat, waiting for the expert to explain the very first step in the dietary changes. Pen in hand, ready to write it down and immediately implement it. When suddenly she said something so outrageous. SO infuriating and upsetting, that I almost threw my pen at the screen! She said that the first thing all of her clients do is put a note on their mirror that says “I love you unconditionally right now!”. Before she makes ANY other changes they have to read it to themselves daily for a month.
Feeling angry & convicted
It was almost unbelievable how upset I was by this! I immediately began to cry! I felt a mixture of anger and hurt and recognized it right away as conviction.
It was just like the thing that happens to you in church. You know, when the pastor is talking about something people need to change or sin or something and you feel all bristled. You think something like “not me” or “how dare he”.
Well, I’ve come to know that when I react to something in this way it’s because it’s the exact thing I need to be doing and I DON’T WANT TO! Yes, I watched the rest of the movie. I was hoping for another way out. I watched 2 more documentaries after that. And then, I woke in the middle of the night dreaming about the note on the mirror. Despite my best efforts I couldn’t shake it. I couldn’t get it out of my head and I felt captivated by it.
Putting it out there
I really wanted to just ignore it and start with another healthy meal plan and exercise routine. But instead I finally started talking to people about it. I put it out there. My close friend practices meditation and manifesting, so I went to her first. I spoke to my therapist. And then I talked to my husband about it. He’s usually my go-to first person but this embarrassed me and I had a difficult time sharing it with him. EVERYONE universally agreed that I needed to do this. Mostly with a big sigh of “finally… you see it”. You see, these people all think I’m amazing. And they weren’t completely in the dark about my lack of belief in this area.
So, I set out to start affirming myself, nothing else at first, just the affirmations. I was WAY to self conscious to write them on the mirror. In some way I felt embarrassed and still feel like it’s a private practice for me. I kept a small notebook in the bathroom, hidden next to the cabinet and whenever I went in to go to the bathroom I would quickly read my affirmations to myself in the mirror.
Overcoming the struggle
I’d like to tell you that it was like angels singing and felt so wonderful. The truth is that it felt stupid. Despite the fact that it didn’t actually take more than a few seconds it felt like a huge waste of time.
Some days I would start to cry reciting my affirmations. On other’s I’d just roll my eyes and plow through them. But, I did it anyways! I complained about it to the people I’d told I was doing it. And they encouraged me to do it anyway. They followed up with me and checked in. It gave me enough accountability to keep going. It normalized what I was doing and I no longer felt so weird doing it. So I persisted and I added more affirmations to my list and worked to be more intentional with them. I tried to make them more specific and made myself make eye contact in the mirror while reading them.
Low and behold, something happened! I began to change. The way I saw myself and my place in the world started to shift. I actually started to believe that I was lovable and worthy and SO much more! Unfamiliar thoughts came into my mind about my health. Thoughts like “you’re so beautiful and strong, you deserve to be nurtured and cared for.” I began to think of food and health habits as self-love rather than deprivation and punishment. I started to think about all of the amazing gifts and talents I had and how much I could contribute to the world and this blog was born. Incredible things started to shift in my life. My relationships even began to change. Some improved and some became more strained as I began to put boundaries into place. I grew. I found joy, peace and happiness. And, I found it within myself.
Since starting affirmations I have quit smoking and kicked the sugar habit. I now eat mostly clean and 7 – 9 cups of plants a day. I sleep soundly 7 – 9 hours a night and fall asleep quickly and easily without a racing mind. I’m still not doing a daily workout but I’m ok with that. Afterall, Rome wasn’t built in a day! I’ll get there. In the meantime, I make sure to get movement into my day, everyday. I still love strength training though so I do that twice a week as well. I’ve even completed 4 fasts for health and do daily intermittent fasting (5 days a week). I can’t tell you that I never struggle or slip back into old stinking thinking habits but I can say that I catch it quicker. I root it out faster and it isn’t able to turn into an infestation.
Finding my purpose and calling and overcoming challenges
So, when I started this blog. Which was a calling on my heart, so strong it could not be denied. I felt stupid and incompetent. I’d always struggled with tech and I was frustrated building my site and setting everything up. Some days I would cry. Some days I would say cruel things to and about myself to anyone who would listen.
This is when I needed to lean into everything I’d been learning and working on. I had to trust myself and nurture my soul. I needed to hone my affirmations. To remind myself that I was smart enough and capable. I had to remember all of the things I’d overcome and figured out in the past. If I hadn’t learned to do affirmations I would likely have quit. It was the skill I needed most to continue. And, I just couldn’t quit, but didn’t know why. I did build my site and I did figure out how to make everything work. I set up my social media. And when the time came for my first 30 Day Challenge I was able to get all of my subscribers their exclusive content.
Continued practice and success
By preparing myself and building myself up I was finding that I could knock down goals and accomplish tasks in all areas of my life. I still find this to be true. Am I perfect at affirmations? No. Sometimes I forget to do them entirely. This is a skill I always have though and I work to include it in my life and turn to it when facing a challenge. It has changed my life. it is a tool I can’t imagine living without and I knew that I had to share it with all of you!
I went from painful conviction to victory! From anger and frustration to happy, at peace and purposeful and I know that you can too!
My first 30 day challenge
Nothing made more sense to me than making my first challenge affirmations. Especially since my affirmation practice is the very foundation of this blog. Doing daily affirmations helped me to find myself and to believe in myself. It is, after all, the fertile soil in which every success and happiness in life is built. Whether you like it or agree with it, this is true!
My commitment to you
I know for certain that affirmations can help you like they’ve helped me. I hope that my story will inspire you to try it. You don’t have anything to lose!
Don’t forget to grab your FREE affirmation guide! If you have a friend that you know needs this, please share. I wish I’d known sooner! And I can’t possibly overstate how important this is! I would’ve been far more receptive if a friend had suggested this as a personal growth tool!