Positive Affirmations and Self-Acceptance
Sometimes we go through hard times; sometimes, people give us a hard time. And sometimes we are hard on ourselves. It can be difficult for many people to think positively about themselves, and there are many reasons for that. But just because we have had negative experiences in the past, that doesn’t mean we have to look forward to a life of negativity and difficulty. The place to start changing our life story for the better is within ourselves. Our self-talk stems from our view of ourselves, and it is an ongoing conversation that lasts a lifetime. So why not make that time and headspace work for you, instead of against you? In today’s article, Teyhou Smyth gives a good overview of what positive affirmations are and how they can help you. Try to put aside any of your preconceived ideas (even a bit of cynicism?!) and explore this topic further – it may change your life forever!
In a world where we are constantly comparing ourselves and our lives to others, a little self-acceptance and positive affirmation can really help. While it may feel like a glorified pep-talk, positive affirmations actually work, and this makes sense when you think about it. When you talk to a friend who gives you good feedback about yourself or helps put things in perspective, it feels great; so naturally when we can do that for ourselves it also works. Who can give us better encouragement and affirmation than ourselves? When we check into our inner thoughts and feelings, we know where the insecurities lie; we know the tender spots in our ego that need love and nurturing.
What is a Positive Affirmation?
Positive affirmations are reminders of truth that bring us closer to self-acceptance, which is an important distinction to make, particularly for people who are skeptical about them or wonder about their usefulness. Many people misunderstand affirmations as “happy lies” we tell ourselves. Quite the opposite is true. When we offer ourselves affirmations, we quiet the clutter of external noise that we are inundated with every day and allow simple statements of truth to be the dominant voice for a moment.
Saying What You Need to Hear
Affirmations boost self-acceptance when we tell ourselves what our souls need to hear. Reassurance of our worth, lovability, and purpose are great ways to show ourselves compassion and love. Try to tune into your self-doubts when it comes to affirmations and offer soothing messages to yourself that you would tell a friend who was struggling.
- Honour your strengths with affirmative words.
- Write down those powerful thoughts and keep them in your pocket or in visible areas of your surroundings.
- Try out a few to see how they feel.
- You can even create a list of affirmations and get into the habit of reading through them before bed.
- Speaking them aloud is the most effective way to use positive affirmations, since it offers a declaration of sorts and makes it more real by putting the thought to words.
Why Self-Acceptance Matters
You are the only constant you will have from your birth until your death. Often it is easy to forget that we have a relationship with ourselves, just as much as we have a relationship with others. The key difference is that our relationship with ourselves is literally for our entire living existence on earth. Why would we want to have a terrible relationship with the one person we are stuck with forever?
Self-acceptance means less internal struggle, less “should’ing” of ourselves, and a greater ability to forgive ourselves when we make mistakes. When we have reasonable self-acceptance, our relationships with others also tend to be better, as our egos become healthy rather than reliant on others for validation and acceptance.
Being able to accept ourselves is liberating; it shouldn’t be mistaken for having a giant ego, or flagrant narcissist tendencies. It is more the ability to recognise the good in oneself and accept one’s own flaws without self-castigation or shame.
Try to make positive affirmations a daily practice until it becomes habitual. You will likely notice a greater sense of self-worth and acceptance through these simple comments. Thinking in this way will become easier over time, and the end results will be worth the initial efforts.
[This blog post originally appeared on Teyhou’s website www.livingwithfinesse.com ~ some content may have been modified for the UK context.]