The old saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” is usually a deterrent from talking badly about other people. It should also be used when it comes to negative self-talk. It’s so easy to think and say things about ourselves that we wouldn’t say to anyone else. But why is that? Mainly because it’s just us speaking to ourselves. Those thoughts or negative comments are said under our breath if we’re taking too long to learn a new skill or make a mistake at work.
Something I learned in therapy about those comments is that after a while, they become so normalized in our way of thinking, we use them as justification for why we aren’t succeeding or having bad days. We have already told ourselves that we’re not good enough or are going to fail, so we don’t even try.
This is where positive affirmations can help.
Positive affirmations are a way to combat these negative thoughts and self-talk, as well as build up our self-esteem and confidence that’s been eroded by the negative.
It can be a bit hard to get started. If you’re used to only thinking negatively or making disparaging comments about yourself, being positive and gentle can feel weird. Sit with that feeling. Getting outside of our comfort zone is the only way forward, as what has been our normal has been at a detriment to our feelings of self-worth.
To get started on your journey, here are three ways to incorporate positive affirmations into your daily life:
- Write your positive affirmations down where you can see them every day. This is incredibly important especially when you’re just starting out. It can be easy to jot them down in your planner or journal if you use those, but they’re not readily available when you most need them. Write your positive affirmations down somewhere visible and keep them where you’ll see them multiple times a day. Write them on index cards you can keep in your wallet or purse, on a dry erase board you have hanging up in your house, or as calendar reminders in your phone. The more repetitive the better. It’s true what they say: you do the most growth when you’re not thinking about it.
- Sign up for daily affirmation through apps or email. There are many free and paid apps and email subscriptions you can sign up for that provide daily affirmations. This is a low-stakes way of getting daily affirmations that don’t put the onus on you to create them. It’s common when starting something new like writing your own daily affirmations tocan get discouraged from trying due to fear of failure. By signing up for apps like The Shine App or Cosrx daily text messages, you’re lowering the barrier of entry for yourself receiving the benefits of daily affirmations without the pressure.
- Get an accountability partner. If you’re like me, you can find it hard to keep yourself accountable when the only person affected by your actions, or lack thereof, is you. Having an accountability partner who will check in on your progress or with whom you can share your daily affirmations makes you accountable to someone other than just yourself. This is also a great entering point as you can utilize your accountability partner as much or as little as needed. For positive affirmations, having a friend or family member who is also interested in building self-confidence and positive self-esteem may be the best option. this way you’re both checking in with each other and can lean on one another when you have missteps (because they’re bound to happen) and when you hit your own milestones.