From I Hate Myself to I Love Myself: Just a Step Away
Society Stops Us
“I sound so stupid.” “I can’t believe I did that.” “I’m a terrible public speaker/parent/human/[substitute in any other thing here]”
If you put yourself down as a matter of habit, and apologise for anything you offer other people, whether it’s your words, your business or even a cup of tea; you are like many other people on this planet. We live in a society which encourages us to stay out of the spotlight, downplay our strengths, for fear of appearing egotistical, smug or full of ourselves.
The Downward Spiral Trap
To counteract this expectation we end up in this downward spiral of putting ourselves down to other people, so as to not appear smug, this negative self talk, leads to us saying bad stuff about ourselves just to ourselves, this leads us to have less confidence in our abilities in anything, and consequently when we communicate with others we end up umming and ahhing all the time, because we have lost the ability to speak in an assured manner. This has us appearing as less than competent, and then less able to get what we want out of any given interaction.
This then gets increasingly worse, as our external experiences begin to match up with what we have been telling ourselves, so it becomes progressively harder to work out of this. Here is the good news… you can lift yourself out of this and become what you really want.
Stepping Stone Affirmations
- Identify your core values… what is really important to you
- Discover from this what you are actually wanting to believe
- Develop an affirmation. e.g. I am a confident speaker
- Now, look at where you are now in relation to this affirmation
- WATCH OUT! It’s likely, if you are doing this exercise, you are quite far away from it. So if you just start saying the affirmation over and over like you’ve heard you should, you actually might have the effect of becoming a less confident speaker.
No No No. I hear you say. I’ve heard that you can just “Fake It Till You Make It” with affirmations, so just act as if, and it will be so. Problem is… if you do this, it is more likely that acting “As If”, feels at odds with you, in your core, and consequently, you feel even more of a fraud, and your confidence decreases.
- INSTEAD, do this. Set your affirmation at your goal affirmation at one side of a pond, with stepping stones to get to it. These stepping stones are going to have phrases that you can step into easier than the goal one.
- Set your first stepping stone affirmation as something that takes you to the edge of your comfort zone but towards your goal. E.g. I am beginning to feel confident in some situations when I speak. If this is too much of a leap and beyond your comfort zone entirely, you may have to break it down a bit more. So it could be, “I am starting to feel less terrified about speaking in some situations.”
- As you begin to step onto the first stepping stone and feel good about that affirmation, you can formulate your next affirmation stepping stone that is on the edge of your new comfort zone… this process continues until you have reached your goal.
5 Hacks To Use Affirmations To Change Your Life
Here are 5 ways to get you started… I bet you can come up with some others that will work for you too.
- Every morning when your eyes open, state your affirmation 10 times and you can increase it in volume. If you’re able to say it out loud, even better, for maximum effect repeat it as you look at yourself in a mirror.
(If you feel like you’re in a space with other people, you’re unable to say it out loud. Maybe listen to yourself having recorded it or go into the shower, put the shower on, put some music on and say it out loud)
- Download an affirmation app. Good ones allow you to customise your affirmation, and have it pop up either at random or at set points that you state.
- Pick some music to accompany your affirmation – this can stay with you as you follow through the process of your stepping stones (Add a dance for extra effect!)
- Sticky notes are a great way of getting affirmations into your life. Put them anywhere you’ll see them. In the cupboard with your hot drinks, at the top of your computer screen, on your mirror, steering wheel. Whenever you see it. SAY IT
- Every time you sit down to write something. First, at the top of wha you are writing, write your affirmation. Including at the top of your daily planner – so it becomes your clear intention for the day. The act of writing something down is a crucial part of beginning to fully believe and know it to be true.
All change requires commitment to getting to the result, and recognising that we need to give it time and energy. This is a fast track to getting where you really want to be. Once you have done this process of Stepping Stone Affirmations you will find your self-talk and things you write about yourself will be in increasingly positive terms. You can then use the same strategy to work on the next issue you are experiencing.
For more on HOW to make this work, check out my FREE video training.