I remember the first time I caught myself affirming unfriendly things to myself. You see, prior to this time, I’d been unkind to myself, but I didn’t know it was so damaging.
This moment of enlightenment came shortly after I’d discovered Louise Hay’s Mirror Work. She was teaching that everything we say is an affirmation — positive or negative — and anything even remotely negative can be detrimental to our mind, body, and life.
Unfortunately, up until then, it was all too easy for me to criticize my skin or body or downplay my accomplishments (I know where I learned this behavior, too). So, I was no stranger to criticizing myself. Deep down, I knew better, because I never felt uplifted when words like that left my lips or passed through my mind. But no one had ever taught me otherwise.
There was even a time I covered the mirrors in my house with poster board in an effort to not trigger negative self-talk by seeing myself, hoping it’d stop if I did that. Yikes — so wrong.
That One Day… It Changed.
One day, though, mumbling to myself that my belly felt bloated triggered feelings of self-dislike. Suddenly, Louise Hay’s voice came into my head, “That’s an affirmation.”
And I realized, in that moment, “Oh… yeah! I just affirmed something I actually didn’t want to affirm, and I am actually recognizing it!”
That moment of self-awareness would change the way I thought about myself forever.
It didn’t mean that I thought I was perfect, or that only love gushed every time I talked to myself. Not yet, anyway (that would come shortly after).
But I no longer had moments of saying negative self-talk reflexively, on auto-pilot, because Every Single Time after that moment, I was aware!
Becoming aware took the sting out of recognizing these bad thoughts because I knew I was now on the right track. I knew it would only be a matter of time before I stopped any negative self-talk. The more I spoke lovingly, and the more times I caught myself slipping, the less I spoke unlovingly of myself.
Until one day, not long after, I would NEVER speak harmfully to (or about) myself again.
Like a giant ship turning around, my life shifted with that first moment of self-awareness. That first “catching” myself speaking negative self-talk.
And, it was so cool. Something clicked.
That moment when you wake up is important, because it interrupts the pattern. You’ll be forever changed, simply by knowing what you know. In fact, you don’t have to be a pro at self-talk when you start on your journey of self-love. Rather, just recognizing the pattern, the habit of negative self-talk, and becoming aware is half the battle!
You see, we want to transform — to become our greatest selves.
We want to shed the old self and become a new self that we design with intention. Awareness is part of the recipe, because awareness (consciousness) means paying attention, and the more aware you are, the better. When you become aware of your UNconscious self, then the less time you’ll spend UNconscious in your day.
You might ask, “Well, Kristen, how do I recognize it, if I’m not even aware?”
Great news, you’ve almost completed the first step! Because the first step is simply to read this post. In doing so, your brain acknowledges there’s a difference between positive and negative self-talk. From this moment forward, you are armed with the knowledge that anything you say — good or bad — is an affirmation.
The second step is to force yourself to start using loving self-talk every day. To do this, just follow Step 1 in my Happy Sexy Millionaire formula. You’ll soon be using so many positive words that, when a negative one does creep up, you’re like, “Wait, that’s not right!!! That doesn’t sound or feel right.” The first time that happens is that moment of self-awareness I described above.
It will happen — it does to everyone. You learn about self-talk, you start using positive self-talk, and then you are no longer asleep at the switch when you accidentally use negative self-talk. You become aware and it’s your triumphant turning point.
You’re on the right track! Celebrate that sh*t!
Your job is to simply keep stuffing the positive self-talk into your brain so there’s no room for the negative stuff.
And, funny, your ear will automatically become attuned to all the self-talk and affirmations going on around you, too. When you hear someone else use negative affirmations, you’ll instantly become aware of it — in fact, wanting to correct them — because you’ll feel uncomfortable for them. (But learning how to inject your positive self-talk into others’ lives is the subject of a future post. For now, we’re just concentrating on us.)
The moment you experience the self-awareness is the moment you really start to feel free.
You’ll also feel accomplished, because it was all your doing.
You did it all yourself — the learning and self-awareness and positive affirmations, and this gives you a feeling of control. Control of your own mind.
When that happens, look out, because you’re on a rocket blasting to great things.