Self Affirmation


relationship3We talk about self affirmation as a means to a healthier, happier life.  As you are aware, thoughts that enter our minds provoke many feelings that can sabotage the means to achieve a goal of being to appropriately affirm yourself. What you say to yourself can certainly affect your mood and feelings. Exceptions to this would be some type of biochemical Imbalance or physiological illness. Also, people who are predisposed to extreme anxiety, phobias or depression are particularly vulnerable to engaging in negative self talk.


The standard theory is that when a particular situation occurs, a series of steps  are activated which include the following of a negative thought, which is followed by an uncomfortable feeling and resulting in an action or inaction.  However, sometimes it doesn’t go exactly that way.  Sometimes it starts out with an uncomfortable feeling that seems to come out of nowhere and then triggers the negative self talk which in turn  counteracts any positive feelings about oneself.

The standard response to counter negative self talk is to replace it with positive, self affirming statements. Often this is easier said than done. After years of being wired in a certain way, it becomes engrained  to talk to yourself in ways that are completely automatic and unconscious.  Therefore, merely saying “Think positive” doesn’t work. There is no magic amulet here. You need to muster the courage to at least intellectually not accept the old worn out thoughts about yourself. It is crucial that you replace those negative images with self affirming statements. It is with that perseverance that can  break through the negative quagmire that you find yourself in.

There are different ways of coping with problems we face, including thoughts that are negative and counter to self affirmation.  However, as the saying goes, ” If the front door is locked, go to the back door.  If the back door is locked, go though a window.” There are always of addressing a problem.  If you’re met with disappointment at first, try  looking at it from a different angle. Being proactive instead of reactive can go a long way to garnishing personal power.  Instead of giving up power to the “gremlins” that occupy your mind from the past, present and/ or the ill defined future, begin to view yourself in a more positive light that reflect who you truly are.

It is crucial to Challenge those cognitive distortions that can occupy your mind. You can do this by having in place a rational counteractive thought and behavior plan that can be implemented as the need presents itself .  Regardless of what you’re faced with on a day to day basis, be it real or imagined, you need to constantly tell yourself, “I am a good person who deserves the positive goodness that life has to offer.” “I am a person of worth”   Anything that is counter to these truths needs to be challenged for the delusional thinking that it is.

flowers3Any questions or suggestions can be forwarded to me, Ray Shocki PhD, LCSW, LMFT