My Most Destructive Affirmation
I was not even aware of the most destructive affirmation in my life.
It was planted in my mind when I was a small child. No one said it to me, but because I said it to myself…and believed it, it became my truth.
My most destructive affirmation was this: I am ugly.
I believed I was ugly. Because I thought I was ugly, I was always finding other destructive beliefs to support this core affirmation.
I hated my skinny arms. I thought my face was ugly. I hated my hair.
These beliefs affected every area of my life. They affected my confidence (or lack of it) and even the way I dressed.
I would often wear clothes 10 times too big trying to hide the fact that I was skinny. In reality, it just enhanced the fact.
The Affirmation that Changed It All
In my late twenties, I saw myself–really saw myself–for the first time.
I remember looking in the mirror in my bathroom and thinking, I’m not that ugly.
The thought actually kinda shocked me because this belief had been so ingrained, that I didn’t even realize I was thinking it.
Wow. I really should change this belief, I thought. So I decided to try out this “affirmation stuff” just to see what would happen. I crafted a new affirmation. I pledged to say it every day–out loud, looking myself in the eyes.
My new affirmation was this: I love you, Steve. I love you.
This affirmation changed everything.
The first few times I said it, I started laughing at myself because it felt so weird to say that I loved myself. Then, my face changed. I felt a lump growing in my throat.
“I love you, Steve. I love you,” I choked out.
I felt so sad standing there, looking myself in the eyes, hearing my own voice saying “I love you,” and I realized I didn’t even believe it.
Tears began to slide down my cheeks. Why have I never said this to myself, I wondered. Have I really lived this much of my life never truly loving myself?
Little by little, the old belief faded away and I could see myself as I was. And for the first time, I could love and appreciate me.
This was the starting point of a powerful transformation that began with a simple affirmation which led me to self-acceptance and ultimately, the courage to be truthful about my sexuality with my friends and loved ones.
I had to love myself before I could accept myself. And I had to accept myself before I could have the courage to change my life.
Self-love and self-acceptance always precede personal courage.
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What About You?
Do you believe in affirmations? Do you use them?
If so, do you actually repeat them out loud (versus in your head)?
Do you have a regular habit of using affirmations or do you use them sporadically?
Do you have any powerful stories of how an affirmation has changed a belief you had? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
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Note: This post is part of the 31-post Ultimate Blog Challenge. During the month of July, 2012, I will be posting 31 times. Since this is a lot of posts over a short period of time, I prepared a special page where you can catch any you may have missed.