Four years ago, while in grad school, I had an unpleasant exchange with the director of the school. I was in a supervision and he became frustrated with me and stated, ‘You will never be successful as a therapist. You might graduate and you might get a job, but you will never be successful.’ Those words were spoken to me when I was just a year short of earning my Masters Degree. I wanted to prove him wrong, so I did everything in my power to finish strong in my Master’s program. By the grace of God, before I even graduated I had already successfully interviewed and been offered a position as an Outpatient Therapist.
Despite landing a good job to jump start my career, I wasn’t able to stop the negative thoughts that started creeping in my head telling me that, ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I don’t have what it takes’, ‘I’m not smart enough’. For years, I questioned my ability to do my job, as I continuously had these negative thoughts about myself playing over and over in my head like a broken record. Because of my negative thoughts I started to have a decrease in confidence, self esteem and belief in myself. My constant negative thoughts manifested itself and began to have an adverse effect on my personal life, relationships, my career and eventually my children.
My constant negative attitude and fears were rubbing off on my son. He spoke so negatively about himself. He lacked self esteem and confidence in himself. My son refused to try anything and would give up before he could even start. This was affecting him academically and socially.
In an effort to help build his confidence I created and had him recite an affirmation: My name is Malachi Daniel Aiden Andre, and I am a child of God. No weapons formed against me shall prosper. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13. So for three years, he would consistently recite this affirmation. At times he would do it happily. At times he hated it and would speed through it. I would have him do it again. I began to see a lot of improvement in my son in terms of his confidence and self-esteem. He recently was able to conquer his fear of needles and has been able to make some friends.
In helping him, I was able to help myself. I couldn’t very well preach positivity and not engage in it. I spent weeks reprogramming and challenging my negative thoughts in an attempt to erase those words spoken over me years ago. Every morning, noon and night I would recite, ‘I am worthy’. ‘I am capable’. ‘I am a great therapist.’ ‘I am brave.’ ‘I am ENOUGH!’
Let’s explore how you can create positive affirmations and use them to overcome negativity in your personal life and careers.
What are Positive Affirmations?
An affirmation is defined as the action or process of affirming something or being affirmed. Affirmations can be both negative and positive. Positive affirmations are statements made to challenge your negative thoughts and feelings. These affirmations are statements of strength and courage to uplift your spirit and to challenge your self-doubt and faulty beliefs.
When creating your affirmations, you have to keep several things in mind. Affirmations starts with ‘I am’ and are positive. You should never use any negative words such as the word ‘not’, ‘can’t, ‘won’t’ in your affirmations. Keep your affirmations short and specific. Affirmations are stated in the present tense including –ing words. Affirmations have a feeling words in them. Most importantly, affirmations are about yourself.
How to Use Your Affirmations
Begin by writing a list of all of your negative thoughts and feelings that you are ready to challenge. For each negative thought, write a corresponding positive affirmation. Utilize a journal, post-its or whatever to put your affirmations in writing. State your affirmations at least three times a day, in the morning, during lunch and right before bed. Post your affirmations on your mirror, on your fridge and in your car. Recite your affirmations to build confidence and improve your self- esteem. You can overcome bad habits or increase your productivity. The more that you see it and say it, the more you will begin to believe it. The goal is to change your mindset so that you can drive positive changes in your career and your personal life.
I challenge you to comment below with an affirmation or any ideas you have to challenge negative thoughts.