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Have you made a habit of speaking positively to yourself? I know, it doesn’t come naturally to many of us. Even with all the evidence that positive thinking and affirmations strengthen our immune system and build confidence, kind words of self-support and encouragement don’t feel true to us. So we don’t say them.
Will the REAL affirmation please stand up? A typical affirmation is stated in the present tense as if what you want is already yours. For example, “I am wonderful!” Say that to yourself. “I am wonderful!” Notice what your head says right after the affirmation. What your head says AFTER the affirmation is, indeed, the REAL affirmation.
We are always “affirming” our beliefs. If someone says, “You are so wonderful!” to us, if that doesn’t feel totally true, we come up with all the reasons why we are not wonderful! And we “affirm” our lack of wonderfulness to ourselves and often completely deflect the compliment. And if we’re really good at self-abuse, we can turn a compliment into a real self-trashing!
What we need to notice is the actual self-talk and body sensations we feel after a positive self-statement. These are the “tail enders” as Gary Craig calls them, and they are the messages we habitually send to ourselves whether we’re aware of them consciously or not.
So there is a usefulness is trying out an affirmation like, “I am wonderful!” Note how you feel. Note what thoughts and evidence “against” you pops up. And then use those sensations and “evidence” as fuel for your EFT Tapping sessions.
For example: “I am wonderful!” “No, you’re not, because…”
1) I feel this doubt flood my chest when I say it. (Even though I feel this flood of doubt in my chest when I think I am wonderful, I choose to be wonderful anyway!)
2) My spouse got really upset with me. (Even though I have to make everyone happy all the time and never say anything that makes people angry, I choose to feel like a wonderful person anyway)
3) I am not getting everything done. (Even though I never get everything done, and that makes me feel guilty, I deeply and completely accept myself and choose to feel like a wonderful person anyway!)
Do you get the idea? Your list will vary depending on how you are feeling. But realizing that these criticisms are the true “affirmations” your body/mind is feeling day-in and day-out is the first step. Shift them to a truly positive place with EFT, and you will notice the the heaviness starts to lift and you can learn to accept—deeply and completely—that you are indeed wonder-full.
Originally published Sep 6, 2005