Release. Trust. Show Up.

Affirmations don't work very well for me. I have tried them in the past, the "I am a loveable person" or "I am perfect as I am" types of phrases meant to boost our self-confidence and lessen anxiety, if we just say them to ourselves often enough.

Woman Meditating

Some research suggests that affirmations perhaps don't work well in general, at least not for everyone and especially not for people with low-self-esteem. For people who already have a low opinion of themselves, saying "I am perfect as I am" only serves as a reminder of the reasons they are not perfect, making them feel even worse.

My self-esteem certainly fluctuates from day to day, as I think it does for everyone, but I don't think it is particularly low. For me, the problem with most affirmations is that they feel fake, inauthentic. It's not that I don't feel loveable; it's that saying "I am a loveable person" makes me feel odd. It's not how I would talk.

What does work for me is to have some short, encouraging reminders to think to myself throughout the day--and especially before I go to sleep and when I wake up--of whatever I am working on in terms of personal growth. These aren't canned phrases that I get from a book (although I'm sure they are in a list somewhere, since they address needs that we all share). They evolve from and serve my own particular goals and needs. The purpose is to keep me focused on what I believe is important, to keep myself grounded, to avoid being swept up in the crazy distractions of everyday life.

I have three such mantras for 2014, and, nearly two weeks into the year, I can say that they are definitely helping me from sliding back into old habits of thought:

RELEASE what no longer works.

TRUST that all shall be well.

SHOW UP for my own life.

What DIY mantras work for you?


Post by Lisa Rivero

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Photo by M. Dolly and made available via a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike 2.0 Generic license.

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