I bet you can fill in the blank with what comes after that opener! Yes, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all! This is something most of us have heard over and over. And it’s usually in the context of how we speak to or speak about other people. But there’s one person who also deserves this respect, but often doesn’t get it.
Yep. It’s the man or woman in the mirror.
Did you know that your subconscious mind is a place where ideas and statements can’t be evaluated for truth? This part of your mind simply accepts whatever it is told.
For example, as children, our conscious mind is not yet developed. That’s the part of the mind that does our thinking and evaluating of ideas. So that’s why children are very gullible when it comes to Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny. Their subconscious minds simply accept what they’re told and have no means of thinking it through to determine whether it is true or not.
Similarly, when we hear negative things about ourselves or about life in general as children, we simply believe those statements as truth. Statements like “you can’t do that,” “you’re not smart enough,” “there won’t be enough,” or “you’re too <fill in the blank>.”
As we grow older, if we don’t do some inner work to rewrite these statements with the truth, they tend to stick with us. Our subconscious mind accepted them, and it will continue to accept them until a new statement replaces them. And we will keep telling ourselves the same old, untrue statements over and over again.
So how then do we go about rewriting the untruths?
How do we plant new seeds of belief?
How do we make a positive change in how we speak to ourselves?
One way is through affirmation statements.
Keep a special journal or spiral-bound index cards to record and accumulate in one place the statements that you create for yourself. Use something small enough that you can take with you most days. Keep it in your purse or in the glove compartment of your vehicle. The purpose is to refer to it daily during the cracks of your day. Perhaps when stopped in traffic. Or just before leaving the driveway. Another idea is to keep it on your nightstand and refer to it before bed or when you first wake up.
Our subconscious mind needs to hear the positive statements repeatedly. Not just once, not just a few times. But consistently. Day after day. Month after month. They say it takes 10 compliments to offset a criticism when we are speaking to others. This is no less true when you have been criticizing yourself. You could even record yourself reading the statements so that you can listen to the recording. Sometimes it’s more practical to listen than it is to pause to read the statements aloud.
Affirmations are super powerful when stated as an I AM statement and in the present tense. Some examples might be, “I AM enough,” “I AM making progress toward my goal every day,” or “I AM abundantly resourced.”
I am a woman of faith and I believe in the truth of the Bible. If you do too, then use this tip. God’s Word is powerful and incorporating scripture adds another level of power to your affirmations. A few examples… “I AM able to do all things through Christ who gives me strength,” “I AM God’s new and perfect creation,” “I AM full of the fruit of the Spirit.”
Of our five senses, the part of our brain that controls our memories and emotions responds only to our sense of smell. Using essential oils is another powerful way to access that part of our brain. It helps us to get past the “habit” of negative thinking that holds us back so we can move forward more quickly with the truth of positive affirmation.
Don’t try to do it all solo. Our culture is so geared towards independence… but truly our progress is so much quicker when we have someone to walk alongside us.
The tips I’ve shared are tips that I’ve learned from experience. As the life and leadership coach at Immerse, I am equipped, by my own journey and by my training, to help you identify negative self-talk and replace it with positive affirmations.
So what is the next thing you will say to that person in the mirror? And remember, “If you can’t say something nice…”.
Click here to set up an appointment with Amy to discover ways to unpack the untruths in your life!
Amy Malay is a transformational coach, speaker, and trainer, certified by The John Maxwell Team. Her mission is to be a change-leader – an agent of positive change in the lives of others. She helps individuals and teams to be intentional about the journey of identifying and changing areas where there is room for improvement.