Guest Blogger: Claudia Hufham – Claudiareinvented
By definition, the word affirm means to declare the truth. Since I started my “reinvention”, almost a year ago, I have read dozens of articles and books that have encouraged me to practice positive affirmations.
‘I am fearless’
‘I am brave enough to face whatever comes’
‘I am beautiful’
‘I am happy’
The goal being that I will eventually believe all the good stuff I am saying to myself. Although, repeating “I am a highly paid fashion model” over and over has not been working for me. Just because I say it doesn’t make it true! Alternative facts don’t work here!
Apparently an affirmation can’t be too far fetched. Keeping them reasonable and actually truthful is what makes them powerful.
While mulling over all this positive affirmation stuff, I realized that I participate in affirmations all day long. From the minute I am up, Rokko, the dog, affirms that he either loves me very much or he’s hungry. I’m going with the loves me! When I am talking to myself, or I am having thoughts when looking in the mirror, I am having affirmations. Yay for me! The only problem is, I have left out the “positive” part. I practice negative or self doubting affirmations. Now that I think about it, I always have!
I owe myself the biggest apology! I have wasted so much time with these negative thoughts. I remember thinking in high school that I was fat. When I look back, oh to be that “fat” again! Yes, I am tall and I was taller than most of my friends, but in my mind somehow that equated to bigger than all of them which somehow translated into fat. Why did I spend one second on thinking that way? That’s one of those “if you could go back and tell your younger self” kind of things.
Why is it that I could believe in Santa Claus for years, but I can’t believe in myself? Why is it that I can see another person’s beauty, no matter what, but I have a hard time seeing my own? Why is it that practicing what I preach is so hard? I would like to let the committee of negative thoughts that seem to be convening in my head to know that they need to shut up!
So, if I am already bombarding myself with affirmations, turning them around from the negative to the positive shouldn’t be hard. As my Mom would say, accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative and don’t mess around with Mr. Inbetween. I have a whole blog post about that.
But there has to be more to it than just saying a few positive affirmations to yourself in the mirror every morning and every night. I think the affirmation is like a seed that you are planting. Which might be a bad analogy since I kill most every plant I’ve ever come in contact with.
Once, when my daughter was about five, we went to the Farmers Market, where I proceeded to purchase a house plant. As we were checking out, I heard her talking and I turned around to see who she was talking to; only to find that she was talking to the plant. “Goodbye plant. You were so pretty and I am sorry.” Even she knew that the plant was doomed.
Anyway, back to the affirmations analogy, not only do I need to repeat them, I have to believe them and most importantly live them. I have to give them the perfect environment, if you will, to grow and succeed. So this affirmation thing is way more than telling yourself good things every morning! I will have to own them, live them, believe them.
I am thinking that turning my brain around is not as easy as flipping a switch. It’s going to be much like learning to write with the other hand. It is going to take work. Unfortunately, the way I talk to myself has been far more damaging than anything someone else could say and that is heartbreaking, but not irreversible.
The funny thing is, that if you asked anyone that knows me, they would tell you I am self assured and confident. The fact that I tell myself, I am old and wrinkled and fat, blah, blah, blah, is my dirty little secret. It’s a battle that I have fought for years and is, to be honest, exhausting.
I wanted my kids to see a strong single Mom. I wanted them to believe all the good that I saw in them every minute of everyday. Like a lot of Moms. They came out perfect, (ok well, at least in my eyes they are perfect) while I wasn’t believing in myself.
So, I’ll start with one or two and see how it works out. I’ve even read that you should write down the negative thoughts you have and then take each one and turn it around to being positive. One at a time.
What led to all this positive affirmation soul searching? Well it was something that I read the other night. The author challenged me to finish the sentence, “I am…”; to write down as many things as I could about myself without using anything negative and without being sarcastic. That was going to be challenging, because “sarcasm” is my first language.
It was eye opening and challenging. It shouldn’t have been. It should be easy peasy. Once I got them down, I realized how much I needed to remember these things about myself. These are things I believe about myself, so why not put them on repeat in my head? Why not write them on the bathroom mirror? I think I will write “I am…” on the bathroom mirror and everyday have to finish the sentence.
I am …
funny… tall… finding my happiness…witty… strong… brave… self sufficient…smart… patient most of the time… sarcastic… loving… a good writer…loved…heartfelt…secure…courageous… grateful… blessed…spiritual… emotional… confident… bold… fearless… thankful… a mom… unstoppable… powerful… talented…deserving… responsible… a good friend…focused… unique… gifted… fabulous… creative… healthy… likeable…trusting… trustworthy… honest… vibrant… prosperous… powerful…loved… better than I was yesterday…grounded…calm… excitable… fine… limitless…tasteful…mannerly…beautiful…enough
“I am”, alone, are not the two most powerful words in the English language; until you finish the sentence – that can make all the difference.
I challenge you to finish the sentence. Write down all the good and beautiful things you are. Read them daily, put them on sticky notes on your bathroom mirror. Change the way you think about yourself. Know the things that everyone around you already know!
I can’t wait to see what you come up with!
About the Author
Claudia Hufham is a blogger, mom to two grown kids and a Boxer/American Bulldog, who found herself looking for a new career at age 59. In her quest to reinvent herself and save her sanity, she started a blog. Her humor and down to earth story telling of her life lessons have led her to be featured on sites like Feedspot.com. You can read more from Claudia at Claudiareinvented. You can follow Claudia on her Instagram and FaceBook Page as well.
Claudiareinvented is featured on Feedspot as one of the Top 10 Women Over 50 Blogs