Sound familiar? There was a time many years ago when I might have said this. I was resistant to a lot of ideas and tools that were supposed to enhance optimism. When someone would recommend them, I might utter a forced thank you out of a fake smile but inside I was rolling my eyes. I was just scared. I was scared that I would never be able to be positive and I didn’t want the tools to fail. I didn’t even want to need any tools! Most of all, I was fundamentally afraid of positive thinking. It seemed naïve and unsafe. I would often conceal my positive thoughts from other people about projects I was working on… just in case they didn’t work out. I thought it would be too embarrassing to be positive and then fail. I guess I didn’t consider how silly it may have appeared to be working on something I didn’t believe in. It was the same story with self-criticism; I would judge myself before any one else had the chance.
Over the past year, I’ve made a formal commitment to positivity. It’s not always easy and I often fail because negativity is so familiar and safe. This doesn’t mean that I’ll sugar coat painful situations and experiences, but I will try to focus on the positive whenever possible. It just feels better and braver to be positive. So I’m working to let go of my “protective” negativity and reset my default to a positive rather than negative attitude.
This is where affirmations come in. I find affirmations very difficult but they are a great opportunity to deal with negativity head on. I often have thoughts that affirmations are silly and self-indulgent but that’s my fear talking. For me, the content of the affirmation is as important as the act of making one at all. When I post an affirmation on the “I am” page, it’s my way of confirming my commitment to loving myself and that I am not ashamed of that goal.
What is your default attitude?
Do you engage in protective negativity?
How did you respond to the idea of making affirmations?
How do you feel about affirmations?