I hate affirmations! Ok that’s a bold statement but it’s at least a little bit true.
I always feel like I’m lying to myself when I say some sort of affirmation… probably because the whole basis of affirmations is, in fact, lying to yourself in a way.
If you look in the mirror and tell yourself something that you don’t believe to be true, you are effectively lying to your own face. So I’m going to need a work-around.
Tell yourself something you can believe. For instance, if I’m trying to lose weight; Instead of saying a typical affirmation like, “You are so thin and have lost so much weight, good for you!” it would be more appropriate to say, “I’m really proud of you for not eating dessert last night” or “Good work hitting the gym today!”
Those statements would be at least true, and you might then progress to a statement like, “You’ve lost the first 5 pounds! Keep it up!” These are positive things that you can actually believe.
In horse-land, I think sometimes people try to support us with positivity but it comes across fake because it is just too much. We need something based in reality, something actually. For instance after a less than perfect round, maybe say “Well I nailed the triple bar,” “I recovered well when that line was shaky,” “I’m proud I got on a good canter to the first jump even though I was so nervous!” Something like that. The key then is to stay in the positive and not allow your self the negative words to come after that. We all can say something positive when we allow a bigger negative to follow.
In a podcast with Wayne Dyer (author and motivational speaker) and of course Oprah (seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Gr5Yk8kwJs), Wayne says something interesting towards the end as an example of affirmation: “I am content, I am kind, I am happy, I am fulfilled, I am healthy, I am wealthy, I am in a divine relationship.”
You say it and then you feel it.
For me this one worked because I could believe them all. I’m maybe not the ‘most’ of any of those things but when he said them I thought, “Yes! I am that. And that. And that too!”
So sometimes it’s just finding the right words for your affirmations to make them feel attainable and real.
**Pro tip; Write down on a sticky note something to remember for the day. Put it in your pocket (not your purse or bag but rather somewhere you reach into often, like where you keep your chapstick or something) and look at it or think of it every time you notice it. Mine will sometimes have to do with riding, or gratitude or a little note to pick me up and feel better.