Have you ever seen the Youtube video of the little girl standing on her sink, spouting positive affirmations about her life in front of her mirror? In sobriety, positive affirmations play an important role in our lives just like this little girl.
She is filled with such life and hope and gratitude as she bops around expressing thanks for her house, her school, her family, and herself. What a beautiful world it would be if we all spoke to ourselves like that on a daily basis.
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The Problem in Sobriety
Is honestly… different for everyone. However, I personally experience for myself and my loved ones, the greatest struggle is finding gratitude for simply being who we are in sobriety.
We always want to have a better car, a better job, better clothes… frankly, a better life.
With the rise of social media, it’s even easier for us to play the comparison game, except now we are not only trying to “keep up with the Jones’” but with the entire rest of the planet. This can lead us into an ever hungry, always searching state of mind where we feel we won’t be happy unless we have the external gifts of the outside world.
If we are constantly focused on being someone else, we will never be able to be grateful for being exactly who God made us to be.
Just a small example, growing up, I always hated math. I can’t remember when the shift actually happened for me, maybe fractions, but one day I started to tell myself, and others, that I wasn’t good at math. The cycle continues and still does today. I changed my major in college halfway through to one that required very little math courses, and even the one I had to take, I failed twice. I would give up before I even started because I thought I knew that I was going to be bad. I’m not going to tell you this story has a happy ending quite yet but I will tell you that through the progress I’ve made in AA, I have become confident enough in myself to enroll in college for the major I had always wanted.
All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.”
The Solution for Continued Sobriety
For those of us who have been blessed with a “round 2” at life a.k.a, a 12 step fellowship, the solution for sobriety is simple. Clean house, trust God, help others.
For me, those three tools tie in greatly to where I’m at with myself. For example, if I’m not spiritually fit or feeling good about myself, you’re damn right I’m not going to be the best sponsor I can be for my sponsees.
It is crucial in this life that we help others, and to do that to our utmost ability, we must first help ourselves.
This is where positive affirmations came in for me.
What are Positive Affirmations
Simply put, a positive affirmation is really just positive self-talk. Uplifting things about ourselves, spoken in the present tense as if they were already true.
For example, rather than saying “I’m bad at math” I would replace it with “I’m re-learning math” or “I’m getting better at math”.
In order to decide where to start on this process, it’s helpful to follow these steps
- Pay attention to where we commonly have “self-doubt” or negative self-talk
- Create short, positive affirmations, opposite to your self-doubt.
- Use the new affirmation every time instead of the negative.
Granted, this process doesn’t occur overnight. For many of us, some of our negative talk is so deeply ingrained in us that we may not even know we are doing it. This is why it can also be helpful to designate a close friend or mentor to point out to you when you are being negative on yourself.
Another helpful trick is to fold a piece of paper in half and write down all of the things you think “aren’t possible” for yourself.
For example, “I can’t lose weight” or “I’ll never find my soulmate” on one side of the paper. On the other, “I’m doing great at losing weight” and “I’m ready to meet my true mate”.
A friend of mine swears by writing her affirmations on her mirror. A few weeks ago, I was desperately applying for all kinds of jobs, with no luck. When I told her about it, she told me to write it on my mirror and that she would write it on hers that night. Maybe this was just a coincidence but the very next morning, I got a call back from the job I had wanted the most. This is not a lie. Real deal stuff right here.
Of course, there is a catch. In order for our affirmations to work, we have to be willing to put in some effort. How can we expect to lose weight or find a job if we are not exercising or sending out our resume?
Another big one for me is self-confidence. I have a gift of making friends wherever I go and people say they feel calm and comforted by my presence, but I never see it.
As a practice, in the morning I stand in front of a mirror and say nice things to myself, and to be honest, I could barely do it without laughing or giving up in the beginning. For so many years I felt such shame and self-doubt, that it was actually a battle trying to genuinely insist myself that I was worthy of love.
I’m still practicing and I’m not always perfect, but without a doubt, I’ve seen improvement in myself. I’ve come to a point now that I don’t need the validation from a lover or a paycheck to know that I’m doing alright. The faith I have in myself today comes from the faith I have in my Higher Power. I know that I am a here for a reason, and so are you, dear reader. So love yourself, and be nice to yourself, and everything will fall into place exactly as it should.
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Freedom From Addiction
If you have found yourself suffering in addiction, you are not alone! If you are ready to change your life and live free of addiction, then FindAddictionRehabs.com can help. We give you the jump start to recovery as well as teach relapse prevention including learning healthy outlets in sobriety . Our program is unique in that it doesn’t just treat the addiction, it treats the whole person. For more information on our program, call 1-877-959-7271 today.