Struggling with negative thoughts that perpetuate self-doubt has been an ongoing personal battle for me. I'll admit I've adopted a façade of positivity. On the outer fronts, I walk around with a permanent smile on my face, promoting the illusion that I have my shit together and feel great. Truly, though, I'm internally beating myself up about something.
It could be anything that I'm angry at myself for—something so small that I've turned into a grandiose issue in my head: You didn't respond to that email fast enough, you didn't make time to call back so-and-so, you've been saying you're going to do this one thing for the longest and still haven't done it, etc. It's like I'm constantly screwing with myself and never giving myself credit.
To foster a more loving relationship with my inner self, I began reading positive affirmations. Studies show that it can boost your feelings of self-worth. I wasn't going to say them aloud in the mirror, though; one study showed that saying them verbally has the potential to negatively affect your mood and actually make you feel worse.
Thankfully, my best friend Abeni has remained a permanently positive force in my life. She told me she was beginning a positive-affirmation challenge at the start of December. Without having to ask her or even agreeing to join in, she's been sending me positive affirmations every single morning. It's like the universe knew I needed to see these. Her positive affirmation is the first text I wake up to every morning. They read as follows:
Today I will focus on my blessings. Today I will be more grateful where I am.
Life loves me. Today I will welcome this new day and focus all good things in this present moment. I will greet each new beginning and each new obstacle with a positive mind. I will focus on love and being loved. There is nothing that can keep me down.
I will learn something new each day. I will approach each day with a new mindset.
Today I will remember to celebrate life more and always treat myself. Today I will be thankful for every closed door. Today I will celebrate the past. Thank God for the past. I will cherish the sound of my laughter.
She's more like a sister to me than a friend and has been a fountain of hope in my life for seven years now. These positive affirmations landed into my iPhone's messages every morning, and even on the days I didn't feel like moving from my bed (most days), I couldn't help but read them.
I feel fortunate to have a friend like Abeni who showers my life with positivity on a daily basis.
Reading these positive affirmations reinforced gratitude in my life. But in all honesty, I have to re-read them a few times throughout the day for them to stick. When I was dealing with stressors this week and could literally feel self-defeating thoughts creeping into my mind at any given time of the day, I'd pull up my morning affirmation.
It's vital to realize that you can't do this alone. You might be under the impression that you're the only one thinking this way, but you're not. I've fallen victim to segregating my thoughts into solitary confinement, but that only aided my cyclical battle with self-doubt. Doing this with a friend made all the difference—it's like having an accountability partner. I have a few sister circles, and we share daily devotionals, bible verses, and now positive affirmations together. Becoming intentional about taking in all that is love and light in my life has impacted my spirit abundantly.
Remember to pause in the midst of life's chaos, breathe, and digest positive reminders whenever you can.