The select few who've mastered the art of meditation
can empty their minds, but the rest of us can't stop
thinking. Unfortunately, much of what we think
isn't conducive to strength, happiness, and
self-esteem. Therefore, when we catch ourselves
thinking negatively, we need to plan a script of
thoughts to replace our unhealthy self-talk.
Admittedly, I balked when first hearing the idea of
creating a script for myself. Doing so seemed
contrived and unnatural. Plus, I was convinced
the whole idea was too simplistic to be
effective. It wasn't until life pushed me over
the edge and the slender thread by which I was hanging
was being unraveled by my negative thoughts that I
gave in and tried scripting. Because it
worked--and still works--for me, I'm sharing it with
Avoid the common error of chastising yourself for
negative thinking. If you catch yourself in the
middle of some particularly negative self-talk and
berate yourself, "There I go again! How
terrible! No wonder I feel as I do! Why
can't I stop this?", you'll only start a new line
of negative, self-critical thoughts. Instead,
give yourself a gold star for a good job of vigilant
I watch my self-talk carefully. I was once
working with a client who was suicidal. After
the session I noticed I was feeling depressed and on
the verge of tears. I tuned in to my
I'd been saying, "I should be
able to save her. If she dies, I'll be
responsible. I'm not up to the task of making
her well." Ah, the Responsibility Sponge
hard at work. No wonder I felt lousy.
I checked the reality of those debilitating thoughts
and began to replace them with these: "She
is a child of God, safe in the universe; I am a good
therapist; I love myself and her." I
pictured her well and happy and, as a result, began to
feel better. Sad, still, but then it was a sad
situation. But I changed the statements that
were draining my self-esteem reserves and causing me
pain and began to release my feelings of failure and
fear, which, if continued, would have become obstacles
to my helping her.
Affirmations are flower seeds that we plant in our
subconscious. They have a powerful effect in
helping us build a life that is happy, authentic, and
free from fear. Conscious affirmations are an
effective means of reprogramming negative self-talk,
underlying assumptions, and hidden attitudes.
Probably the most important affirmation you can have
is "I love myself." If you simply
can't say that, as I couldn't when I started
affirming, try "I am willing to love myself"
or "I am willing to be willing to love
myself. Whenever you become aware of unhealthy
self-talk, replace it with one of the following
affirmations or create your own affirmations to meet
your particular needs.
Positive Self-Talk Affirmations
1. I love myself.
2. I am a good friend to myself and others.
3. I am a worthwhile human being even though I
4. I know my limits and boundaries and stand up
for them in a firm and loving manner.
5. I now have the time, energy, wisdom, and
money to accomplish all that I desire.
6. I trust myself. I know what is good for
7. I am willing to be my ideal weight.
8. I am a valuable person worthy of the love and
respect of others.
9. I deserve satisfying and supportive
10. I am an excellent and creative worker.
11. I am wise, loving, light-hearted, and kind,
a clear reflection of God.
12. I am God's (use any term that resonates with
your heart) cherished child.
Don't expect quick results. You are
reprogramming your subconscious mind, the most complex
computer on earth. It will take time for your
feelings to catch up with your new thoughts. But
even if you don't feel the truth of the affirmation
now, know that valuable work is being done on the
subconscious level. The eventual benefits of
changing thought patterns has been proven over and
over again by people who faithfully, persistently
practice affirmations. These include world-class
athletes and successful business people.