When positive affirmations become negative
Nowadays, everywhere we look we are bombarded with positive affirmations. How often have you read that life is beautiful and amazing? That you are gorgeous and unique and that the day ahead is full of wonderful opportunities?
Everything is just spiffing! You should tell yourself that everything is just perfect! Tell yourself that everyday! And don't forget to mention that you also have a stunningly sexy body!
Do you feel better now? Not yet? Oh, then you've certainly not said it as many times as you should! Or you haven't said it from your heart!
However you look at it, the majority of New age self-help techniques and their mentors, make you believe that feeling bad is your fault. But here's a news flash: Life doesn't only feel good, nor does happiness require only a few affirative mantras. Unfortunately not.
All this positivistic terror reminds me of the silly adverts on the back side of popular magazines. You know the ones I mean? All those creams for bigger boobs or those great products against stretch marks or those super shampoos for fuller and thicker hair (and especially the ones for longer hair!).Unless you are already genetically blessed, there is as slim a chance that these 'magic' products will work on you, as there is that only 'trying to be positive' will alter your bad mood, or a difficult stage in your life.
So what actually happens when you use affirmations? The same thing that happens when you pour water into burning oil. Boom! A clash of clans. You versus yourself. The old you thinking how life is hard against 'the new you' who claims that life is great. What you are doing to yourself with this is more damage than good. Affirmations will just backfire on you.
In my coaching practice, I dedicated myself to helping my clients detect the negative beliefs and attitudes which prevent them from building their relationships, or their business, or the kind of life they want to live. There are many different techniques that I use in order to guide them along the steep and slow slope of perceiving themselves better. Sometimes it is a long process but it is worth it.The key is to be totally aware of all the negativity we have inside of us and to transform it to the neutral stage first.
When a person's perception is extremely far from positive, then affirmation techniques actually have a counter effect and only reinforce that client's negative feelings. What does this actually mean in practice? It means that persuading yourself that the day ahead is wonderful and full of opportunities, when you know in your heart how much stress is awaiting you, only makes you more miserable and upset because you know that it is one big lie. We cannot heal ourselves with lies. It is very important to understand this.
It is important and I would say crucial, to be honest to yourself. For example, instead of telling yourself that day ahead is going to be amazing, be frank and say - 'I had better days, but I also had worse, I'll come out of this one ok and this day will be over as well.' Instead of pretending to yourself that you have a body to die for, try being real and accepting that is not in a great shape at the moment, but that you will work on its improvement. As you can see, as long as you make realistic and baby-step affirmations, little by little you can change how you feel about yourself and about the situation you are in. As NLP coaches would put it:-telling someone "not to think about a pink elephant" will only focus their mind on a pink elephant .
What I practice in my coaching program, is making sure that my clients concentrate on the positive aspects of their lives while also accepting all the negative ones. Be honest to yourself, because only truth and its acceptance can give you relief. It is important not to shove problems under the carpet and cover them with a big smile and fake positivism. By simply being aware of the things that you dislike about yourself and the negative thoughts that you have, you are giving yourself a chance and a reason to improve both you and your life. Casting some light to your dark side will help you understand yourself better, in order to eventually change yourself.