As moms, our mindsets can be especially tricky to manipulate, but all the more important. Your mindset determines how you see your situations and greatly affects how you react to stress. The good news is we are in control of our mindsets, we get to choose how we see the world, we are the authors of our own stories.
Affirmations are a key component in adjusting our mindsets. I’ll be honest, I’m not a big fan of mainstream – one size fits all – say it till you believe it – affirmations. I can’t stand in front of a mirror and tell myself something I don’t believe without feeling like I’ve compromised my integrity. It gives me a heavy feeling in the pit of my stomach. If you feel the same, stick with me here because I have some great ways to use affirmations that are both honest and effective.
What we tell ourselves, we will believe. I can easily detect when I’ve told myself a positive lie about myself, I’ve got a great radar for that, but I’m much more easily fooled by a negative lie about myself. Let me explain, if I’m trying to convince myself that I am enough, simply repeating “I am enough” feels so ungenuine. But if I was hearing “you’re not enough, you’re such a fake, you’ll never be anything,” in the back of my mind, I’d believe it without question. That radar was busted.
Here’s the deal: what you repeatedly tell yourself, you will believe. You hear a lie enough times it becomes your truth. So let’s focus on making sure we’re telling ourselves things that are going to help us be our best selves, not things that are going to hurt us and consume all our energy trying to combat.
1. To state as a fact; assert strongly and publicly.
2. To offer (someone) emotional support or encouragement.
Take a moment to reflect and identify the ways you’ve been negatively affirming yourself or your situations. What lens are you choosing to see your world through: one of positivity and optimism or one of negativity and pessimism? I’ll wait….
Target the negative beliefs with positive affirmations. Now that you’re aware of the lies you’ve been telling yourself, we’re going to target them, one at a time, and negate them with your positive affirmations. I want you to choose one of the lies, let’s take the strongest and loudest lie and put an end to it. Your affirmation should be personal and true to you, don’t just pick one randomly from a list, but choose one that counteracts your lies and is deeply believable.
Your affirmation could come from a list, come out of thin air, make it up, get inspired or be a quote, musical lyric or verse/paraphrase of scripture. It could be helpful to have a few affirmations handy and memorized at all times, keep your quiver full of arrows so to speak, so when the lies start attacking you’ll be armed and ready.
Side note, do you know your love language? Words of affirmations are a love language that many people speak. If you feel uplifted and seen when someone comments a kind word to you, then this might be your love language, too. Don’t wait on others to affirm you, affirm yourself and count it towards your self-care practices.
But how do we find time for affirmations when we’re surrounded by kids and chaos and the nonstop lifestyle that is motherhood? We work it into the fabric of our existence. We don’t have to set aside any special one-on-one time with ourselves to stare at our reflection and repeat our affirmations to begin our day. Your lies find plenty of time and opportunity to sneak into your day, start paying attention to when you’re hearing these lies or feeling the negative feelings and replace it with your positive affirmation.
In the chaos is the perfect time for this. When everything feels like it’s going wrong, that’s the time to: pause, breathe, speak your truth.
I’ve found that there are a few types of affirmations, ones for healing, hoping, manifesting, and grounding.
Healing – I am strong, I am an overcomer, I am well, I am a warrior.
Healing affirmations are ones that will target an illness or pain point, whether physical, mental, or emotional.
Hoping – It will all work out, God is in control, I will succeed.
Hoping affirmations are when we are looking to ease anxieties and fears over the future. These are reminders that it will all work out for us.
Manifesting – I am kind. I am loving. I am patient.
Manifesting affirmations are when we tell ourselves what we wish to be. These are best used when you are having thoughts and feelings that don’t align with your identity or when you are trying to be better at something – working on patience, trust, and calmness for example.
Grounding – I am safe, I am secure, I am protected.
Grounding affirmations are used in times of stress, chaos and anxiety. These are great for using in the moment as a mom, when everything seems to happen all at once and you feel like you’re not in control anymore, like riding a rollercoaster and you feel you’ll go over the edge, remind yourself of your safety to calm your nervous system.
As always, don’t forget to breathe. Practice deep breathing along with your affirmations to help calm that system. It’s a great way to pause so we are responding rather than reacting.