I love positive affirmations. But only when I’m feeling good and want to feel even better.
When you feel good, affirmations feel like a healthy stretch into what could be possible. Things like “I love and accept myself” or “Good things are coming my way” feel kind of…true. Or potentially true, at least.
And when your mind is going that way, it’s easier to generate even more positive thoughts and all of those feel good, too. A big wave of positivity builds and the momentum carries you away with it.
But when you aren’t feeling good, positive affirmations feel like lies. The mind is sharp and quick and will immediately flag anything that looks inconsistent. If you really believe “I’ll never succeed at anything”, affirming “Everything I touch turns to gold” sends your ego into overdrive.
Ego: Are you insane? You’re such a loser, let me remind you of the last 10 huge failures you had. And just like that, you feel worse than you did before the affirmation.
That’s why they’re called affirmations. They have to affirm what part of you already believes in order to be helpful.
Something that doesn’t affirm what you already know is a possibility at best; a big fat lie at worst.
So use affirmations when you feel good and want to feel better. And when you feel bad…?
Let yourself feel bad for a little while. Then, when you’re ready, start small.
Instead of “I deserve everything my heart desires”, take it down a few notches. Maybe start with “I deserve the right to be mad at the world today”. Or “I deserve feel slightly less crappy than this”. Or “I deserve ice cream”.
Start with the best thing you can that feels true. That’s really important. If it doesn’t feel true, it probably feels like a lie. And lying to yourself is fertile ground for the ego to jump in and take over.