«The higher our self-esteem, the more likely we are to form nourishing rather than destructive relationships, since like is drawn to like, health is attracted to health, and vitality and expansiveness are more appealing than emptiness and exploitiveness» (Branden, 2010, p. 2).
From childhood we hear negative statements. Maybe our parents were not able to give us a proper education.
Where is it reflected?
We have all had successes and failures. We have felt loved and rejected. It is possible that in the face of these rejections, a part of us can say unpleasant things about ourselves:
«I am not enough», «People are bored with me» , «I am weak» , «Nobody loves me» , «Nothing works for me», etc.
These beliefs can take us away from our true potential and limit our lives in different areas. We may conclude that we have low self-esteem. But what is self-esteem? How do you know if someone has good self-esteem?
We tend to think that people who have good self-esteem act with determination, know how to say no and defend their interests, smile and seek interaction with others whilst setting goals and striving to achieve them. They do things that others might be afraid of.
Our intuition might tell us that they are highly motivated, they think positively and they trust that they will be able to do what they set out to do.
So we think that when a person gathers all these emotions, behaviours and thoughts, they have good self-esteem.
Many people say, «If I thought differently or felt more confident, many things would change».
What if it was the opposite? Because by changing our behaviour patterns, our emotions and thoughts would also change.
For example, the first time you got on a bike you probably had limiting thoughts like: «I will hurt myself» , «It is very difficult» , «I do not want to do it» . These emotions have disappeared over the years.
When we see ourselves doing something worthwhile and acting as we would like, we experience positive sensations and our limiting beliefs fade.
So where do these limiting beliefs come from? When we feel disapproved of, rejected, and powerless … this can cause us doubt about ourselves in the form of fear of making mistakes, being rejected, thoughts of weakness or not feeling that we are enough. This takes us away from our essence and causes us to experience low self-esteem.
However, fear is diluted when we live the experiences, as we have seen in the example of getting on a bicycle. It wouldn’t work to stand in front of the bike until the fear is gone; you have to get on the bike in order to gain the confidence to ride it (activital.es).
How to change to positive patterns?
Next I will talk about positive affirmations and how to create your own.
Your brain is designed to readjust and make changes according to your experiences. Your life experiences weave new vibrations, connections, and emotions for your brain. And your thoughts count as experiences too.
«The repetition of thoughts makes them integrate into your neural network and consolidate synapses».
With this pattern of thoughts, it would most likely be that you continue in that circle of thought generating the same emotions. For example, if you have negative thoughts about your family or job that make you feel anxious and frustrated, it is very possible that in the long term you will integrate these emotions and thoughts into a neural network.
If you do not have a daily conscious practice where you can be in touch with your emotions, it is very possible that you are controlled by your thoughts, and can lose control of your emotions and feel like you are outside of yourself.
In this blog I will show you that you can learn to be in control of your mental process, stimulating your neural machinery to integrate positive states, loving feelings and kind thoughts about yourself.
Positive affirmations will allow you to live more expansively. This happens with:
- Activating moods
- Calming the nervous system
- Strengthening ourselves internally
Positive affirmations will not magically cure us, although they do help us transform what we perceive and interpret in everyday situations.
By replacing these negative patterns with positive patterns, neural structures readjust in order to help us break out of old negative patterns, and give us a sense of well-being.
With each affirmation you create a new positive experience in the present. And the more you practice it, the more lasting the relationship with these beliefs will be, and these new positive thought patterns will be integrated within you.
Next I will give you instructions on how to start building them.
1) Identify where we need to develop:
- More self-esteem
- More gratitude
- More confidence
- More positivity
- Ability to stop punishing yourself
- Ability to know that you are lovable
Choose one and create a positive affirmation in the present tense, as if it were an experience that you are living in the present moment.
2) Write the statement on a piece of paper and paste it where you can see it often, such as on the bedside table in your bedroom or on the sink mirror to read when brushing your teeth. You can also set an alarm on your phone to repeat it internally during the day. If possible, repeat it out loud before you go to sleep.
3) Finally, write down on a calendar the day you will start repeating it and the day you will finish. I suggest doing it 100 times a day for 40 days.
The more consistency you have, the easier it will be to create neural results that will help you experience what you long for. When you feel that this affirmation has been integrated into your conscience, move on to the next area of your life that you want to improve. The 100 repetitions daily for 40 days are a guide to reach that integration.
If you practice mindfulness meditation or yoga nidra during your positive affirmations, that will help you perceive the present as it is, without pretending to control anything, whilst activating and calming your nervous system.
Your brain will be much more receptive during mindfulness practice to absorb affirmations. For example, you can wake up and practice 10 minutes of mindfulness meditation and repeat the affirmation 50 times looking at yourself in the mirror. And at night, before going to sleep, practice 10 minutes of yoga nidra and repeat the other 50 affirmations in order to complete the 100 daily repetitions. If you can do it out loud in the mirror, it will be better as it will be much more effective in your brain’s architecture (magazineturquesa.com).
Branden, Nathaniel (1987): How to rise your self-esteem, Barcelona (España).
https://activital.es/afirmaciones-positivas/. @ Activital: Psicólogo en Madrid & Online.
https://magazineturquesa.com/las-afirmaciones-positivas-y-sus-beneficios-segun-la-psicologia/. © 2019 – Todos los derechos reservados magazineturquesa.com