Last week we practiced self-compassion and how reminding ourselves that we are not alone in moments of hardship, offers relief and builds resilience. This week, we will take it a step further and actually remind ourselves how amazing we are!
Read these out loud (or if you’re feeling shy, in your head):
- I am beautiful
- I am patient
- I am loved
- I am confident
- I accept myself exactly as I am
How did that feel? When I first started using affirmations, I noticed myself feeling weird, embarrassed, and not believing what I was saying. That’s because I had low self-esteem and was constantly seeking perfection that I never really felt good enough.
My goal is to help undo these messages for children and adults because the truth is, WE ARE ALL INCREDIBLE HUMANS. Yes, all of us. Some of us do really bad things, but oftentimes this is based on fear and internalized negative messaging.
Think about the kid who is labeled with behavioral problems. That child internalizes these messages and the behaviors get progressively worse.
Affirmations can change the way we feel about ourselves, and therefore our behaviors. Imagine a world where we all believe in ourselves. We would automatically see the good, and believe, in one another.
This week, practice saying your affirmations daily. I like to write them on a piece of paper and put them where I see them often, like the kitchen sink, bathroom mirror, or in my car. You can use these, or make up your own.
This week’s practice:
- Recite your affirmations once a day.
- If you have a specific deep-rooted negative thought about yourself, replace it with an affirmation and say it to yourself multiple times a day until you notice an inner shift.
In the classroom:
- Recite affirmations together as a class.
- If you notice a specific child struggles with a behavioral concern, remind that child regularly of what they ARE, not what they are doing wrong.
Example 1: A student struggles with impulsive behavior and grabs something from another child. You can set the boundary, and then remind that child of how kind they are. They made a mistake, but they have such a kind heart.
Example 2: A struggles with learning math the way the curriculum is taught. You can remind them that they are not alone and that they are really smart.
- Say your affirmations out loud in front of your children (they may look at you funny).
- Celebrate your awesomeness and invite them to say affirmations with you!
- When your child has a behavior that triggers you and you react (you are human, too, after all), remind your child that even though they did something you didn’t like, that they are special and loved.