What are affirmations?
Affirmations are an essential component of your ongoing recovery. To affirm means to declare something in a positive, firm, true way that is empowering. Affirmations are a way to change the messages of self-talk from negative to positive, from shameful and guilt-ridden to deserving and empowered. When many people first think of affirmations, they think of cute sayings that have little real power. But in truth, what you say is what you believe. Do you believe that you are worthy and deserve happiness, freedom, and empowerment? Can you affirm yourself with real conviction and meaning?
Affirmations are not a substitute for reality; they aren’t another way for you to exert denial, control, and reckless self-will over your life. Instead, they collaborate with surrender, spirituality, and your Higher Power.
Why are affirmations important to recovery?
You may have spent your entire life internally reciting restrictive messages about yourself and others. In recovery, you have faced your patterns of compulsion, denial, self-destruction, control, and inadequacy. But are you ready to assert that you deserve better? Are you ready to empower the good and the positive in yourself and in others?
The power to change is within you. But you have to believe it, say it, and live it.
How can you practice positive affirmations?
At first it feels awkward to practice positive affirmations. You may think, “I deserve to have a great job, a fantastic family, and freedom from pain.” But look in the mirror and say it out loud. It may seem awkward and even fake, but as time goes on, you will start to believe that you deserve these things, and the affirmations will become easier. You will start to notice that you are living the affirmations, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy that can only manifest itself by creating more positive energy in your life.
Recovery Action Step
Write down some loving, empowering affirmations for yourself. For example, “I am a beautiful person who is perfect just as I am today” or “I am a good person and I deserve to be happy.” Set a routine each day to read these. Look yourself in the mirror and believe them as you say them out loud.
Things you can do to affirm yourself and your recovery:
1. Work the Twelve Steps.
2. Read meditation/prayer books and focus on empowering thoughts every day.
3. Attend recovery groups or positive seminars or events.
4. Engage in positive self-talk, giving yourself new messages and new beliefs.
5. Write down affirmations of the positive life you imagine.
6. Surround yourself with people who support your recovery and believe in you.
7. Get a massage, go to a yoga class, or do something else positive for yourself because you deserve it.
8. Celebrate your successes with others.
9. Affirm others. Find out about the dreams and goals of others and support them.
10. Place affirmations in key places, such as on your desk at work or on the refrigerator at home. This way you will think about them on a daily basis.