Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Durgadas Allon Duriel, author of The Little Work: Magic to Transform Your Everyday Life and the new Worthy As You Are.
Though affirmations are often associated with spirituality, their power is also evident in psychotherapeutic settings. One of the most popular methods of psychotherapy today, cognitive behavioral therapy, focuses on the fact that how we think influences how we feel and perceive reality. Affirmations harness this fact by attempting to influence our perception of reality through shifting how we think.
To help build motivation for affirming, it can be beneficial to consider the ways affirmations can aid us, across how we think, feel, and act. Let’s explore the thought, “It is OK to need help and to make mistakes.” This is a thought many if not most of us intellectually believe, but is it how we treat ourselves? For many of us, how we treat ourselves is more the converse of this thought, something like, “It is not OK to need help and we should never make mistakes.” This belief hoists a considerable amount of guilt or shame upon ourselves when we don’t measure up to it.
Meanwhile, as we affirm “it is OK to need help and to make mistakes” each day, things start to change within us. We are more likely to remind ourselves of this intellectual belief when we criticize ourselves for making a mistake or feeling like we need to improve in some way. We become more likely to feel less embarrassed or ashamed when we don’t know how to do something well or right away. We are less likely to think of ourselves as less than when we aren’t perfect, and we are more likely to ask for help when we need it. Additionally, we become less judgmental of others when they make mistakes or need help. As a consequence of this, our self-esteem starts to go up, and we rebound more quickly when we make a mistake or need help because it’s become so ingrained within us that that is normal.
As we can see, this little affirmation can go a long way. Imagine what could happen when we affirm a spiritual belief we don’t struggle to believe, like, “All beings are divine?” And how affirming that could change our everyday experience of spirituality? If you feel drawn to this topic, I encourage you to check out my new book, Worthy As You Are, which explores it in greater depth.
Our thanks to Durgadas for his guest post! For more from Durgadas Allon Duriel, read his article “How to Question and Replace a Negative Thought.”