This is an old cognitive behavioral exercise with a new twist that makes it very powerful. There are basically three steps to the process:
- Acknowledge the negative statement that has to do with how you view yourself, perhaps a core belief that you feel strongly is you. Write it down.
- Create a series of counter statements. Things that you know about yourself that show you how the negative self-statement is not all of you or not you at all. Begin by finding one example of how the first statement is not always true and write it down. No doubt other examples will soon follow once you start to think about it seriously. If you are stuck get a trusted friend to help. They may see parts of you that you don’t.
- Now write one or a series of statements of how grateful you are to have all of those counter examples. Don’t just write about the gratitude but feel it in your heart. Be aware of the internal shift that occurs as you can no longer fully engage in the original negative statement because it just isn’t true
- I don’t deserve to have successful life.
- Well successful has lots of parts to it. I feel very successful in keeping my home a delightfully pleasant place to live. I feel a lot of joy when I work in my gardens. I actually love the work that I do. (Do not make qualifiers. For example, you might be tempted to say, “I love my work but I can’t stand my boss.” Just let the first statement stay. Your boss may be another issue altogether.)
- I am immensely grateful for my beautiful home, for my gardens and for my work, which provides the abundance to get my bills paid on time. Yeah!
- If you wanted to carry it further you might begin to explore other ways that you can create a feeling of success in your life. Or you could take a look at what does “success” really mean to YOU. It may not be about fulfilling someone else’s idea of what success “should” mean to you. Perhaps it’s an old parental expectation that really belongs to them and not to you. Or what the message your culture gives to you about what success “should” mean. Whenever there is a “should” it is usually a good signal that it is someone else’s voice telling you what you “should” do. Do your best to find your own voice.
- I am not good enough. I don’t deserve to have true love. I am scared to really trust.
- I absolutely deserve to be loved by him because it feels so natural. I am a good person. I am learning to love myself. He’s my peace, my happiness. I do trust him. I don’t trust other women and I have no control over their behavior. I am a very loving person. He likes how much I love him. He and I are very compatible. I am learning to trust that love is enough and won’t go away. (A positive heart’s desire today creates a positive future.)
- I am very grateful for the way he loves me every day. He helps my dad. Whatever I need he is there for me. He always makes time for me and is thoughtful. I can feel his love in my heart.
- I am a terrible mother.
- I talk with my daughter. I make opportunities for her to be involved in activities. I am very affectionate with her. I tell her I love her. I tell her a lot how great she is.
- I am glad that I am aware of her needs. I am grateful that we can talk and feel close. I am grateful that I am doing my best to provide as much stability as possible for her.
Take the time to create your own negative self statements, counter statements and gratitude statements. This is a powerful way to recreate the way that you feel about yourself and how others experience you.