Replay of LIVE COACHING CALL will be posted here when available
EXERCISE 1: AFFIRMATIONS
When I was little, I had a Barbie that talked. You pressed a button somewhere on her, and she spoke a sentence. I can’t remember what her name was, what she looked like, or where she came from... But I can remember, word for word, exactly what she said:
‘My horse is a show jumper.’
‘You look terrific.’
‘Can you please comb my hair?’
‘I love dressing up!’
‘It’s fun to shop with friends.’
‘Let’s share secrets!’
That is the power of words, when phrases are repeated over and over again… I pressed that button many times. And as a result, Barbie’s words are still etched into my brain, more than twenty years later.
We absorb messages from the world around us, all the time.
Unfortunately, our human brains have a ‘negative bias’. There is a greater response (more neural activity) in our brain to negative stimuli than to positive. Negative events and experiences are stored in our memories much more quickly than positive events and experiences.
This served our ancestors well, allowing them to perceive danger and respond to it to stay safe.
Today, this isn’t so useful... You’re much more likely to remember something negative someone said about you, than something positive. Try to recall five times in your past you were given a compliment. And now think about the times you were criticised. The negative comments tend to come to mind much more easily for us.
Think about it: we can do a hundred things right in a day, yet we still focus on the one mistake we made.
Here's the great news: if we're so easily able to absorb negative statements about ourselves… we can also absorb positive, empowering ones!
You can retrain your brain. You can reprogramme your subconscious mind, overriding the stored negative thoughts you have with positive, helpful, empowering ones: ‘affirmations.’
Listening to repeated ‘affirmations’ allows those words to become your thoughts, that soon become your beliefs, that influence your behaviours, that determine your results and what your life looks like.
New, empowering, supportive thoughts are life changing.
As you become more and more tuned into your inner dialogue, you will find that you’ll naturally become more mindful of the words you speak out loud as well. All the words that you choose to speak have incredible power. Your words are the bridge between your internal and external world, and what you speak, you will most often manifest.
This is what makes verbally declaring affirmations so powerful. Through the language you use, you either raise your vibration and attract people, resources and opportunities to you that will help you move closer towards your goals... or you lower your vibration and repel these things from you.
If you are regularly saying ‘This is impossible’, ‘I can’t do it’ or ‘I’m all alone’, chances are you will find that something is indeed impossible, that you can’t do it, or that you are on your own. Instead, you want to be saying things like ‘There is always a way’, ‘I am so capable, I can do anything I set my mind to‘ or “The help I need always arrives when I need it” and the Universe will rise up to offer you people and opportunities that match this vibration.
Here are some tips on creating new thoughts and statements (affirmations), which you will repeat to yourself as often as often, in order to replace the unsupportive and critical thoughts you’ve become aware of:
Use a present tense statement - this communicates to your mind that ‘it already is’, rather than something that is still in the distance or future. For example, use ‘I am a confident public speaker’ rather than ‘I’m going to be a confident public speaker’
I prefer to focus on ‘positive’ phrasing rather than negative; that is, specify what you want rather than what you don’t want. For example, use ‘It am safe’ rather than ‘I no longer feel unsafe’
Try to tune into the feeling and the energy of the words and the phrase. So as you are affirming ‘I am a wealthy woman’, focus on how it feels now that you are a wealthy woman (see what I did there - used positive tense to affirm that it is already so for you). Maybe wealthy you feels free, excited, optimistic, relaxed? Embodying the energy of an experience by focusing on how it feels allows you to become an energetic match for it and attract it and create it more quickly.
Write your affirmations down and read them regularly. Stick notes around your house with the affirmations on them. Leave them next to your bed, in your wallet, in your car, by your toothbrush… somewhere you will see them often.
Whenever you notice a limiting/critical/judgemental thought, immediately respond to it with a positive affirmation instead. If you catch your mind saying ‘You’re stupid’, just respond right away with, ‘That’s not true. I am an intelligent woman.’ If you hear your inner dialogue telling you ‘Money doesn’t grow on trees’, respond right away with ‘There’s always more where that came from. I trust life to support me with more and more abundance.’
>>> Course bonus: 30 minute audio of affirmations for self-love <<<
Listen to this audio whenever you like - you can be awake or asleep (but not doing something that requires your concentration, like driving!).
A list of the affirmations included in the recording and more information about how to use it can be found here.
EXERCISE 2: MIRROR WORK
Louise Hay, considered to be one of the founders of the ‘self-help movement’, taught mirror work throughout her career.
‘Mirror work’ is a way to develop a deeper, more loving, more accepting relationship with yourself (which, as we know, will have incredible flow on effects in all areas of your external life).
You look into your own eyes in a mirror, and tell yourself that you love and approve of yourself. You say positive affirmations about yourself, to yourself.
A mirror simply reflects back to you how you feel about yourself. It will highlight to you where you are blocked or experiencing resistance, and which aspects of self-love need some healing within you.
Mirror work often starts out being ‘work’. If it is uncomfortable, triggering or difficult for you to do, that’s a very good sign it is much needed. You might sob, feel angry, scared or stupid. This is normal. Just do what you can today, and return to the exercise again tomorrow.
Over time, mirror work becomes easier and actually fun - as Louise Hay says, it shifts ‘from mirror work to mirror play’.
It’s ideal to make mirror work a part of your routine: do it after you brush your teeth, before you apply your makeup, anytime you catch your reflection in a shop or car window (if you are in public, you can state affirmations silently instead of out loud), each time you get into your car.
The steps involved are simple:
Stand or sit in front of a mirror
Look into your own eyes
Take a deep breath
Say out loud, ‘[Your name], I want to like you. I am learning to really like you.’
Those phrases are a good starting point because they allow us to ‘come at the issue from the side’ rather than head on, which can cause us to respond with fear and to shutdown (we’re taking the path of least resistance).
Once you are comfortable saying those things - and be aware that might take some time, so just do what you can each time you’re in front of a mirror - you can begin to say, ‘I like you. I’ve learnt to really like you.’
When that is comfortable, move onto using the word ‘love’: ‘I love you. I really, really love you.’
Add on any other affirmations you want to use. Tell yourself, in the mirror: ‘You are loveable. You are enough. You are perfect exactly as you are. You are naturally confident. You look GREAT.’
EXERCISE 3: YOUR SUPERHERO STRENGTHS
Perhaps growing up, no one told you that you're good at things, that you're talented and that your uniqueness is worthy of celebration.
Maybe others did say such things… but, our human brains are wired to focus on the negative, and you may have brushed off the compliments.
In this exercise, I want you to write a list of your unique, wonderful, ‘superhero’ strengths.
I urge you to put aside any shame or embarrassment you might feel. Know that you are not being arrogant or self-absorbed; and you’re not gloating or showing off. You are simply acknowledging some of your many gifts and your strengths, shifting your focus from the perceived shortcomings your mind might be fixated on.
For example, perhaps you are good at knitting? Don’t just write down, ‘I’m good at knitting’… Explore it! Celebrate it! You are AMAZING and you can feel so proud of that.
‘I am a freaking knitting superstar! I create beautiful woollen pieces with ease and joy and love. Knitting lights me up and that passion means everything I knit has such wonderful energy!’
I challenge you to create a list of at least 10 strengths (more if you can!).
Then put the list somewhere that you will see it regularly. Anytime you are feeling self-doubt or lacking self-confidence, read over your list. It’s a wonderful way to shift your attention back to all the incredible qualities you have, to remind yourself that you are loveable and you are enough - exactly as you are.
Below are a couple of points from my list. I must admit, sharing them triggers some feelings of shyness, embarrassment and a little bit of awkwardness… That just indicates to me that it’s a worthwhile thing for me to do! Unfortunately, we’re just not accustomed to highlighting and celebrating our strengths publicly.
4. I think outside the box. Always. I question everything, I don’t settle for the status quo explanation or way of doing/being. I’m an exploratory, musing, intelligent, creative, imaginative thinker. I know that possibilities are endless.
10. I’m ready for the shadow. Not everyone gets to this point. But I’m here, rolling up my sleeves, and I am diving in… Into the darkness for the light. This takes serious commitment.
If you can, I’d love for you to set aside your worries about being ‘arrogant’ or judged
and share some of your Superhero Strengths with us, in the Facebook group