I have finally caught up with this month to try to write the blog for the challenge. I have enjoyed reading others and I think my writing will resonate with theirs.
When I searched for a suitable picture on affirmations and I found a toddler staring up at large words. Words he can not yet read but perhaps knows, from books read by his family, that they mean something.
This is how I see affirmations. I see them pop up on my phone or on a Facebook feed, ‘You are good enough’, ‘I am worthy of good things’, ‘I’ll handle criticism with ease’ and so forth. But I wonder, who do these work for? Is it a certain British-ness that I will never listen to words such as these, directed at myself? To me they are as foreign as the symbols a toddler looks at. I know they should mean something, they would be great to embed, but to me they are just words without impact.
My upbringing, when I received an affirmation, this was generally non-specific, such as ‘you are so (clever/beautiful…insert word here). I don’t remember, apart from one occasion, in primary school and home, receiving a very specific compliment (beautiful handwriting) and I know at that time, I accepted it. I went to the type of secondary school where if you were smart, you hid it. Which I was and did. I wonder if it was due to lack of compliments due to hiding my hard-work, that I have never been able to ‘take a compliment’ and now, in my forties, I am only just able to reply a ‘thank you’ when they are given.
Yet, I live my life offering affirmations to others; as a teacher and a parent. I specifically look for these when working alongside children and apply them just at the right moment. To my class, I affirm how wonderful they are as a group and how fortunate I am to be their teacher. To those I teach and the little one I parent, I must appear an open book. I perhaps over-compensate with my daughter in showering her with love and above all, affirming to her she is special to me and I am lucky she is my daughter.
Reflecting on all of this I wonder, perhaps, once you start believing compliments you can create affirmations and take them on board. Perhaps this is the key.
I am strong, I am intelligent, I can learn anything and do anything I set my mind to. Believe in yourself, always!