You know what they say: if you’re going to talk to yourself, make sure you say something nice. We admit, it’s not something we’re consistently good at. We find it easier to congratulate ourselves and confirm our greatness when something goes well. But we then forget to continue this positive self-talk when things aren’t going well. When we feel down, challenged, or unworthy, we find it hard to believe what we’re saying to ourselves.
Let’s rewind for a second. When we started journaling in Week One with the Five Minute Journal, we were surprised that one of their daily sections was to explicitly record a personal affirmation. It was the toughest part of the morning routine, and we kept tweaking our affirmations to find just the right words. It just wasn’t happening.
Wow. If that isn’t an indicator that our self-talk needed some clarity, we don’t know what is! Self-talk, affirmations, the mindset work of reframing, deleting, and replacing old stories all take time – and there’s only so much headway we could make in a week. But, a little change is still change. We knew we needed more help so we turned to the number one affirmation podcast in the world, Affirmationpod with Josie Ong and the brand new Left-Brained Hippie with Shelsey Cayer.
How’d we do?
Jumping into Affirmationpod was a bit challenging. With nearly 200 episodes, we were spoilt for choice. But, since they’re all finely focused episodes, we just went for it. We binged on a bunch but, to be honest, a couple of days in we realized we’d heard a lot of self-talk, but were we really listening?
Either we weren’t retaining what we were hearing or we didn’t actually believe it – and that’s when the Left-Brained Hippie podcast straightened us out. Browsing through this brand new podcast (we are such early adopters!), we found exactly what we needed. Episode 18: Affirmations: Why They Don’t Work.
Huh! It wasn’t just us, after all!
We started learning how to use self-talk and affirmations from Shelsey and reinforced that with Affirmationpod. Since each podcaster maxes her episodes out at 20ish minutes each, they fit nicely into the ‘in-between’ times and commutes we have throughout the day. We selected the few that felt most relevant and listened to them on repeat for the remainder of the week.
This week’s “most important moment” turned out to be flipping the switch on the writing of our own personal affirmations. We weren’t three minutes into Left-Brained Hippie’s Episode 18 when Shelsey laid this #truthbomb on us: while the intention of affirmations are good, you actually have to believe the truth of what you’re saying before an affirmation will work. *MIC DROP*
Affirmations can and do work but how well they work depends on how resistant you are to certain types of beliefs. Sometimes you’ve got to deal with resistance first and then work on the affirmations. We realized this was what was happening with the affirmation in our journals. And that’s exactly why it wasn’t gelling. Shelsey encouraged us to use affirmations and self-talk as a way to test our beliefs. If we didn’t yet believe the truth of the statements we were writing, we had to continue the work.
We kept listening to both Shelsey and Josie. And – we kept writing in our journals. We’re not sure when it happened, but the affirmations we’d been trying to create suddenly became clear. The words became succinct, and the ability to say them out loud became easier. We stopped making weird scrunchy facial expressions and we started to believe in the words we were writing.
That alone felt like a fog being lifted on our emotional well-being and started to give us a bit more confidence that this self-care thing is actually taking hold.
Will we stick to it after this week?
Yes and it might just be the beginning. Both Affirmationpod and Left-Brained Hippie are super easy to listen to, and so helpful in harnessing our thoughts and energy, that they’ve definitely earned a place in our Self-Care toolkit. Maybe more importantly, the combination of listening to positive self-talk and writing in our journals showed us that having multiple strings on the bow really does make it easier to hit a target.
Oh! Here’s a sweet treat: We reached out to both Josie and Shelsey to let them know how much we’ve already benefited from their beautiful work and they wanted to pass on a little something for all of us! We’re not affiliated with either podcast, these are just really lovely gifts that we are so happy to pass forward to all of you.