I reckon it’s been about a year since I read How To Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. I’m a sucker for self-help books – they are my guilty pleasures. Back then, I was hurting real bad. I’d been dumped, lost a crappy job I really hated anyway, and so called ‘friends’ had turned on me and made me feel like public enemy number one. I genuinely believe that stumbling across that book in Waterstones changed my life.
The key focus of Louise’s message is that if you can change your thoughts, you can transform your world. Consciously choosing positive words, and having positive thoughts, will make a considerable difference to what you do, what happens to you and how you react to things. I didn’t really get the whole concept right at the beginning, but something must have sticked because I noticed a difference immediately. Since then, I’ve learnt more and more about the power of words. The concept of positive words, or ‘affirmations’, is definitely a lot more mainstream now but at the time it felt so alien to me. Now, it’s second nature. (OK fine, I still struggle when I’m having a really bad day and everything has gone wrong, then I still slip back into hateful thoughts, but overall I’m so much happier and stronger.)
Let me give you an example – I’ve got a meeting with my boss at work to review my performance. I can either say to myself – ‘this is going to go really well, I’m going to have a great conversation with my boss that’s going to leave me feeling fulfilled, listened to and empowered’ – or I can say ‘I don’t want to do this, this is going to be horrible, he’s going to really criticise me’.
Which version of me is going to give me the better outcome?
Your mind is the very centre of what controls you. Your thoughts have an effect on the tone of your voice, your body language, your levels of stress – everything is affected by your brain. Fill your brain up with bad thoughts, then what’s going to happen? By saying positive things, even if you don’t even mean it, you are re-wiring your mind. You don’t notice it happening, but it changes things deep down in your subconscious and you start just being whatever you tell yourself to be.
‘I’m a happy person. I’m a confident person. I’m a beautiful person.’ – say it over and over again, even if you don’t mean it or feel it. It’s like casting a spell – you’ll realise a few hours later that you’re feeling happy and confident. Don’t ask me how it works, it just does.
Before I read Louise’s book, I’d go about with the most negative thoughts going about in my mind. ‘They don’t like me, I look terrible, I’m going to mess this up, I’m going to say the wrong thing, I’m going to have a terrible time’ – and yep, you guessed it, I was pretty unhappy. These days, I wake up in the morning and as part of my ritual, I say out loud ‘today is going to be a great day – I’m going to do an amazing job at work, I’m going to have fun’ and then that’s exactly what happens. By saying it out-loud, you are over riding any negative thoughts that automatically pop into your head. You feel awkward doing it at first – you realise you probably look like a crazy person muttering away to yourself. But practice makes perfect, right! Now I do it all the time. Sometimes, like Louise suggests, I’ll take a mirror and look myself in the eyes for an extra powerful confirmation.
If I’m feeling frumpy and scruffy, then I tell myself that I’m fit and ‘a sexy piece’ as my friend Lexi says, then I notice later on that day that I’m being checked out. If I tell myself that I’m going to have an amazing night out even if at the time I’m feeling tired and a bit insecure, I’ll realise a few hours later that I’m having the best time of my life.
Another way of putting it haha!
Here are some great affirmations for anyone who wants to try them out. Go on, don’t worry about sounding stupid, just try them:
- I love and accept myself exactly as I am
- I am an amazing and capable human being, and I do my best at all times
- I am successful at everything I do
- I am safe, I am in control and I am happy
Over the last year, I’ve said all the affirmations you could possibly think of, from ‘I will be listened to this evening, and my opinion will be respected’ to ‘I will not eat chocolate biscuits this afternoon.’
I’ve even found myself saying ‘my eye-liner WILL BE EVEN’ and it still worked!
Remember in the Sex In The City film, when Carrie’s new assistant Louise from St. Louis (played by Jennifer Hudson) has a gold ‘love’ keyring? She said it was bringing love to her all day, and it made Carrie remember her feelings for Big again. ‘Love’ was the password for the email files where she found all the messages from Big.
Well, I’ve got a ‘love’ necklace. But it’s not about finding a Mr. Big (ahem) – it’s about finding love for myself. I knew I wanted a necklace and it took me a while to find this one – it’s by Helen Ficalora and she does amazing charms – take a look at her website here.
It’s about feeling love for my friends. For my family. For the life that I’ve been so lucky to have. It’s about remembering to say lovely words to myself, rather than words filled with fear and hatred. Love is the most powerful word we have, and I carry it around with me all day, every day.
So go on – try it. Listen to your internal dialogue and start saying positive, warm, loving words to yourself. I’ve been looking out for some amazing things online which I will post about tomorrow but in the mean time…
Be happy, be bright, be you xxx