Years ago there was an ongoing skit on Saturday Night Live about a character named Stuart Smalley. Stuart hosted his own self-help TV show called “Daily Affirmation With Stuart Smalley.” Stuart was a man who had low self-esteem stemming from his dysfunctional family and he belonged to many different support groups, some of them being fictional. His mission was to help others feel good about themselves through sharing his own experiences in life. His catchphrase was “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.” Stuart said this positive affirmation while facing a mirror. It always made him feel better about himself and it gave him a sense of empowerment. I think that by looking himself in the eye when he said it he cemented the affirmation firmly into his mind. While this was a satirical show there is a lot of truth based in the idea of saying positive affirmations to oneself, especially while looking in the mirror.
While Stuart is not a real person we all know someone just like him. We might be just like Stuart ourselves. I always identified with him because I never felt good about myself. I never felt adequate in any area of my life. One bad feeling about yourself can spiral out into more bad feelings. It’s quite a vicious circle and it’s hard to break. Those bad feelings are fueled by negative self-talk. That’s something I was most definitely an expert at. I had an unofficial Master’s Degree in it. It wasn’t until earlier this year when I learned about the power of positive thinking that I was finally able to break the chains of feeling bad about myself and begin to replace those feelings with good thoughts.
One of the people I follow who teaches the virtues of positive thinking tells a story of a man who wrote a famous book many years ago. Before he wrote that book he was given an affirmation for success to say to himself in front of the mirror twice a day for about a month. The first time he said it he whispered it. He didn’t want to be embarrassed in case someone heard him. He didn’t believe the words that were coming out of his mouth and he actually thought it was silly, if not downright stupid. But, he kept saying this affirmation every day because he had made the man who gave him that affirmation a promise that he would say it for the duration of that month. Each time he said the affirmation in the mirror it became easier to say. It also became easier to believe. At the end of the month he believed 100% that this affirmation would come to fruition. He had changed his thinking to believe he COULD do something and in turn had put positive thinking into effect. There’s a great quote by Henry Ford that says “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” This is absolutely the truth and the man that said this affirmation each day in the mirror proved it to be correct. At the beginning of that month he knew he didn’t believe he would achieve the goal; at the end of the month he knew he would.
I’ve been using a daily affirmation myself for several months. It’s actually the same one the man above said to himself in the mirror. It’s an affirmation for personal success where you use another person’s name whose achievements in life you’d like to equal and ultimately surpass. This person has no idea I use them in my affirmation. They might get a little weirded out knowing I use them in my affirmation but that’s okay…..they don’t need to know. I just admire greatly the things this person has achieved in their life and how they use their success to help others and make a real difference in their lives. That’s exactly what and how I want to be.
While the affirmation I say is just a few short sentences it actually has made a big difference in my life. When I started it a few months ago I was just like the man above and didn’t believe it could ever happen. But the more I said it and the longer I say it I’ve come to believe it will happen. No, I KNOW it will happen. I have the utmost faith that it will. That’s because I’ve trained myself through this positive affirmation that I CAN and WILL achieve something if I put my mind to it and work towards that goal. It doesn’t matter if anyone tells me I can’t or won’t. What matters is that I believe it will…..and it will. How do I know this? Because that woman in the mirror looks me in the eye every single day and tells me that it will and I’m holding her accountable for making it happen.