I’m never going to amount to anything.
I’m so ugly. Nobody is ever going to love me.
I never have enough money.
I fail at everything I try to do.
Have you ever had thoughts like these? I know I sure have! Especially when things in my life don’t seem to be going the way that I want them to. At those times, it’s almost as if my mind can become this black hole of doom, spouting nothing but negativity.
But, what most of us don’t realize is that these kinds of thoughts have an amazing amount of power. When we repeatedly say something like, “I know I’m going to fail,” or “I never have enough money,” these thoughts become a self-fulfilling prophecy, a negative affirmation telling the Universe to make sure that events are arranged so that you get exactly what you want - repeated failure and an empty bank account, in this instance.
I have learned in my Reiki practice that thoughts are powerful. They can make you sick, rob you of joy and even launch psychic attacks against other people. But thoughts can also heal you, uplift you and set you free! YOU have the power to choose which kind of life you want to live by choosing which kind of thoughts you choose to have.
I used to be a confirmed pessimist. The glass was always half empty and the Universe was always waiting for me to have a moment of happiness - so that it could squash that happiness like a bug. I believed that it was better to be negative in my thinking because having hope and joy only meant that those things could be taken away by circumstance. If I never had any expectations, I could never be disappointed. If I never wanted anything, I couldn’t be upset when it didn’t turn out for me.
This was a sound defense strategy for many years, especially when I was a bullied, miserable teenager. But, the problem with this kind of thinking is that it mires you in that misery, chaining you there while your life passes you by. Sure, you might not ever be disappointed or hurt, but you also miss out on joy, love, laughter and all the good things you could have in your life.
The change from pessimism to optimism was a slow one, and is still an ongoing transformation. It started with making a decision, saying to myself, “You know what? I AM lovable. And I AM deserving of love in my life.” Which is how I met my amazing wife. And this one good thing gave me the strength to make other decisions about myself. Instead of expecting a glass-half-empty life experience, I started wanting more!
So, how can YOU change from pessimism to optimism?
STEP 1 - Take some time to write down all of the negative things you say to and about yourself, your life, your finances, your love life, your co-workers, your job, etc.
Your list may end up being quite long, and that’s okay! Just keep writing things down until you feel like you’ve got them all out on paper. If you think of other statements later on, you can always add to your list. Don’t worry about pleasing anyone else as you work. This list is just for you.
STEP 2 - Read over your list of negative statements and say, to yourself or out loud:
"I release these negative affirmations. I affirm that these statements no longer have any power over my life. I ask Archangel Michael and Archangel Raphael to come and cut any and all cords of fear that are tying me to these negative statements. I declair that I am free to move forward with my life."
It may feel silly to say something like this, but this step is important! It is a declaration to the Universe telling it that it no longer needs to work to provide these negative situations in your life. It is also a signal to your Higher Self and subconscious that you are no longer living your life according to these negative affirmations.
STEP 3 - Go through your list and find a way to turn each negative statement into a positive affirmation. As an example, the statement, “I never have enough money" can become "I always have enough money to pay all my bills and have enough left over for fun and enjoyment.”
You may find just the act of transforming all of those negative statements leaves you feeling ligher and more joyful. This is because you are making a conscious choice to release all of that negative energy and rather than being drained by the negative statements in your head, you are being energized by the new positive energy you are allowing in.
STEP 4 - Choose one statement from your affirmation list. Write this affirmation on a series of post-it notes or note cards and place them all over your home, your office, your car, your iPod or phone. Each time you see one of your notes, stop for a moment, take a deep breath to clear your mind, and repeat your new Positive Affirmation. At the end of the week, you can choose to work with a new Affirmation from your list or continue with the same Affirmation until you are ready to move on.
You can also try using this exercise from Louise Hay:
Get out a sheet of paper or a notebook you plan to use for your affirmation work. Fold the paper in half so that you have two columns to work with. In the left column, write out your positive affirmation. In the right column, write out any negative thoughts, feelings or statements that come up (things like “Yeah, right!” or “This will never work”). Repeat this process ten times each day until no negative thoughts or feelings remain. Then, you can begin the process with a new affirmation.
Remember that this is a process and may take some time. Be gentle and compassionate with yourself. If you find that you are having those same old negative thoughts, stop and say, “Cancel that” or “I didn’t mean that,” then follow up with a positive affirmation. Remember, you don’t need to be perfect! Just do the best you can.