Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A note on the Affirmation Challenge

Hey all! Just wanted to let everyone know I am still doing the 15 day Affirmation Challenge from Personal Excellence. Unfortunately the past two days have not been very cooperative with blogging (funeral, lack of sleep, etc.) so I will need to finish up my past posts. Should be on track tomorrow - or rather today...uuuuugh. Stay tuned!

Monday, July 7, 2014

#AffirmationChallenge Day 1 [New Beginning]: “Today is a brand new day. My past does not define me. My future is mine to create.”

Day 1: [New Beginning] - "Today is a brand new day. My past does not define me. My future is mine to create."
How many of us often define ourselves or our future based on our past?
Consider the following statements:
  • I'm a good-for-nothing – I've not accomplished much in my life, so I'm not going to accomplish much in my future too.
  • I've not had great relationships in the past, so I'm likely to continue to attract bad men/women into my life. I'm doomed not to meet someone I will love and who will truly love me too.
  • I was never a straight-A student, so I'm simply not cut out for success, whether in my studies or other things in the future.
  • I've not faced much success in [XXX] goal, so I shouldn't pursue [XXX] any further since I'm probably going to continue failing in it.
  • My dad/mom/teacher once scolded me for being lazy/lousy/slow/stupid/incompetent/idiotic/a disgrace of the family/[insert negative adjective], so I'm indeed lazy/lousy/slow/stupid/incompetent/idiotic/a disgrace of the family/[insert negative adjective].
  • My brother/sister/friend has always been better/faster/stronger than me when we were young, so they will continue to be better/faster/stronger than me in the future.
  • My relationship with [XXX] has been declining, so it'll likely continue to decline and I shouldn't put any effort in it.
While it is important that we learn from the past to create a better future, the extent to which our past limits us is when we use it as a determinant or predictor of the future. For example, just because we made a mistake in the past doesn't mean we'll continue to make the same mistake or another mistake in the future. Just because we are unable to achieve success in X goal in the past doesn't mean we'll continue to face limited success in it to the future.
You see, the danger here is that given that our thoughts directly impact our actions which directly impact our results, by thinking within the confines of our past results, we'll continue to act in a way that attract those results, hence attracting said results in real life. We'll then box ourselves into the archetype of "I'm not one who is able to attract love" (if you're currently facing a blockage in this area" or "I'm not cut out for entrepreneurship" (if you've been meaning to set up your own business but hasn't been able to), hence... being our own self-fulfilling prophecy.
So how do we break out of this vicious cycle? Well, by first changing our thoughts. But beyond changing our thoughts, we need to also identify the action steps to take to make things different. Because while having positive thoughts is important, we need to follow them up with the right, positive actions to make a real change in our life.
Hence, today your task is to do exactly that – change your thoughts and identify action steps in an area where you've been limiting yourself or that you feel limited in. Let's get started! :D

Your Task Today
  1. What is ONE area of your life where you've been limiting yourself or that you feel limited in? It can be anything, from studies, to work projects, to romantic relationships, to health, to friendships, to familial relationships. (You are welcome to identify more than an area if you like!)
- I've always wanted to get at least my bachelor's degree and I love taking classes but I constantly drop out of college before finishing a semester. I've tried at least 5 times.
- Working: I've only worked 2 months in my whole life before going on SSI for 7 years, which I hate and does not endear me to employers.
  1. What is the belief statement you've been harboring in this area? And is it serving/helping you to accomplish your goal? 
- “I've never finished a semester of college in all these years. Clearly I'm not meant to go to school. I just suck at it.”
- “No one is going to hire someone who hasn't bothered to work in 7 years anyway, so why bother looking?”
  1. Change this belief(s). Given that the belief from #2 is limiting, what empowering belief(s) can you change it to?
- “When I tried to go to school before, I didn't have the tools and knowledge I have now. I know where I went wrong and I can create a better, more successful plan to come out on top!”
- “I cannot predict what employers are thinking and I have several marketable skills that I am not taking advantage of. I will definitely not get hired if I never look, but I have to give myself a chance! I deserve it!”
  1. Identify your action step(s) to make the change! What is ONE action (or more if you desire) that you're going to make to make this new belief come true? Commit this action to a deadline, and get working on it!
-Meet with a guidance counselor (instead of trying to plan my whole school career by myself) to start working toward my major/minor work.
-Apply to two jobs per day that I am qualified for, regardless of whether I feel I am deserving of it
  1. Say your new belief out loud, along with today's affirmation. Read your new belief from Step #3 out loud to yourself, with full conviction. Then, say today's affirmation with that same conviction:
      "Today is a brand new day.
      My past does not define me.
      My future is mine to create."

    (If you think it's stupid to say these statements out loud, you can say them silently in your heart.)

    I encourage you to write down your new belief(s) and today's affirmation so that you can always see them and commit them to your heart. Repeat them every day to yourself, for as many times and as long as needed, until they become part of your default thinking.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Personal Excellence's July 15-Day Affirmation Challenge: A True Test of My Personal Positivity

If you're a person living with bipolar disorder/PTSD/anxiety/annoying people/stupid situations and all the pleasant side effects these conditions can cause, you may know that it's hard to stay positive from day to day. I am constantly called upon to "be happy" for the benefit of family and friends at the expense of being too emotionally empty at the end of the day to take care of my own needs. As a result, my life after almost 26 years is unfulfilled in pretty much every sense.

This year, I've made it a goal to be more active in my emotional health, especially as the circumstances around me that I cannot change grow more frustrating by the HOUR (having a broken ankle does not make this any better). I've come across many fantastic resources in my journey, and one of my favorites, Personal Excellence by Celestine Chua, is starting a 15 day Affirmation Challenge on July 7th. From PE:
"Problems can only be tackled through conscious self-reflection and direct action, not by saying affirmations only. However, where affirmations help is that they help us to re-imagine the future (especially if we are fixed on a particular way of thinking), reinforce positive beliefs, and remind us of who we can be. Affirmations have their merit, and they can be even more powerful when followed up with the right questions and planning."
I've never been one for affirmations...or challenges...or being positive...or reflection. Actually, all of this sounds kind of terrifying. But what's even more terrifying is the thought of being in this same situation 5 or 10 years from now: unhappy and afraid to pursue dreams and goals and living life in and out of psych hospitals despite medications and therapy and all the things that are "supposed" to make me happy. SO! I'm willing to try something scary and new. And I'm trying to keep the pessimistic attitude to a minimum. Baby steps.

Join the challenge soon! It starts on Monday July 7th, 2014! AND IT'S FREE!!!

See you in 2 days!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Brain Spit: Dating

There's this person I like. Like, REALLY like. They're smart and gorgeous and funny and passionate and kind and we've been talking for hours every day and really enjoy spending time together. So CLEARLY the logical next step is to...pretend we like each other way less than we really do, because that will prove how much we really, truly care for one another! Right? RIGHT?!

Does this sound insane to YOU? Yes? Then explain to me why you and I and everyone on the planet continue to follow and perpetuate this idea that showing real emotions will drive people away! Are we THAT dead inside as a people that FEELINGS – those things that tell us when things are good, bad, painful, scary, fantastic – ARE HORRIBLE?

Who started this trend of 'playing it cool'? At one point, this was advice given to women to not seem desperate...because men should only want to marry women who show little to no interest in them. Now it's transcended all genders and sexualities to the point that everyone is looking to be loved, but is not willing to love in return.

I understand the need to be cautious. I definitely understand the desire to protect oneself after being hurt in a relationship in any way. But at what point did we as a society decide that we were not good enough to be loved and therefore had to lie about what we felt (in addition to what we looked like – but that's another blog post for another day) in order to be considered “normal” or “worth it”? And more importantly, why are we OK with this??