4 steps to turn negative thoughts into positive affirmations

4 steps to turn negative thoughts into positive affirmations

Negative thought patterns can destroy self worth and send you spiraling downward. Here’s how to transform them.

We all have negative thoughts about ourselves. They creep in regularly with no warning no matter where we are or what we are doing.

I just returned from a 5 week working vacation in SE Asia. One of my ultimate dreams turned into reality. Traveling and experiencing new cultures, eating ethnic food and working remotely. You think all would be good, right?

One day early on in the trip I was with my business partner who’s 9 years younger and her friend who’s in her 20’s. We were talking to a local man trying to get a taxi and while we were waiting he asked me, "Is that your daughter?" I wasn’t sure which one he was referring to, but I was shocked, stunned and offended. It literally knocked the wind out of me and I immediately became depressed and I made it mean that I’m no longer attractive. I am old. I have nothing to offer the world. Who am I without my youth? It sent me into a downward spiral feeling really shitty and unattractive. I kept it bottled up for days, trying not to draw attention to it until I was triggered and bursted into tears.

I finally said something to my business partner and we came to the conclusion that we all have "teachers" that come into our lives on purpose and force us to look at our own stuff. That he did!

It’s our job to transform old disempowering beliefs into new ones that make us feel good. It’s important to go even deeper to understand the root cause of the reaction. As I look back at the encounter and how it rocked my world, I had to ask myself — what beliefs do I have about getting older and where did they come from? Based on what I made it mean I discovered some disturbing old beliefs: old people don’t get attention, life is over after you lose your looks, you can’t rely on your looks forever, they fade . I can imagine these came into being at as a teen and observing how society treats aging and how youth is treated like royalty.

Once I wrapped my head around the forgotten "Teacher" concept, and got a better understanding of my worn-out belief system, I started using my own 4-step method that I use with my clients, which is to get clear on ‘what I don’t want’ to get clear on ‘what I do want’. From there, we create new affirmations to integrate into the internal dialogue and start the creation of new beliefs:

  1. Negative Thought: I’m old. What do I have without my physical youth? No one thinks I’m attractive anymore!
  2. I Don’t Want: I don’t want to feel shitty about getting older. I don’t want to feel unattractive.
  3. I Want: I want to feel sexy, beautiful, and embrace my age with confidence and excitement and feel gratitude that I get to embrace each new day to the fullest!
  4. Positive Affirmation: I am beautiful and sexy. I am embracing coming of age with excitement and vigor and what is and what is to be.

Teachers will pop up in the strangest places, at any given moment and force us to look at ourselves in a new light. It will jolt us and knock us off balance, but it’s in how deal with it, learn from it  and transform it into something new and powerful that matters.

Here I am shortly after the incident and getting caught warming up to do my Facebook Live. I love seeing this side of me.

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