In AA, someone believed in affirmations and we started saying, “My name is ____, and I’m an alcoholic.”
If you affirm anything long enough and often enough then our conscious, unconscious and subconscious minds begin to believe it. When I said by rote at the beginning of my sobriety “I’m an alcoholic,” a part of my brain just didn’t believe it. I said it until it became a part of me. Then, I began to say “I’m a recovering alcoholic.” Once again my brain had lots of things to say about that, but eventually, I began to know I was indeed recovering by working the steps and just taking in what others shared.
When ‘I’m a recovering alcoholic’ became true to me, I tried again to change that mantra. I began telling the world and mostly my own brain that I was a “grateful recovering alcoholic.” Most of the time I wasn’t grateful, but I said it enough that now it is my truth. I am grateful and I am recovering.
It seems to me that when newcomers enter the rooms of AA their self-talk is always negative. I believe that we should teach those in the program to start affirming themselves. “I count,” “I’m a beautiful, loving, caring person.”
I am so very much more than just an alcoholic and part of recovery is to learn that.
So I’m toying with saying in a meeting, “My name is Martha and I’m a friend of Bill’s.” That’s a positive affirmation and it identifies me as in the program.
There are all kinds of relaxation talks and affirmation videos you can find all over the internet and your local library. No matter where you are in your program of recovery, work at relaxing and meditating or using creative visualization to retrain your mind and begin changing the negative self-talk to something positive.
You are alcoholic and you are sober. Celebrate that and be grateful to be one of those who are still in the program.
Here is a wonderful breathing exercise with affirmations you can use all throughout the day. Use it and teach others this great breathing practice I think everyone should know and practice. It’s by Elma N. Forshey from the book Deep Breathing:
- (Inhale) I breathe in God
(Exhale)and breathe out irritation;
- (Inhale) I breathe in God
(Exhale) and breathe out frustration;
- I breathe in God
(Inhale) and breathe out limitation.
- (Inhale) My whole being responds.
(Exhale) I am renewed, restored, revitalized.
- (Inhale) I am ready to begin again!
At every meeting, we read “we are self-supporting through our own contributions.” What I’ve learned is that you must be self-supporting of your Self…I must be self-supporting of my Self. I need to change the erroneous self-defeating thinking that fills my mind.
God doesn’t make junk! – Anonymous
People (most, if not all) come into the rooms hating themselves, the world, life, and God. They think they are unique, smarter than everyone else, or at least that’s what I experienced throughout my sobriety. You have to hang around long enough to realize that you aren’t the center of the universe, that God is in charge and that everything is in divine right order. Like the song, I have to “accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, don’t mess with Mr. In-between!
I learned that I had to support my own mind. I had to erase the mantras that ran constantly through my mind. “I’m not good enough”, “I’m broken,” “I’m stupid,” “No one can understand the things that have happened to me,” ran through my head all day in the beginning. The cuckoo bird’s voice which was different from everyone else in the world, and it was all we would think about. Slowly but surely we begin to hear at meetings others pain and realize that it’s the same as ours.
We have to be open enough to change the mantras that run 24/7 in our minds.
Jack Canfield teaches that it takes 100 positive statements to eliminate one negative thought or belief. Affirm each other, learn to take compliments yourself…it is vitally important to begin believing that you are a child of God and as the poster says, “God don’t make no junk.”
Write down affirmations for you. Not what you already believe, but what you want to believe someday. Like, I knew without a doubt that I was dumb. My teachers, my grades, and my parents surely stressed that to me often enough. One of my first affirmations was “I am intelligent.” Did I believe it? No. But say it enough and it will become your truth. Make yourself a list which will basically be the opposite of what you currently tell yourself. I am including some instructions use to I teach affirmations here.
Creating affirmations might seem like a ‘no-brainer’ at first glance. But wait… like any other skill in life there are a right and a wrong way to create them.
Creating affirmations the wrong way will result in nothing more than wasted time. You will frustrate, get discouraged with your progress and end up being one of the legions saying ‘Affirmations don’t work!’. But affirmations DO work and they can work for you. Right here you will find out how to create affirmations of the highest quality.
So rather than create them the wrong way or even worse — end up programming yourself in destructive and negative ways, follow the guidelines below and succeed!
How To Create Affirmations…
Here are the nuts and bolts of creating affirmations – awesome life changing, brain reprogramming, affirmations…
1. Determine the ‘voice’ your affirmations will have.
There are three possible voices to use:
– First Person
– Second Person
– Third Person
- First person affirmations look like this:
- “I am …”
- “I am a radical success.”
- “I am super confident.”
- Second person affirmations look like this:
- “You are…”
- “You are a radical success.”
- “You are super confident.”
- Third person affirmations look like this:
- “He is…”
- “He is a radical success.”
- “He is super confident.”
- Third person affirmations are interesting because you can insert your own name into the declaration – like this:
- “Mary is always enthusiastic.”
I strongly urge you to use all three, anytime you use affirmations.
2. Consider the length of your affirmation:
When you create affirmations they should be short and sweet. The reason for this is because you’re sending a message to your subconscious rather than your conscious mind. The more complex the statement the more likely your subconscious mind will not receive it. For example –
- “I love to exercise.”
- “I am always happy.”
- “I am calm.”
3. Set the tone –
Your affirmations should always be active and strong. Words that suggest that you might fail must never, ever appear in your affirmation statements.
- “I’ll try…”
- “I might…”
- “Maybe I’ll…”
- “I’ll probably…”
See how these statements move you…
- “I’ll try to quit smoking.”
- “I might be confident.”
- “Maybe I’ll get rich.”
- “I’ll probably lose weight.”
They don’t, do they?! You can recite statements like that until you’re blue in the face and you will experience no change in your life whatsoever — None. Zip. Nada!
Your subconscious mind will give you exactly what you tell it.
Repeating an affirmation, again and again, will embed that statement in your subconscious mind – eventually, it becomes your reality. Be very careful what you think and affirm, what you affirm is what you will manifest.
What you think, you will become.
Positive or negative statements set the tone. Creating affirmations needs to be done with a positive twist.
It is best to say “I am now relaxed and calm,” rather than “I have no stress.” The issue with “I have no stress.” is the word ‘no’. When you put that little word in there, you have to think about what ‘no stress’ means… That will force your mind to focus on stress with the likely result of creating MORE stress.
If someone was to tell you not to think of the red-faced monkey, what happens? You think about a red-faced monkey right away!
Creating affirmations means focusing on what you do want rather than on what you do not want.
4. Affirmations are time sensitive.
Keep your affirmations in the present tense. Consider –
- “My energy is exploding massively now.”
- “In three months my energy will explode massively.”
A well-crafted affirmation does not reflect your current reality. Why use affirmations to affirm something that is already part of your character?
The purpose of affirmations is to create radical success by changing thought into physical/ mental/emotional reality… a reality that does not exist in your life at the moment. No matter what your goal is – be sure of this – with the right affirmations expertly crafted, you WILL change.
You WILL experience radical success!
Now, write your positive affirmations in all three persons. Record yourself reading these aloud. Play the tape in the car, all during the day and at night when you sleep. Soak these affirmations into your brain until they are your truth. Then write some more and do it again. And again, so long as you discover negative beliefs…there is a power in positive thinking!