One of my favorite recurring segments on classic Saturday Night Live was Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley. Stuart told himself each day that he was good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people liked him. (The positive messages must have worked, since Stuart’s alter ego, Al Franken, has now been elected to the Senate twice.)
My two-year-old has recently taken to giving himself pats on the back too. Several times a day I hear him say, “Good job! Yay! You did it. All right.” Part of his confidence comes from still being in an egocentric stage of development. But he is also unabashedly proud of himself because no one has yet shamed or discouraged him. (Thank goodness, for his sake and for the sake of whomever might dare do so in my hearing.)
While it is important to acknowledge and learn from mistakes and to be aware of how our actions impact others, most of us could benefit from some positive self-talk. Our memos to ourselves could be faith-based: I am a child of God. They could be an encouragement to claim our authority: I am a trained, ordained minister, and I have the right to be here. Or they could simply be a reminder that each day is a new beginning; fresh, with no mistakes (a la Anne of Green Gables).
What message to yourself do you need to play on a loop, and how will you keep that sentiment in front of you when you’re having one of “those” days?