Resolutions were never really a big thing for me. I was one of those people who said, “I don’t need a resolution, I work on myself all year long, bleh bleh bleh”. The idea of the New Years resolution may be over-hyped, especially in gym advertising. But at the start of the new year, there is a sense of newness. Sure, nothing has really changed, but the mindset is similar to pressing “refresh”. The beginning of a new year is just a nice time to refocus and reassess. For 2018, I decided I wanted to do something to combat the depression sure to come as I complete my AA. Start a few projects like GSW, yes, but I needed to make some strong changes to my mental health. What I came up with I called “battle cries” in my head, but I soon realized they already had a name: affirmations.
Anxiety and depression can be unknowingly triggered by negative affirmations. Don’t think so? How about “There’s no way I could do something like that” or “I’ll never get that good”? They have preyed on my mental health in the past and became roadblocks in pursuing my current projects. So for 2018, I came up with three positive “battle affirmations” to combat them, starting this year!
“Actually, You Can”
My short and quick stab to self-doubt. Until I listened to my inner dialogue, I didn’t realize how much I say “I can’t”. You know, the very thing I yelled at my dance students for when I taught ballet! I felt sheepishly hypocritical, but this affirmation shuts down and “can’t” or “I’ll never” my mind tries to conjure. Whenever I caught my perfectionist side thinking “I’ll never get blogging like the professionals”, I would jab back with “actually, you can!”.
Yes. I talk to myself in my head. I can’t afford a therapist.
“Learning Takes Time”
Probably the most frustrating affirmation. I stomp my feet and pout whenever I have to tell myself this one. In the end, however, I know I’m right. I am impatient and hella ADD. Learning has been something I have always loved but struggled with. I want to learn everything at once and be an expert right now. I can pout all I want, but at the end of the day, I know this affirmation is not just true, but imperative to my progress. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and I can’t hop over to Japan and start talking to people tomorrow. Side note: if I had a superpower, I would want to be omnilingual.
“You’re Allowed to Be Amazing”
The end of last year, I was watching Ava DuVernay (director and creative-goddess-queen extraordinaire) in an interview and thought “I wish I could be an amazing director like her”. For the first time I can recall, I asked “Why not?” and after every slew of excuses, I would ask myself again, “Ok, but why not?”. Why can’t I create something awesome? Why can’t other people love it, too? It’s not arrogant or stuck up to want to achieve your wildest dreams. If nothing else, it’s brave as hell. Kid’s say “I want to be an astronaut”, put a box with a hold on their heads, and start counting down. Even if they’re never going to be one, why can’t they try? I decided to take a lesson from that mindset, and this affirmation came from it.
So those are my battle affirmations for this year. I have them written down and bookmarked in my journal to reference whenever I start to get overwhelmed. They help, and at the end of the year they’re not a box to check off, but a progress bar to be proud of. What affirmations did you make for the new year? Maybe those affirmation inspired resolutions, what are they? I wish you every wonderful thing you hope for in this brand-spankin’ new year!
Photo: James Pond