Doggone It, People Like Me

The end of self-help

I’ve always had a hard time doing daily affirmations – especially when I can’t get Stuart Smalley‘s voice out of my head. However, they’re an important part of the Artist’s Way process, so I’ve been waking up early every day and doing them.

The trick is finding the right one. If you keep repeating a line that means nothing to you it’s just boring and meaningless, but when you find the right one it can cause a physical reaction (chills or even dizziness).

My favorite affirmation is: I am a creative, passionate person. Sweet and simple, but very hard to say.

For a long time I thought I wasn’t a true artist because when I watched movies about painters they would always attack the canvas like they were driven by an uncontrollable desire to paint. I’ve never had that.

And movies about writers usually show the writer as a depressed, lonely soul (usually an alcoholic) who obsesses over every word while their relationships crumble around them. I’m not like that either.

So at some point in time, I must have decided that if central casting wouldn’t pick me to play a crazy artist I must not be a creative or passionate person. It sounds stupid, but believe me you’ve probably done something similar. The sub-conscious is a strange beast.

I would like you to count how many negative things you tell yourself in one day. Count all the little things like: I’m always losing my keys (I’m absentminded), I can’t believe I ate that whole burrito (I’m out of control), I’m such an idiot (I’m such an idiot). Or it can be bigger things like: I’ll never get that promotion (I’m not good enough), he would never be interested in my (I’m not worthy of the love I want).

You’ll be surprised by how many negative affirmations you tell yourself. Why is it crazy to tell yourself positive things, but absolutely normal to knock yourself down? Why not spend just a little time telling yourself some positive things?

If you’re having trouble finding the right affirmation here’s a great motivational picture to help you:

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