Affirmations. Values. You.
Before you read this blog, I want you to listen to this incredibly powerful Negro Spiritual:
You know what that song exemplifies? The wisdom that Soulja Boy was trying to impart on us?
The influence of affirmations and how life-changing they can be.
Let's talk about it.
You all know about my struggles with self-esteem. And as much as I did to improve it, nothing helped more than when I started saying my affirmations. It was the final piece of the puzzle that I’d been missing.
“Patric Brown, you are a leader. You are a King. And the world is yours. So get over your fears, work hard, and take it.”
I try to say that to myself at least once a day. At home or at work, doesn’t matter. I want to be a leader and a king, because a good king (No Joffrey) demands the best from himself at all times. And I want the most out of life, and I know the only way that will happen is if I get over my self-limiting beliefs and work my ass off.
How you talk to and about yourself determines how you treat yourself. It also affects how you let other people treat you. So if you’re tired of being treated poorly, either by yourself or others, it’s time to edit the script of your inner dialogue.
It starts with your brain.
Your brain processes information from your senses and feeds it directly into your conscious mind. Anything that’s repeated enough into your conscious mind goes down into your subconscious, where your behavioral programming is. Your auto-pilot. By consistently feeding yourself poor information, your auto-pilot sets itself to make you behave poorly. Garbage in, garbage out.
So let's think about this: if your brain does nothing more than process the information you feed it, why not feed it information that makes it believe you’re the best? So that you will always live at your highest, most capable form?
All of this directly influences your self-esteem. Again, self-esteem; because it comes from the self. In my opinion, that’s incredibly empowering. That means that no outside force has dominance over how you feel about yourself. Yes, people and experiences can influence your self-esteem but ultimately it’s in your control. You have complete and absolute autonomy.
If you’re having trouble with your self-esteem, there’s something you can do right now that will instantly help:
Define your values.
Your values are what guide you throughout life. They’re what you fall back on when you’re feeling indecisive or in a tough spot. Your default behavior when all else fails.
Every great person and every great organization has values, and more often than not those values are what drove them to their success. Barack Obama has his. Apple has theirs. To become your highest self you have to define yourself, and that’s why values are important.
For example, here are my work values:
Don’t sleep with any co-workers. (If you’ve never worked in an office environment, let me tell you: almost everyone is HORNY AS SHIT.)
Don’t get caught slipping. (That means I will do everything in my power to stay up on my work and projects. I never want to be the reason why my team is under-performing.)
Maintain and cultivate relationships. (I go out of my way to build and nurture relationships in every department because one never knows where those relationships might lead.)
Take ALL of the initiatives. (If there’s a problem I try to fix it. If there’s a project I sign up for it. Even if I’m in over my head, which has happened numerous times, I’m at least putting myself out there. This is the most important for professional visibility and personal growth.)
Those values lead to me getting two promotions, and four raises at my current gig. And I’ve only been there for two and a half years! It’s been a process to learn how I should move in an office environment, and some of those values were definitely developed because of mistakes I made. But all of that got me to where I am now.
And let me keep it funky here: I’ve definitely slacked on those values a few times after their creation. Sometimes I miss the mark and you better believe you will too. Humans aren’t infallible. We all screw up. But what’s important is that you get out and try your absolute best every day. And when DO you slip: take it in, learn from it, and get back on the path.
Hold yourself to a high standard but never beat yourself up over a mistake, major or minor. You’re more than your failures.
Now that you’ve been put on game, it’s time to ask yourself: who do you want to be? What do you want to manifest from yourself?
Seriously, think about it for a second.
Do you have your answer? Good, you have a vision for yourself. Great job.
Now, just like our man Soulja, make it a point to look in the mirror and tell yourself your vision at least once every day. Look yourself in the eyes and really mean it. Repeat it a few times if you have to. But here’s the thing: it has to be present-tense. Not future-tense. You’re not wishing to be that person.
Because deep down, you already are that person. You’re just reminding yourself.
Now go out there and show the world.