In frustration, we used to say to ourselves, “finish lah..’, worst still ‘mampus lah..’. Do we realized, that this silent, internal communication is negative and counterproductive to our self-esteem. It is indeed, the voice of doubt, worry, limitation and self-hate.

Why don’t we change to something more self-fulfilling. It is known as self-affirmation. Start by saying, “Yes”. Yes, I can do it. Yes, I will face all the trouble. Yes, it is an obstacle, but I can face it.

Please notice, self-affirmation has three main characteristics:
1. It is stated in the first person (using the pronoun ‘I’)
2. It is stated in the present tense
3. It is stated positively.

Of course, to be able to self-affirm, you must trust yourself first. Otherwise, it is merely a joke. Then you get to be patience and persistence. If you just say once and at other times, you say you will fail, most of the time you will fail rather than pass.

Then you got to create optimal learning environment to yourself. If you just say yes, you can, but the environment will lead you to failure, it is more sensible that you will fail after all. If you are students, then tidy up your desk, file your notes, clean the mess and start revision. Remember, behavior change is a slow, painstaking process in which immediate tangible result will take time. Slow and steady is better than immediate and short-lasting change.

Now let us look at the effect of self-affirmation. Once you say yes to your inner being, you internalize self-love and your self-esteem increase. You feel important, you have strong sense of self, you are proud of what you are doing, you strongly believe in yourself, you have high tolerance for frustration and you have good self-control.

The enemy is shame. It is not a usual shame as I will called it a toxic shame. Toxic shame occurs when you internalizes negative feelings and see yourself as a flawed and defective human being. Toxic shame will leads to emotional distress and low self-esteem.

(Hey, don’t you think, those are all Erickson. As experience grows, you learn to expand the theory and put them into practice. Yes, you can!)

Till then, cheers!


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