This is day 3 of Celestine’s Positive Affirmation Challenge (http://personalexcellence.co/blog/affirmation-day-3-ability/) and today’s affirmation is a variant on one I’ve always had some difficulty with.
Can I really achieve anything I want if I set my heart on it? How about my childhood dream of being an astronaut? The reality is-no! Britain does not have a manned space programme, I’m over 40 years of age and I don’t have the many skills or qualifications that those fortunate enough and brave enough to have made the journey into space possess.
It’s also something upon which I’ve read some criticism. Just telling yourself you are rich, you are thin, you are successful does not make it so, however much you decide to believe it in your heart. This, as Celestine points out, is not the purpose of affirmations. Just saying words isn’t enough, I would have the same results as if I were to recite nursery rhymes to myself (although I have been known to recite the Rudyard Kipling poem “If” to myself when facing a difficult situation, to help me focus- http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/if/ ). You also have to do the work-set your goal, believe in your own mind that you can achieve it and then do something about it. Make a plan and actually implement it, facing the difficulties and carrying on even when all you want to do is give up.
Where this affirmation helps however is reminding me to tell myself the truth. I am someone who values integrity and that should include what I tell myself. The example I gave yesterday of my desire to learn a language, quite simply I have told myself that I can’t. Is that true? No. I have not been prepared to spend the time and effort needed to learn, to keep going in the face of difficulty and to keep practicing. I won’t, rather than I can’t.
When I say “I am going to be an astronaut” I know I am lying to myself. But when I say “I am able to learn French by studying a little every day, even when I find it hard I will remind myself that I have done and learnt many difficult things in the past”, that is both true and positive.
Setting your heart on something means also setting your brain, your hands and your efforts onto the work involved. It means honesty with yourself. This is perhaps why I find this affirmation so difficult, I know in my own mind what is possible and also how much work and effort it will take to bring that possibility to fruition. But I also know how much it would mean to me and the worth of that goal to me, and only I can decide if that is worth the work involved.
I read the following insightful piece by Dr Suzanne Gelb, which was published today on the Tiny Buddha website, she makes the point about honesty with ourselves far better than I ever could.
Celestine’s Personal Excellence site has a lot of useful material on setting and achieving goals, and getting past our limiting beliefs about our abilities, worth having a read.