Individualized Positive Affirmations For Improving Self-Esteem
by: Dr Harry Henshaw
Positive self-esteem is very important if not crucial to our happiness and well being as a human being. Having positive self-esteem can make the difference in that which we take on in life, in that which we go about achieving and creating. Having positive self- esteem also allows us to have healthy and joyous relationships with others, to experience true intimacy. One could also assert that having positive self-esteem gives us access to genuine spirituality. Poor self-esteem, on the other hand, creates the space for us to experience a great deal of negativity in life including depression, anxiety, fear, stress and loneliness. Negative or poor self-esteem is also highly correlated with alcohol and drug dependency. Some even believe that a negative or poor self-image is the source of such addictions.
While it appears that the importance of positive self-esteem is somewhat understood, the unanswered question has always been about how to improve or enhance a person’s self-esteem. Some belief that a person’s self-esteem rests upon them being successful, in accomplishing that which they take on in life, of achieving goals that they have set for themselves. As a result much effort is put into assisting others in effectively and efficiently planning their doing in life. Others believe that our sense of self-esteem is determined by the type of relationships that we have, that by surrounding ourselves with positive people who will appreciate and acknowledge us that our esteem will be positively impacted. To this end training is given to help a person improve his interpersonal skills, how he communicates and relates with others. While both of these endeavors are important, it is not the having or doing that creates positive self-esteem. Ones self-esteem is not given or to be obtained from without, external to the person.
One very effective way to improve self-esteem is through the use of positive affirmations. Positive affirmations are very powerful for transforming how a person feels and thinks about himself, ultimately influencing how he views and acts within the world and towards others. The fundamental reason why positive affirmations are so effective is that their nature or structure reflects what already exists in our mind. Our identity or who we think we are, our current thinking patterns, are also a series of affirmations, composed fundamentally of mere words or language. Everything we think, all of the thoughts that we have, are merely affirmations. Positive affirmations, when used consistently, begin to alter our prevalent internal language pattern, as negative as it may be, our inner self talk or dialogue that exists within us. The end result of the consistent use of positive affirmations is the transformation of an inner negative language pattern into one that is positive in nature
The most effective way to use positive affirmations is with the individual’s own voice. While a person can have a beneficial result from listening to a commercially developed product that employs positive affirmations recorded by another, the transformative power of this technology is enhanced or strengthened by the positive messages being delivered in the person’s own voice. By using a person’s own voice to transform the inner dialogue, there is less resistance to the transformational process due to the fact that the voice itself is the same or identical. It is as though the negative voice or language pattern that one hears repeatedly in life is altered or transformed by the consistent exposure and listening to that same voice but with the structure of positive enhancing affirmations. Eventually the structure will transform from one that is negative to one that is positive in nature.
The process of using ones own voice in doing work with positive affirmations can be strengthened with the use of therapeutic relaxation music. While the use of ones own voice is very powerful for creating change in a person’s life, the use of specially designed therapeutic relaxation music assists in creating the audio space for this process to be very powerful. We tend to be more open or suggestible to positive affirmations or language when we are in a state of relaxation. When combined with binaural audio tones the relaxing affect of the therapeutic relaxation music is greatly enhanced. When used with the combined effect of the therapeutic relaxation music and binaural audio tones and consistently, the positive enhancing affirmations that are delivered will have such a profound affect upon improving and transforming a person’s internal, self-talk and eventually his self-esteem.
The technology of utilizing positive affirmations that are recorded in a person’s own voice and therapeutic relaxation music is currently being employed in the treatment of those suffering from substance dependency problems. At the Holistic Addiction Treatment Program in North Miami Beach, Florida, clients are given access to this powerful technology. Clients have the ability to create personal affirmations that empower them and support their recovery and also are able to record these affirmations. The recorded positive affirmations are then mixed with specially designed therapeutic relaxation music to create a powerful audio product to assist the individual in his recovery. Once created the client is trained in the most effective manner in which to utilize their personal CD as part of their overall recovery plan. Those clients who utilize this powerful technology tend to improve their self- esteem, stay in recovery and improve the quality of their life in general. When a person feels and thinks more positively about himself he tends to be more positive towards everything that he is taking on in his life, including and most importantly his recovery.
Harry Henshaw, Ed.D., LMHC