I admit it: I am still trying to figure out my blogging niche. I have a vision, but not a plan. I can see five years into the future and be happy with what I am viewing inside my imagination, but I bristle at thinking about what I need to do today to get myself there. I feel that I am in the middle of my journey. But I know that is OK. I am further along than I was three years ago, when I was still trying to build myself up to think that I am great — that I am not a loser.
I think that is where a lot of people like me are. In general, people with bipolar disorder are not thinking about ways to be more productive, although that is certainly something I am concerned about for myself. I think that many people who have the disorders I have (mainly bipolar disorder, but I also have ADHD, PTSD, and panic disorder) are still struggling with their sense of self.
It is hard to think about making a change in the world when you are not at ease with yourself. It is nearly impossible to build people up if you feel like you have nothing to offer to the world. It is difficult to make friends when you do not like yourself. When your own inner monologue tells you hateful things about yourself, eventually you take those things as the truth.
Today, I challenge you to have a dialogue with your inner critic. Recognize the voice and even put a name to it. Then, give the critic an alternative, more positive view about yourself. If positive words do not come easily, then come up with a neutral way you can see yourself. For example, if you think to yourself, “I am a failure,” then a more neutral phrase you can repeat to yourself is “I am a human, and all humans make mistakes.”
Start with one negative belief about yourself. When you come up with an affirmation that is positive or neutral, write that affirmation down on a sticky note and put it somewhere you see yourself frequently, such as the bathroom mirror.
It is important to do just one affirmation at first because this may be a new exercise in self-improvement for you. Also, working on one habit at a time makes you more successful in keeping it a regular practice.
Every time you see the sticky note, say the affirmation out loud. If you notice the negative thought about yourself creeping into your conscious awareness, say the affirmation aloud then, too. The more you say it, the more it sinks in.
When you start believing the affirmation, try to turn it from neutral to more positive. Progressively shaping your thoughts has a more lasting effect.