How Not to Affirm Yourself
You are minding your own business scrolling through Instagram and all you see is motivational quotes in colorful and flowery calligraphy. Or you're tapping into your inner white girl and delving into Tumblr-esque posts depicting long-haired, skinny first world girls who don't even relate to the nature of the quote.
You become attracted by #relatable under these posts and try to relate to those quotes because everything in the internet these days is supposed to be relatable for your generation. But alas, you end up failing in epic proportions because chances are, the only ways you can affirm yourself is having emotionally draining and often toxic thoughts as illustrated below.
Disclaimer: Examples used are purely for easy understanding. Life in general is harder than that.
"I'll be happy when…"
We all have goals we're aiming for to achieve a desirable life and in turn, happiness. Sometimes we only see the end picture, us sitting on a fluffy beanbag in our future mansion, eating pizza, happiness dripping into our souls with each ounce of oozing mozzarella. Maybe you're just dreaming of having your dream prince/princess/career/most coveted red stilettos at the moment. Whatever the case, you are setting boundaries to your ability to be happy. Allow yourself to be content with the present till the point you get what you want. Of course it's not possible to acquire everything you desire so don't limit your happiness to something specific.
"It could be worse"
In contrast, you're allowed to feel sadness too. Just because someone beat you to the last slice of pizza and you're aware of the harsh reality of it doesn't mean you should suppress your emotions. Saying "it could be worse" won't solve anything. There's always someone worse off than you (e.g. That person who arrived after the pizza party was over) so you should be grateful for your current situation.
"I should have done… instead of… "
Truth to be told, there's no right or wrong decision when faced with difficult choices. Each choice brings about its own set of consequences so unless you choose something you'll never know which is right. It's not worth pondering over what you could have done because thanks to your incompetence you can never know the consequences of grabbing that pizza.
"Everything happens for a reason"
Things just happen whether you like it or not. When certain things lead to something positive, we think it has happened for a reason. But to say it for a negative incident is basically saying you deserve the awful fate.
"I haven't done this good enough"
It's easier to put ourselves down than appreciate. A lot of us don't know how to handle appreciation, we are quick to dismiss it as politeness or sarcasm thus having ourselves believe that our effort is not good enough. We are afraid of being termed as arrogant but affirming ourselves like that diminishes any sense of pride or accomplishment we have. Instead we should give ourselves a pat on the back for coming this far and also keep room for improvement.
These thoughts are inevitable at times but with a little mindfulness we can stop them from emotionally draining us. Yes, you don't have to be dead inside like everyone else these days.
Mashiyat Nayeem has a genuine phobia of onions and has mastered the art of scavenging for beresta in her biryani. Learn more at [email protected]