I believe in affirmations. Used well, an affirmation creates a new habit, making the affirmation is no longer necessary. At the beginning of each year, I create one or two. (Check out my previous journal entry, Creating Positive Affirmations, for more information.) Sometimes, mid-year something comes up I want to address, but is not covered by my affirmations. That’s what happened this year.
I found myself responding in ways I either did not like or later realized I could have handled better. I wanted to listen better, respond more appropriately, or simply shut up. So, I formed an affirmation to remind myself I could do better. Using the steps outlined in Creating Positive Affirmations, here’s how it developed:
Establish the desired result
I behave and respond in a way that fits the situation best
Write the affirmation down using present tense verbs
My first attempt was:
I see and hear accurately, then quickly process what I observe in order to respond correctly.
Refine the affirmation until it is concise, memorable, and its literal interpretation still results in what you desire
- The first part of the affirmation, I see and hear accurately, then quickly process what I observe, is about experiencing the situation. See, hear, and observe are all ways to assess. Assess also implies processing, so this is more concisely stated as I quickly and accurately assess
- The second part of the affirmation, in order to respond correctly, is about reacting to the situation. It can be more concise and better stated. I interpret the word correctly as being judgmental, so I replaced it with appropriately. I also like appropriately because it encompasses saying or doing something as well as not saying or doing anything. So, the reaction half of the affirmation becomes appropriately respond
- Putting it all together results in the final affirmation, which meets the criteria to be short, easy to remember, and the interpretation is what I desired.
I quickly and accurately assess, then appropriately respond.
Wholeheartedly believe in your affirmation. For my affirmation to be effective, I had to wholeheartedly believe I was capable of assessing accurately and formulating appropriate responses. Although I still stumble and need more time to practice this behavior, just the act of believing in it has helped me to observe better and more accurately interpret situations. That in itself has resulted in more appropriate responses.