Two Steps Forward

Today, let’s talk about how to deal with setbacks in your quest to be a better person.

Affirmations are a wonderful way to help you change in positive ways. Affirmations are simply present-tense, positive statements of a desired end-result. For example, an affirmation you could make if you want to be a more loving person is, “I treat all people with respect and courtesy in every possible circumstance.”

Given this affirmation, what happens when you’re driving to work and another driver cuts you off, glaring at you as if you had no right to be on the road in the first place? You respond automatically with a very disrespectful gesture, call the other driver a distinctly discourteous name – and then feel terribly guilty. Do you give up in disgust and say, “Well, obviously affirmations don’t work, so why bother?”

Not at all! You see, before you made the affirmation, you probably wouldn’t have noticed your disrespectful behavior as anything unusual. But because of your affirmation and your promise to yourself, you are instantly and uncomfortably aware that this is not how you want to behave.

So you say to yourself, “That’s the old me talking. The next time, I intend to respond differently. I intend to behave respectfully and courteously, no matter what the provocation.” And you keep after it, saying your affirmation and visualizing it, experiencing how it feels again and again day after day, until the new behavior becomes second nature. In no time, you won’t really remember having been any other way.

You may take one step backwards initially, but you really are heading two steps forward.