I remember working with a client who had about thirty post-it note affirmations on or around the walls in her bedroom. They were hand written. They said things like, "Everyday in every way I'm getting better and better."
I noticed that the post-it note paper was old and dusty. Some of the post-its had fallen to the ground.
It was also clear that my client was intimidated by these affirmations. I asked her if she still enjoyed them or could we take them down. She said that she had to keep the affirmations up. She was trying to become these things in her life and she felt she had a ways to go. She sounded tired and defeated.
I had her sit down and close her eyes and put her hands on her heart.
I said that sometimes we think we need to be something other than we are to be okay. We think that if we can somehow become nicer, generous, patient, loving, creative, smarter, richer, spiritual...then we'll feel better about ourselves.
The problem is we think something is wrong with us. We think we're broken.
I said, "But here you are. Sitting. Breathing. Living. You're okay."
I said that we get overwhelmed at times and forget our basicness. It's that part of us that's been with us since birth. It's quiet. It's always here. So it goes unnoticed. But you can take times like this to reconnect with yourself.
She said, "I'm so sick of trying to be something I'm not."
I asked if she would be okay with letting go of the affirmations. She took a deep breath and said, "Yes."
My client opened her eyes, stood up and went around the room and took down each affirmation post-it.
She felt mighty.