Over the years I’ve noticed an interesting pattern. Sometimes when a person wants to change a habit or a pattern, s/he is quick to self-judgment and is fearful – yes, fearful – of self-affirmation.

Why in the world would anyone be afraid of affirmation?

  1. Fear of becoming complacent or lazy

“If I acknowledge how successful I’ve already become, I might get comfortable and not put forth the effort to move forward.”

You’re afraid you will continue to procrastinate, give in to the present challenge(s), or become resigned to defeat.

The opposite is true. When you are aware and acknowledging of your strengths, you are tapping into the internal resources you need to move your life forward.  Previously successful experiences provide clues and mapping to be replicated into the future.   You will be encouraged and energized, no longer carrying the burden of self-judgment on your back.  You will move with greater ease, strength, agility, lightness, and freedom.

2.  Not wanting to be prideful or arrogant

“Others will see me as self-absorbed, narcissistic, and grandiose. And you know what happens then – pride comes before . . . a fall.”

You’re afraid of other’s resentment, jealousy, or envy; afraid of criticism; afraid of being rejected.

The opposite is true. When you have a clear sense of who you are, what you bring to the table, and what feeds your soul, you will experience incredible gratitude.  Gratitude opens your heart, and then it is inevitable that you will extend your hand.  Others will honor your authentic generosity and humility.  They will celebrate you.  At least the ones that truly matter in your life – the ones who see you clearly, and appreciate you for the gift you truly are to all of us.

3.  Have been shamed historically

“I was told, ‘Who do you think you are? I’ll bring you down a notch or two.’”

Voices of that past – especially authority voices – can be very convincing.  You’re afraid those in the present will shame you to put you in your place, as those have done in the past. And perhaps they might try, out of their own fear and insecurity.

Here’s the real scoop.

All of us have been shamed. All of us are vulnerable to shame.  But the voices of the past in our history do not have to be the voices in our head now nor in future.  You can learn to speak more compassionately to yourself.  You can speak affirming words to yourself.  You can change your internal relationship with yourself.  You can stop the negative chatter, condemnation, and shaming.

Acknowledging the truth of who you really are, as you are, in your finest qualities, provides a solid, energized foundation from which to launch forward in change. Truth always sets us free.  The truth that you are created in the image of God (love), that you have gifts, skills, talents, experiences, insights, wisdom, and re-Sources to create something greater, something better, and something more uplifting in your life is not being “puffed up”.  It is to be “lifted up” in truth, out of fear and shame.  Lifted up to be a finer expression of who you are tomorrow than you are today – ever-expanding and extending the joy of who you are into a world that needs you.