I remember the first time my aunt told me to speak positivities out loud over myself. Even though I highly valued her words and opinion I thought “yeah, ok…I’ll think on that” and then went on with my day. ‘How would that change anything?’ ‘That doesn’t solve my issues, though?’ At this time, I was going through a divorce, but more than that I’ve always seemed to struggle with depression, being hard on myself, over analyzing situations, not thinking I did anything right…you may know this drill and rabbit hole if you’re anything like me. It’s something I’ve been learning to embrace but not let define me, talk about but still afraid to share too much, and accept but not accept at the same time.
It was one of my lowest points in my life. My aunt told me it wasn’t enough to think them, I had to speak them out loud. She told me there was power in my words. It’s even biblical: Proverbs 18:21 says “the tongue has the power of life and death…” So, I almost did that (sometimes it takes me a while to put something in to practice).
I put up post it notes with positive words, scriptures, and sayings all over my apartment (which I still do and recommend). I thought “hey this is a good reminder” but my aunt reminded me it wasn’t enough. I had to SPEAK it out loud. The psychology behind the power of saying things out loud is a lot to go in to, but if you can put a little trust in me that doing so holds a deeper significance than saying them in your head, you’ll see what I’m saying (think of what you type/text vs what you say out loud, and the thought process behind online bullying – how people’s first reaction is to say “they’d never say that to them in-person” – it’s kind of the same principal as this).
This was hard to do.
The first time I said out loud “I am beautiful” I cried…and I didn’t believe it. I even felt silly, but I kept it up. I started saying good things about myself, instead of thinking and focusing on the bad or what I didn’t like. It definitely took a little while to get to the point where I could believe that I was beautiful or good enough. I say that and even today I want to follow it up with “but I…(insert I’m not full of myself comments here)” but I know that in the eyes of my Father I AM beautifully made. I know that I am a good and caring person. That it’s ok to say so. It may be a long journey to get to feeling better about yourself, but it’s also been a long journey getting to where your thought process is, now. So, you have to give yourself grace and time.
I’ve also sought counseling for the issues that I needed additional help dealing with on my own. I was met with similar advice about speaking out loud the positive things in my life or what I am grateful for. While I can say that this isn’t a complete “wa-la! I’m fixed!” method, nothing is, but it does help out A LOT. And, now, I can fully see why. When we put our focus on the good, the positive, and what’s going right we take away the power and grip that negativity holds over us. We give power to the good and beautiful that is all around us.
I challenge you to say one positive thing about yourself or your life, out loud. Speak goodness in to your life more often than focusing on what’s wrong and watch your attitude and your outlook change! I still struggle and sometimes it’s a daily battle, but it’s worth it to fight and press forward.
And if you ever need someone to talk to, I’m here for you!
Christy is a Nashville based portrait photographer from California, by way of Las Vegas, who’s mission is for every woman to see her true beauty…and to have fun doing it! When you can’t find her taking photos, Christy’s either dancing her recently found love for aerial silks! She and her husband, Patrick, love traveling or spending time together outdoors. Follow her on Instagram @christy_shaterian_photography