Growing up, many of us have encountered moments when we were encouraged to look in the mirror and find something we liked about ourselves. This simple exercise, together with repeating daily affirmations, has proven to be a powerful tool for personal growth and self-love. In today's blog, I am going to share with you reflections from my childhood, and how these little lessons I learned impacted my mindset and shaped my life for the better.
I am often asked how I became so confident. Well, believe it or not, sisters, but before I was the self-assured, positive, upbeat confidence coach you see today, I was a shy, awkward and reserved pre-teen who really just wanted to be liked. I truly believe we all go through many growing pains throughout of life-time, having times of mountains and valleys...and I also know, having been a middle school teacher for 20 years, those pre-teen and early teen years are one big, long valley!
Going back to my sixth grade year, I would say this was my low point, my most far from confident time of my life. Braces on my teeth, thick eyeglasses, a little over weight, and socially awkward trying to figure out where my place is in this hierarchy of pre-teen cliques and societal ideals. Kids can be mean, and I didn't have the tools or self-confidence to use my words to stand up for myself. As a result, I begged my mom to home school me, put me in a different school, move me to Antarctica, anything so I didn't have to endure feeling bad about myself daily. (okay, I never actually asked to move to Antarctica, that is way overly dramatic and I don't like being cold!)
Would you like to know what my very wise mother told me to do? She said, "Stacie, go look in the mirror. Try seeing you the way I see you." She explained to me all the positive and beautiful things she saw in me, and explained how these characteristics shone out of me and made me so special. At 12 years old, I am sure I gave her the perfect look of "HUH???" So, she next told me to find one thing about myself, physically, that I was proud of. And to go from there.
Heading to my bedroom to look in my full length mirror, I didn't take me long to see all the things I was NOT proud of. It is so easy to find our own faults. But get this...I was always told by my grandmother that I had a perfect cute nose, just like her! And I loved that. And I started looking at my nose. Yes, y'all, my NOSE. (It really is a nice looking nose, right there on the middle of my always smiling face!) And that is where it began with daily affirmations.
You might be asking yourself, "Really? Your first daily affirmation was about your nose?" Well, no, but yes. I remember thinking, all those years ago, "Stacie, you have a nice nose. You look like your grandmother, who loves you. You have a good and loving family." It just went on from there. Now, don't get me wrong, that is not the day I came out of the valley. But it was the first step in going forward with learning how to use my voice, become more assured, and use daily affirmations as a way to spread love to myself.
High school allowed me to come out of my shell more, by being a cheerleader and finding adults who were always quick to support me and raise me up. We all need people in our lives like that, teaching me to advocate for myself and celebrate my wins in life. I know you might find this a little crazy, but in high school, do you know what I did daily? I talked to myself in the mirror. Yep, that lesson my mom taught me back in 6th grade, well, it really became quite a habit. I spoke very nicely to the young lady in the mirror that was always smiling back.
Fast forward through graduation, college, college graduation, first teaching job (that I remained at for 20 years before confidently interviewing for a new position in a different town where I knew no one- and yes, getting that job!)...and also, fast forward through first marriage, first baby, divorce, remarried, second baby and making and losing friends along the way. All these experiences throughout life, or, the mountains and valleys, continued to either shake my confidence or make me face myself head on. One thing has remained consistent- talking to myself in the mirror, giving myself daily affirmations to start my day in a positive way.
This past year, I have added to my daily self-talk. My husband hand-wrote "Ephesians 6:11" and I had that tattooed onto my left shoulder. So now, everyday as I am facing myself in the mirror, getting ready for the day, I see that scripture on me. And every day I repeat that scripture which says, "Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes." And then I go through a mental checklist of what the full armor is: belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, feet covered and ready for the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. I feel so empowered as I stand tall and arm myself with this daily armor, and my affirmations are really prayers for the day.
And my husband wonders why it takes me so long to get ready in the morning!!! (Disclaimer: everyone feels differently about tattoos and I am in no way suggesting anyone to permanently ink their affirmations onto their bodies. For me, this tattoo means so much and that is what matters.)
Throughout my life, I have learned that daily affirmations counteract negative self-talk and changes your mind-set to help you be more self-accepting and find self-love. I have learned that by looking in the mirror and expressing appreciation for specific qualities or features helps promote self-acceptance and I began to look inside to my strengths, rather than seeing flaws. I learned that looking at myself daily allowed me to learn to speak positive self-talk, thus wiping away insecurities and self-doubt. I learned to trust that woman in the mirror. I learned to believe in myself always and to love who I am, inside and out.
Take a lesson from my mom and start by looking at yourself in the mirror and finding one thing you really like about yourself. Trust me, it becomes an easy, rewarding, and valuable practice, and you will look forward to talking to that person in the mirror. Embrace that positive self-talk and choose to focus on your strengths. Build your daily affirmations around improving your mind-set and nurturing self-love, AND don't forget the power that prayers have, too, when speaking love and affirmations to yourself!
Do you have an experience similar, or do you enjoy having a daily affirmation routine? Let us know! Are you ready to learn more and dive into creating your own daily affirmations and routines? We are here to help! Either way subscribe to www.thesisterhoodcoaching.com or email us at email@example.com to get started with us today! And be looking for our e-book, available August 25, 2023, to any one who is a subscriber to our site as of Aug. 25th, that book will be a free gift to you! After Aug. 25th, the e-book will be available for purchase.