One of the Five Love Languages is words of affirmation. This means you feel loved when you hear how you’re being appreciated. For example, “Thanks for being a great husband/wife,” or “Good job taking care of x.” It’s amazing how much we all need affirmation! In my undergraduate years, I did research on academic self-handicapping. To put simply, this concept is when students placed or reported “handicaps” in their way prior to an academic assessment so that if they failed or earned a poor grade, it would not hurt their self-esteem but rather blame it on the handicap. For example, “I partied until 3 am and didn’t have a chance to study…” After reviewing a plethora of research, one approach to helping students with academic self-handicapping was by way of encouraging them to affirm themselves!! This means if a student simply said to himself before an exam, “I am a good student. I have received A’s in the past. I am going to do my very best,” it will help him refrain from self-handicapping. Simple and brilliant, right?! The power in self-affirmation. So often we are encouraged to affirm others, yet putting ourselves first is most important. With this thought in mind… What are you proud of yourself for? What good work have you been doing lately? As a new mom with Zane technically as my boss (since I’m taking care of him) and Daniel is my other boss (since he is the sole provider), I need affirmation! And I can’t depend on Daniel for it (even though he does do a good job of it) and surely Zane can’t speak, so I can’t count on him. So I can only count on myself. It’s hard though to affirm myself when how do I know I’m doing a good job? I’ve had to battle this in my head and in the end, regardless, I need to affirm myself. That looks like breathing when the going gets tough and saying to myself, “You are doing a great job! You’re doing the best you can!” Truly, this helps me. And I bet if you did the same it will help you!
Do you affirm yourself enough? What areas of your life do you need to affirm yourself more in? Is it in your relationship, friendships, family role, work, etc.?