According to Eric Maisel, psychologist, creativity expert and author of Coaching the Artist Within, the antidote to self-sabotaging negative self-talk is training yourself to stop the wrong-thinking and start thinking right. In other words, he recommends replacing block-inducing anxious self-talk with affirmations.
You may be familiar with affirmations from other creativity books such as Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, but Maisel’s suggestions are a bit different in that they all rely only on yourself, rather than calling on any outside spiritual support.
Examples of Affirmations
Maisel’s suggestions for all-purpose affirmations are straightforward, no-nonsense and concise. For example, here are some he offers:
I am fine just as I am.
I am off to create.
I trust my resources.
I can handle this.
First things first.
I am capable and courageous.
I have everything I need.
I am ready.
You might want to make up a few of your own so you have a ready arsenal of several perfect-for-you affirmations. (Here are more hints and tips on developing affirmations based on The Artist’s Way.)
Notice! It Takes Practice!
Practice catching your negative self-talk, stopping it and replacing it with affirmations. You do need to practice because the negative self-talk tends to be a habit or a trap we fall into time and time again as a form of self sabotage. Or if you prefer, you might consider the negative self-talk as a way we try to protect ourselves from doing whatever causes us anxiety. In other words as an excuse, a reason to block.
Not sure if you’re doing it? Here’s eleven verbal tricks we use for just this purpose.
Change Your Self Talk, Change Your Mind Set
Beyond affirmations, Maisel points out it is good if you can work to change your mind about the deeper beliefs that lead to the negative thoughts in the first place so you are “thinking right” most of the time. In other words, the goal is to develop the right mind-set where you are able to create freely. More on that in future posts!
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