My Lesson from the Leaves

I typically don’t look forward to fall and winter. I am a summer kid through and through. I don’t like the cold weather, the absence of green and the shorter days. Nope. Don’t like it one bit.

But this year I had a thought: maybe there is a lesson to be learned from the leaves in the fall. So I opened up my mind and heart and allowed myself to look at the fall differently this year. What I saw was significant: Letting go can be beautiful.

So many times in my life I have struggled to let go of things. All kinds of things. I have had difficulty letting go of actual things, like clothing that was the wrong size, or shoes that are old and worn out. I have fought with letting go of anxious thoughts that play over and over in my mind. I have battled with letting go of old beliefs about myself that cause me to question my worth or value as a person. But this struggle is not found with the trees.

The trees don’t fret about letting go of their leaves every year. They accept, as much as a tree can accept anything, that it is a natural part of their existence. They do not struggle to let go. They allow the process to happen. Each year they erupt into beautiful colors and let go.

I realized that there are many things I need to let go of. One of the things I have been focusing on over the past year is letting go of those old messages I received from others years ago and those beliefs that do not make me feel like the amazing human I am. I cannot continue to hold beliefs, forged in childhood, that I am “not _____ enough.” The people who gave me those messages were not equipped at that time to identify the magnificence that is humanity and therefore should not be counted as experts on my amazingness. This is true for you too! Let’s let go of all those old beliefs that no longer serve us. Let’s let go of those beliefs that we are not good enough, thin enough, thick enough, smart enough, rich enough, pretty enough, tall enough, dark enough, light enough, enough enough! The truth is that just by being born you are more than enough. You are magnificence in human form! As am I! And this fall I am letting go of any thought that tells me otherwise!

Self-Esteem Boosting Affirmations

I’m sure you’ve heard all the hype about affirmations — positive statements about yourself or the future that can change your life. Some people believe affirmations are nothing more than a load of BS… but there is research out there that would suggest otherwise.

Recently, I was listening to a report on NPR about a study that was conducted regarding the power of the mind in the production of hormones that were not naturally present in the body. Essentially, the people who had the hormone present were told they didn’t have it and the people who didn’t have the hormone were told they did. What happened was that their bodies responded to this new information in their minds and the mere belief that the hormone was present resulted in changes in their physiology!! The people who previously had the hormone and were told they didn’t have it, stopped producing it! And vice versa! So, the belief that this hormone was present or not present resulted in changes in their body that mirrored what they perceived in their minds!

In short, what you tell yourself matters on so many levels. Emotionally and biologically! Why not give affirmations a shot?

Where do I start?

If you’re new to this, or your new to the self-esteem affirmations you may need some guidance. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, let’s start by picking one or two things you like about yourself and write them down. We will focus on present beliefs and the development of future beliefs about yourself. Answer these questions and write the answers down:

  1. What physical attributes do I like/love about myself?
  2. What personality characteristics do I have that I like?
  3. What compliments have other people given me? (Often times, people see more positive things in us than we are willing to acknowledge in ourselves. If you are complimented often about your eyes, or your hair or your kind spirit, these people are on to something.)

Future-Oriented Affirmations

Now that you’ve got down the current things you can acknowledge, it is important to focus on the future. By talking about what you would like to feel about yourself in the future as if it is already happening, you can strengthen those beliefs. For example, one of my future-oriented affirmations is “I am enough.” My brain likes to throw up this old belief that I am somehow not good enough, smart enough, successful enough… blah blah blah. So by telling myself in the present “I AM ENOUGH” I learn to believe it. When those other thoughts pop up, I can fight back with “I AM ENOUGH!!” Ask yourself these questions and write the answers down:

  1. What physical attributes about myself would I like to feel good about?
  2. What characteristics would I like to develop?
  3. What would I like to believe about myself?

Excellent job!! Now that you’ve got all those written down, simply put “I AM” in front of each of them. Bam! Self-esteem affirmations! It’s hard. I know. But tell those things to yourself every day and you will begin to see the truth. That you are beautiful. That you are strong. That you are enough!

If you need some additional help, here are some great examples from Affirm Your Life — my favorite spot for affirmations on the web:

By loving myself, I allow others to love me as well.

Every day I appreciate myself more and more.

Feeling appreciated is one of the top priorities in my life, and I practice this feeling every day.

I accept myself for who I truly am, and give myself permission to grow beyond this.

I acknowledge all I have accomplished and am proud of my achievements.

I am a beautiful person.

I am a good person just as I am.

I am a magnificent, radiant being.

If you like those, it’s just the beginning. There are thousands of affirmations about so many topics! Go check out more affirmations from Affirm Your Life! They even have an app!