Affirmation Part 1-- Rebuilding Self-Confidence
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2003-06-01
Rebuilding Self-Confidence through Affirmation, Part 1 of 3. For a gathering recently we were explaining the Hindu spiritual path without any Sanskrit words. It is "becoming a better person, improving our behavior and learning from our mistakes." After we heal from a long sickness we have weak muscles. With consistent exercise we can build back these muscles and erase the effects of the illness. Similarly when we lose self-confidence from difficult experiences in life, affirmations build back our self-confidence.
Good Morning, everyone! Happy to have a few new guests with us this morning. Welcome to you, and lots of pilgrims from last week. Our talk this morning is primarily on affirmations.
It came up during a recent talk to a gathering, a gathering of Billy Tate's group. She brings her group here once a year, it is a metaphysical group. A lot of them have been studying 'Merging with Siva' now for two or three years, and they come back.
We were explaining Hinduism in our non-technical way?no Sanskrit words were allowed, trying to explain it in concepts everyone could understand, since lots of them were not familiar with Hindu terminology. We were explaining the spiritual path, the way we did in a recent Publisher's Desk, that the Hindu view of the spiritual path can be said simply: "becoming a better person, improving our behavior, learning from our mistakes."
So, we were talking like that and the idea of self-concept came up. We were talking about the power of affirmation and how that can be used to improve our self-concept.
I realized we had not talked about that for a while. So, I started to think about it and that catalyzed me to pull out my 'Merging with Siva' and look through the wonderful chapter on 'The Power of Affirmation' that's in there and share some of that this morning.
It is very interesting. If we go through a major illness and our physical body gets weak, we finish the illness and we come out of it with weak muscles. We are feeling very weak. But everyone knows we can solve that problem by exercise. We can build back our muscle strength. All we have to do is exercise consistently, right? That is a well-understood fact. Then we get our normal strength back again, everything is okay and the effect that the illness had on our physical body is erased, just like it didn't happen. We have all been through that personally, I am sure, and seen others who go through it, and this is just common understanding.
However, if we have difficult experiences in life, if things don't go well, difficult times, stress, failure in one degree or another, it impacts us mentally in a similar way. We become discouraged, we begin to think "I can't" rather than "I can," because of the experiences of life.
So what do we do?
Many people would say, "Well, we can't change that. That is what happened to us. We can change our physical body. We can build back our muscles when we are sick. But, when we lose our self-confidence, because of what we experienced in life, there is nothing we can do. It is gone."
Of course, that is where the power of affirmation comes in. Just like exercise is the best tool to build back muscle strength after a serious illness, after experiencing serious difficulties in life, the use of affirmations is the best tool to build back our self-confidence. Despite the fact that most people might not think of that, that it is not as well understood as exercise is to muscles, it is the tool, a wonderful tool, that Gurudeva has given us for building back our self-confidence. Changing the "I can't" feeling into "I can," which is the same as changing "I can't lift 10 pounds anymore" to "I can lift 10 pounds, I can lift 20 pounds, through exercise."
We can do the same thing to our mental well-being through the power of affirmation.
What is an affirmation?
An affirmation is a series of positive words repeated time and time again, in line with a visual concept. Such a statement can be repeated mentally or preferably verbally many times a day. The idea is if one feels, "I can't," he cannot. If he is always criticizing himself and lamenting over what he cannot do, then he can reverse this pattern and change the flow of magnetic mental force and enliven the intensity by saying orally and feeling through all the pores of his body, "I can. I will. I am able to accomplish what I plan."