Monday, January 30, 2012

Standing on the counter and screaming: Daily affirmations


Have you seen this one yet?  It's a great one.  If not, go ahead and check it out.  It's worth the 50 seconds for the smile, the reminder, and the side benefit of knowing what the heck I'm talking about.

This sweet little video of 4-yr-old Jessica enthusiastically proclaiming her confidence to the mirror and world (via the magic of YouTube) has been circling the webosphere, delighting audiences with Jessica's refreshing brand of self-love.  Strange that unabashed confidence should be news-worthy, isn't it?  Watching her shout out such pearls of childhood affirmation such as "I love my school!", "I love my hair!" and "I love anything!" has me wondering.  What would this look like if her mom was on the counter ranting into the mirror?

Would we find it less charming, less cute?  I think so.  In fact, chances are we would think her a bit arrogant, creepy even in her unashamed self-praise.  So what gives?  Why does outwardly loving yourself become gross and disdainful when you can no longer stand on the bathroom counter?  In fact, it seems that doubting yourself (This is just my opinion but. . .) and even degrading yourself (This is probably a stupid question but. . .) becomes exponentially cooler as we transition from childhood to adulthood.  You don't hear 3-yr-olds preface their opinions with such self-sabotage and they're usually shouting some nonsense like "I can do it myself!" My 3-yr-old likes to stand in front of the mirror, rubbing her belly, and proudly declare "My belly is getting so big!"  Just yesterday I walked by her gazing into the mirror, twisting her braids, and saying "I love my pretty braids." It didn't seem snotty or egotistical or arrogant.  In fact, it was darn right cute.  Why shouldn't she love her belly and braids?  They are both formidable after all. Given my previously blogged disdain for mirrors, I can't help but wonder: When exactly does it become cool to self-depricate?  And even better, when does it become cool again to love yourself, to stand on the counter and scream yourself into self-belief?

So let's entertain this for a minute.  Let's go there.  What if, say tomorrow, you could stand in front of the mirror and shout out an affirmation at yourself?  What would it be?

Here's a few I'm tossing around off the top of my head. . .

Daily affirmations for parents of toddlers:

"I am an adult. I am an adult. I am an adult."
"I have friends my own age."
"I am pretty good at the impossible."

Daily affirmations for Ph.D. students:

"I understand most of what I read."
"I read most of what is assigned."
"I have good ideas.  They're just still brewing."
"I love ambiguity."

What would yours be?

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