web analytics
May 5, 2015 / 16 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Self-Affirmations/Self-Deprecations (Part One)

(Names changed as requested)




I came out of the store last week, and there, on top of my “to do” list on the passenger’s side of the car, in full view for anyone to see, were three checks that I was taking to the bank to deposit. “How stupid can you be?” I said to myself. “Why not just invite someone to break into the car?” And then I immediately stopped. “It’s a mistake anyone can make,” I told myself. “And I am not stupid.” You see, I recently heard someone speak about getting rid of self-deprecating remarks and I began to realize how full of them many of my days were.


Since then I have been on a self-improvement campaign. I know how the messages we give ourselves affect us. They affect the way we think about ourselves, care for ourselves and, in general, affect almost every aspect of our lives. I believe that when we use frequent negative remarks about our behavior, we begin to see ourselves negatively. If we can eliminate this negative self-talk, we are certainly on the road to self-improvement and self-confidence. But ridding ourselves of such negative comments is only the first step. After that, we need to make self-affirmations or positive comments. That is not as easy as it sounds. Most of us have difficulty accepting praise from others, much less believing positive comments we make to ourselves. But it does make a difference.


Heather was having a difficult time coping with raising her six children, keeping her home in order and her full-time job. Her husband worked long hours and was not at home when she needed help most. When things went wrong with her kids, Heather blamed herself. She told herself, without even realizing it, that it was all her fault. Instead of seeing how well she was handling a difficult situation, she only saw that things were not running smoothly and blamed herself. She told herself things would be better if she was a better mother, more organized etc. etc. She filled her mind every day with statements of her inadequacy, over and over again. As a result, Heather felt badly about herself. She smiled less, her temper shortened and life for Heather became more difficult.



Heather’s friend, Bryna, had a similar situation. She, too, had a large family, a job, and a husband who wasn’t able to help as much as she needed. Heather noticed that Bryna appeared upbeat most of the time. She seemed to have more patience with her children and enjoyed them a lot more. When Heather asked her how she managed, Bryna didn’t quite understand what she was asking. She told Heather that she felt she was doing a great job as a mom: “I have six children, after all. Everyone knows it’s difficult and perfection is impossible. I know I do the best job I’m able, in my circumstances. And, I think that’s great.”



Dorit’s son had spina bifida. He walked with a limp and had other complications resulting from the disease. Dorit seemed to feel she was somehow responsible. She felt that G-d was punishing her for something she did, though she didn’t know what it was. She tried making deals and promises, but her son didn’t get better. She had difficulty seeing her situation as a challenge or a test. She just felt it was a consequence she didn’t deserve. She often seemed depressed and angry.


Yafit had a severely autistic child. He could not speak, would often wander off and could easily hurt himself if he was not watched 24 hours a day. It would have been normal for Yafit to wonder about the “whys” of her lot in life. But she never did. When I talked to her about her child, she said, “Can you imagine the faith Hashem has in me to entrust me with such a neshama (soul).” Yafit displays self-confidence and good cheer every time you meet her.


The silent and loud messages we give ourselves help frame how we feel about ourselves. Negative statements (called self-deprecations) contribute to lowering our self-esteem, damaging our self image and generally help turn us into someone even we ourselves don’t want to be around. Simply stopping negative self-talk is the first step in undoing the damage. Positive self-statements (called self-affirmations) do just the opposite. But how do we change? I’ll share some ideas next week.


About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Self-Affirmations/Self-Deprecations (Part One)”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Rioters smash window of police car in Baltimore.
The Baltimore Riots and Jewish Gangs
Latest Sections Stories
Safar-050115-Califlower

Cauliflower is one of my favorite ingredients to cook with – it blends so easily into whatever dish I am preparing.

Eller-050115-Fruit

For all their deliciousness, frozen beverages do not stand the test of time well, as any ice or frozen fruit thickening your drink will melt into a watery mess.

blintze_cake

“DouxMatok’s technology will allow for a reduction of 30-60 percent of sugar in a product, depending on the application, and with no effect on taste.”

Schonfeld-logo1

How do we ensure that our students aren’t studying for the grade or the end-of-the-year pizza party? How can we get them to truly want to learn for learning’s sake?

The message being conveyed is that without “flour,” without the means to support oneself and one’s family, one’s focus on Torah will be impeded by worry.

Someone close to us knew that you were good at saving marriages and begged us to give therapy one last chance,

Rabbi Pinni Dunner and Holocaust survivor Heddy Orden.

He wrote a strong defense of shechitah in which he maintained that the Jewish method of slaughter had a humanitarian influence on the Jewish people.

New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will be the keynote speaker at the Westchester Government Relations Legislative Breakfast on Friday, May 8, at 7:45 am at the Jewish Community Center of Harrison.  The annual event, which brings together important elected officials and the Westchester Jewish community, is sponsored jointly by UJA-Federation of New York […]

“Like other collaborative members, we embarked on this journey as an opportunity to build on New York leadership’s long commitment to expand and diversify opportunities for Jewish teen engagement,” says Melanie Schneider, senior planning executive with UJA-Federation of New York’s Commission on Jewish Identity and Renewal

The poetry slam required entrants to compose original poetry with powerful imagery and energetic rhythm bringing their poems to life – making it palpable to the audience.

“I was so inspired by the beautiful lessons I learned and by the holiness around me that I just couldn’t stop writing songs!” she says.

More Articles from Ann Novick

When one is blind one learns to use Braille to read. When one cannot walk, a wheelchair gives mobility. Sign language allows a mute person to speak and ocular implants assist in hearing when one is deaf. These are all compensatory strategies that help a person function despite his disability. But compensatory strategies are not just for physical problems. Understanding our psychological weaknesses and setting up our lives to ensure that we are not tempted to repeat our past mistakes, is as necessary as any aid to the disabled.

Well spouses have often discovered that their friends and relatives, despite their closeness to the situation, often don’t realize the tremendous emotional impact living with chronic illness has on the family. With the best intentions, suggestions, ideas and criticism are offered, based on the non-experience of those with healthy families. Even when the good intentioned get a taste of the difficulties, it is sometimes not enough for them to then identify and understand what the family of the chronically ill must face on a constant basis.

Over the past two weeks I have shared letters from a therapist and a well spouse. Both of the letters gave personal insights into the process of losing hope, how we react when that happens and some ways of coping when test scores, diagnosis and just simple repetitive behavior indicate that change for the better is impossible.

Dear Ann,

I’ve read your last few articles on psycho-neurological testing (Oct.8-22) with interest. As a therapist who has counseled couples dealing with chronic illness, I’d like to give you another perspective.

Dear Ann,

Your articles on the Neuro-Psychological Testing were right on (October 8-22). My husband underwent testing twice and your articles explained it things exactly the way they were. Besides the test, we also tried therapy.

Very often when we can’t face our big hurts or big loses we focus on the little ones. We can discuss those. We can cry over the small loses, be angry at the smaller hurts even though it may look trite and sound ridiculous to others.

Over the last two weeks we have been discussing one way in which well spouses can determine whether behavior displayed by their ill partners is caused by their illness or is a way they have chosen to act. We have focused on Psycho-Neurological testing, what it can tell us, as well as its pros and cons.

Last week I discussed a question that haunts many well spouses: not knowing if the difficult and often inappropriate behavior frequently displayed by their partners are caused by the disease and therefore not-controllable, or if the behavior is a choice the spouse makes and can therefore be changed. This doubt can be the source of much frustration and many marital disagreements. One way of alleviating this doubt is by having a psycho- neurological work up done. But that path is not so simple.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/self-affirmationsself-deprecations-part-one/2006/01/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: