The other day someone shared about a psychological problem and it took me back to a session I had with my therapist a few years ago when I, myself, was dealing with some anxiety and depression-related issues.
At that session, we discussed about what I missed growing up. And, my therapist said something that hit home. Regarding what I didn’t get as a result of losing family members then, she said, “You do that to yourself. You assure yourself.” I realised then that I am an adult woman, not a child, and I could affirm myself to make up for the affirmations I didn’t get.
I did just that. I realised that I was scared to use my savings for fear that I won’t have enough for old age! Well, I told myself, I should spend on some things I like doing and enjoy myself now rather than deprive myself in order to take care of myself in the future. So, I took some money and went on a holiday to the States!
It was my way of assuring myself that I would be able to take care of myself. I had an uneventful but pleasant time travelling through California and seeing Yosemite. And it was good meeting up with old friends. The point of the holiday was that I broke the fear that held me back from doing the necessary things to enjoy myself now instead of living a life of deprivation and hoarding my savings for old age!
So, now, I spend on extras that affirm some needs of mine that are not affirmed because the people who could do that are no longer around. I affirm myself in ways I can, not indulgently but responsibly. If it involves spending money, I go ahead and do it while making sure I have enough for retirement. I work so I still generate funds to cover a shortfall. But, that irrational fear is gone. My concerns for old age are what most of us have but that irrational fear no longer cripples me.
Self-affirmation, especially in those areas that cripple us from acting, is self-assuring and it helps to reduce our fears and in doing so frees us to act according to what we, as adults, know we should do.
If your fears are debilitating and crippling you from action, of course, it is best to get help. Most of the time, though, it is just baggage that gets in our way — baggage from unresolved experiences that stops us from doing what we know we should. In such cases, a dose of self-affirmation may help! If nothing else, it will help in developing a healthy self-concept.
I am no psychologist. This is just a little experiential common sense insight!