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Using Affirmations to Change Self-Talk

Affirmations can be used in recovery to help you stay focused on your goals and achieve a better, more positive attitude. Many people in recovery feel plagued by negative thoughts or self-defeating beliefs. These are the kind of issues that keep people stuck in recovery and perpetuate negative attitudes. They can also stop you from trying new things or succeeding.

Negative Self-Talk

“I’m no good at this” or “I never manage to learn” are examples of negative self-talk that affirmations can help you change. You may have heard that you weren’t good at certain things when you were growing up, so you never tried them for yourself. In your mind, when you try something new, these beliefs may pop up and discourage you. Negative self-talk can keep you from trying new things or becoming the person you want to be.

Here are some examples of negative self-talk:

  • “You idiot!” “You’re so stupid!” “You’re a loser!” – All of these phrases are abusive, and you hopefully would not say them to another person. So why are you telling them to yourself?
  • “Nothing ever goes right for me.” When you tell yourself this, you’re giving up before you give yourself a chance.
  • “I just don’t have any talent.” For many things in life, you don’t need talent anyway. You need to practice and learn new skills.
  • “I don’t have enough time.” Many people make excuses to avoid 12-step meetings, therapy, exercise, meditation, and other things that can help them get their lives on track. If you had infinite time to use and find your drugs, you can now make the time to put in the work for recovery.
  • “Why should I bother? Nothing changes for me anyway.” Another easy way for people to avoid putting in the work to change their lives is defeatism. You won’t know what can change until you work on change.

Think about your most negative thoughts. You probably have a few of them going through your mind throughout the day. Write them down. Think about how they affect your decision-making. Think about how you feel when those thoughts arise. You probably can even think of a few times you were completely wrong when you were having these negative thoughts.

Let’s work on changing your inner narrative.

Affirmations and Positive Self-Talk

Positive self-talk takes practice. Affirmations are an easy way to practice thinking better thoughts about yourself. Self-affirmations can help you to challenge and overcome negative thought patterns and establish better self-esteem. When a thought is repeated enough, you can start to believe more positive things about yourself. You’ll also have a better attitude.

Write down your affirmations on some index cards and keep them in your pocket. When you have a quiet moment during the day – in the bathroom, on lunch break, etc. take the time to read them. Try to read your affirmations at least three times a day, every day, even when you’re having what you consider a bad day.

Affirmations should challenge the negative thoughts you have about yourself.

If you’re not sure how to do that, here is a list of affirmative statements that you may want to choose from:

  • I can learn from my mistakes.
  • I am learning new things every day!
  • I don’t have to be perfect; I am only human.
  • I forgive myself for the past and am working towards a better future.
  • I accept what I can’t change.
  • I strive for excellence in everything I do.
  • I don’t give up on myself.
  • I have a lot to offer.
  • I am becoming more open-minded every day.
  • I deserve to stay clean and sober.
  • My past is in the past! I focus on today.
  • I am grateful for the things I have.
  • I accept others, and they accept me.
  • I don’t sweat the small stuff.
  • I find inspiration in all parts of my life.
  • I accept where I am in life today.

These are just a few examples of how you can use affirmations in your life. Try to use them whenever you feel stuck in a rut or negative. If you’re having trouble writing your affirmations, ask for help from a sponsor or recovery friends.

Consider Sober Living

For many people in recovery, sober living is an integral part of their journey in recovery. Living among peers with similar goals helps you stay focused, and you’ll also be part of an intimate, recovery-centered community. Learn more about your options by calling us at 760-216-2077.

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