I have a huge decision coming up, and sometimes having a huge decision paralyzes me. This is an exercise I sometimes do that is helping me now, that helped me recently, and I hope it will help you.
Affirmation 1: Everything will be all right.
Write this affirmation out.
Then journal all the worse case scenarios you can think of for either decision. Everything you’re so afraid of that is making your mind flip flop back and forth in panic between two scenarios that seem bad. You know, those lose/lose situations that people with PTSD or deep self-doubt often find themselves in mentally (when it’s actually not a lose/lose).
At the end of your journal entry, write, “either way, everything will be all right. Whatever choice I make, it will be okay. There is no wrong answer. Either way. It will work out.” Now hear me out. When you’re in the middle of this kind of panic attack (especially when it results from self-doubt and PTSD), you need to know that there is no “wrong” answer. Life is not a multiple choice question in a stifling room with a timer where you know you don’t know the right answer and have to guess anyway.
Recently, I went through nauseating panic about one of the hugest decisions in our lives, and when I realized that some kind of cosmic outcome was not up to me, that everything would truly be okay either way, I was able to move forward in curiosity, fun, and faith. I never felt like I actually made the decision, to be honest. I just stopped thinking about it. Two hours later, I was moving forward in the version of “okay” that I preferred.
I think everything’s going to be all right.
Here are four more affirmations that have served me well.
Affirmation 2: I’m a good and loving [person, Mom, partner, business owner] and I don’t have to do things the same today as I did yesterday.
The power of this affirmation is that it doesn’t claim that I’m a perfect Mom, and it doesn’t claim that I don’t mess up. I’m a good Mom. I’m a loving Mom, and I’m a growing Mom. The second part of this affirmation suggests change. Messed up yesterday? Then do it differently today. Make a change (a small change). Maybe that change is lowering your expectations of yourself and loved ones. Maybe it’s more forced rest (that’s a thing). Maybe it’s throwing something out or organizing a tiny space. Maybe it’s something completely different that only you know as you read this.
Affirmation 3: What I can do matters.
In a world constantly pushing hustling, grinding, performing, and success (whatever that means), we don’t often stop to think that the abilities, talents, and interests given to us already matter. This affirmation reminds us that it does.
Maybe we feel we can’t do much. Maybe we have enormous limitations. Maybe we struggle with things totally out of our control, like sickness, the effects of past abuse, or overwhelming demands.
But the amazing thing about life is that each of us can only do small things anyway. It’s whether they’re done with love or not that matters. Faith matters. Hope matters. What you can do matters. I’ve learned it’s far more important that there are a few things on my to-do list that I’ve carefully chosen than that I get “a lot” done per day.
Affirmaton 4: When I am weak, I am strong.
I got this one from the Bible. It’s a pretty amazing affirmation. See above. It’s what you can do that counts, not what you can’t.
Affirmation 5: I am more than a conqueror.
Also from the Bible. Also amazing. I will never not write this one, repeatedly, in my bullet journal. It may be my favorite. It does not matter how I feel, how many mistakes I’ve made, how much time I feel I’ve lost, how many times others have told me or I have told myself that I am not worthy, not capable, or not going to succeed. Write this for a year every morning and your life might change. Mine did.