“I am strong; I am brave; I am smart; I am loved.”
Every since my son started going to daycare and into preschool years ago, we’ve said this every morning before he gets out of the car to start his day.
I read something once that said “you spend most of your life inside your head, make it a nice place to be.” I can’t remember where I saw it but I can visually see the words in my mind and it always stuck with me. Think about it, of the times you question yourself or have had self-doubt, imagine if the first thing that fought back was your mind saying, “no, you are strong, you got this.” If your minds’ first instinct was to just drown out those negative thoughts with words of encouragement and confirmation!
As an adult, this is so hard to do. I’ve been spending the last year specifically trying to tackle it; you literally have to retrain your brain to react differently in difficult and unexpected situations. Imagine growing up already having this mindset. If I can send my son to school, camp, doctors, or just with other family for the weekend, knowing that he knows he can conquer anything because he is strong, brave, smart and loved… I know that I have done my job as a mother.
Earlier this year my son got really sick, possibly needing surgery, and his dad had to take him to the doctor. His dad and I are separated so he isn’t there when we do these daily affirmations. But I called to check in, he asked my son how he was doing, his answer was “I feel icky, but I am strong and I’m brave, I’m going to be okay.” His dad relays the answer to me kind of confused.
I then explained to him how we go through these every morning and I couldn’t have been a prouder mama. Even though I wasn’t there to remind him and he laughs as we go through them every morning, they really do stick with him and it’s working.
We follow up every night right before we go to bed with “three gratefuls.” Most of the time he’s silly and says he’s grateful for Batman, The Flash and Spider-Man. Which, okay not mad about, positive role models are important. But other times he’s actually thoughtful about it, and is grateful for family, his bedroom of toys and the pickleburger he had for dinner.
Yes, brainwashing my son to believe in himself and to not question his abilities is a daily task and seeing him thrive by overcoming obstacles without any wave of self-doubt overwhelm him is beyond worth every second of it.