GUEST POST: A Blind Man Says Affirmations Are Darn Hard...

Oh yeah, he's blind. But anyone who has paid close attention to me recently, must probably know how much I admire the very celebrated Blind blogger, Motivational speaker and Author of the book "Leading You Out Of The Darkness Into The Light" - MAXWELL IVEY. So much so that I invited him as a guest on my talk radio show twice last year, and he was one of those, who helped me break the internet on my First Anniversary Celebration in December . As my blog turns two years old this week...To some its just two years, but to me its 734 days of consistently promoting a message of Consciousness and Awareness, while positively affirming the belief that I am destined for so much GREATNESS and that I have what it takes to not only transform my life, but the lives of many others globally.

I have never hidden the fact that I am a big fan of those who work hard to IMPROVE on themselves and their GOALS, no matter how big or little. And because of that, I've developed a great friendship with Maxwell from the far ends of Texas where he lives to where I am here in Nigeria, two different continents, but it didn't deter our constant exchange of emails back and forth, and that uncanny reverberation of his POSITIVE personality and unbelievable COURAGE which takes away all of the excuses I have for why I can't do more than I already am. And through that journey, I have become privy to the development, as well as the content of his upcoming book due for release later this year. His book - "It's Not The Cookie, It's The Jar..." has opened my mind to so much about life, especially from the perspective of a blind man, as I read chapter after chapter and share my thoughts with him.

So while I've recently been talking to my younger sister about building positive affirmations, and how it may help one overcome the challenges of SELF DOUBT and negative self image, Maxwell decides to send me a new chapter in line with my current mindset...And as usual I read it...BANG! There it was...a very AUTHENTIC & relatable piece about affirmations. It sort of reminded me about a post I wrote last year in November. So if you missed that blog post, you can read THE POWER OF AFFIRMATION...AND THE 22 THINGS I TELL MYSELF ALWAYS....but not until, after you have read MAXWELL IVEY's amazing guest post and have signed up for his mailing list at his website and win his amazing 'Thank you' gift.

So I have to warn you, that Max is a long winded writer just like myself. But this guest post is WORTH every single word and time you'll spend reading it. Thank me later. He he he.

Affirmations Are Hard

"You have probably heard about using affirmations to help you change your outlook and improve your life. Its well documented that they work. There is both religious and medical proof that they are effective for people who can commit to using them. But I think people make it sound way to easy. I mean its one thing to go around thinking, believing, and speaking positive energy over your life when you are a success or when your life is going well. But what do you do when everything around you and everything you have ever been taught says you are a worthless failure and you should just be happy with what you do have. So, I'm going to try to give you an approach to affirmations that will really work. The image came to me when thinking about a time from my childhood. I was living in South Carolina and going to a new school because my dad had moved us there to be closer to the Ivey side of the family. 
There was an old fashioned see saw or teeter totter in the playground area. I would sit on it, but could never go up and down because quite frankly I was just too fat. One day some of the kids wanted to see how many of them it would take to raise me up. I don't know how many kids it took, but every inch of the opposite bar was covered. It was fun for just a second feeling the thrill of going up and down. Then they laughed at me. I realized it was a big joke, and I cried about it. I don't tell you this story to get your sympathy. One, because I'm no longer that person. I'm a physically healthy guy in the best shape of his life. I love my body, and others tell me I can be proud of it and the work that it took to get here. And two, because I want you to see that if you add enough good to one side it will balance out the bad on the other.

So, maybe you aren't ready to go around saying I am amazing, I am talented, I get whatever I go after, I have all the money I need, etc. Maybe you grew up with parents who constantly told you you were ugly, fat, stupid, clumsy, or a mistake. Maybe nothing you have ever tried has been a success. Maybe no one has ever come along to tell you just how special you are. Then start with what you can do.

First, when you have a negative thought; try not to speak it out loud. I know that our thoughts are with us all day long. The things we say to ourselves in our heads are often much worse than anything anyone else will say to our faces. But voicing these thoughts out loud gives them power. It makes the hurt far more painful and more difficult to overcome. Try to catch yourself before blurting these hurtful thoughts out loud. Whenever you stop yourself from thinking or saying something hurtful, you make the job of balancing your life and your emotions so much easier. Its much easier to clean up a mess you never made.

But if you can't stop yourself, and no one can completely avoid negative thoughts; then the next best thing is to balance them out with positive thoughts, words, and energy. From now on follow every negative statement up with at least one positive one. If you burn the toast, and you yell I am so stupid. Then follow it up with I am intelligent but am trying to do too many things at once. If you look in the mirror, and say I am so ugly. Then balance that out with I am beautiful. I have many quality traits. I have great beauty it just hasn't been seen by people who can appreciate my beauty. If you start the day by asking why am I always so tired. Tell yourself that I am an energetic person. I have all the energy I need to accomplish all of my tasks with joy and ease. Eventually, you will get to the point where you follow a negative with a whole string of positive thoughts and words. And of course, I want you to get to that point where you virtually eliminate the negative thoughts and words from your life all together. 
I want you to see yourself as a wonderful blessed amazing human being. I want you to accept yourself as the perfect child of a most high God. And even if you don't believe in a God, you can believe that you are the person you want to be. You know that there is a version of yourself that you were meant to become. And you know some or most of the things you need to do to become that person. Learning how to remove the negative self talk from your life and replacing it with positive uplifting empowering affirmations is a huge step towards becoming your ideal self. And since your goal here is losing weight and keeping it off; this change in your outlook through positive thoughts and words will be a powerful tool in your journey to become healthier and get to your best weight.

Now, that we have talked about ending negative self talk and replacing it with positive loving affirmations; we need to address the other voices in your world. Who do you surround yourself with? Do you hang out with positive people who are taking action in their lives and responsibility for their happiness? Or are your friends mostly negative, depressed, going no where types of people? The old saying is true if you lye down with dogs you will wake up with fleas. The people you surround yourself with can either support and encourage you or drag you down with them. As you grow in confidence in yourself you will probably start to feel conflicts with many of the people you have known for a long time and with whom you routinely associate. You will have to decide which is more important your good health and spiritual progress or the comfort of an old friend who does not have your best interest at heart. I know it isn't easy to stop hanging out with people you have known for years. But you can at least start by inviting some new friends who are healthy into your life. 
This will at least balance your life out some. Best case would be to remove these negative toxic people from your life all together. But if you aren't ready to do that, then here is a lesser alternative. Just make it known that you aren't going to allow them to speak hurtful noise in your presence. Don't allow them to say mean defeatist things to you, about you, or about themselves in your presence. This isn't being mean to them, its being loving to yourself. You can only allow so much negative energy into your life before it starts to effect you and keep you from your goals. Ideally, we would have no one in our lives that isn't supportive of us and our goals and dreams. I know this isn't practical. However, you can limit it as much as possible and you can balance it out with as many positive people and as much powerful energy as possible. We can't keep out all the darkness and rain, but we can sure keep ourselves happier by letting in as much sunshine as we can find.

For example I have a brother who I live with. He is very passionate about sports and politics. Sometimes, I have to put on my headphones, close the door to my room, or go out to the garage to get some time away from him. He isn't always the most positive person. However, I find that the more time he spends around me the better he has gotten. He knows I'm a very positive person and that I won't stand for anyone putting themselves down in my presence. He knows that I will point out the good in a bad situation. I have more practice at it than he does. But he's learning. Your friends and family will either learn or they will stop coming around you as much. The point is to be successful at anything you have to have a lot of help. You need all the positive voices in your head you can get. You need people who will encourage and support you or help you solve problems. You don't need people saying you've failed over and over again so why are you even trying to lose weight. I encourage you to invite at least one new uplifting person into your life even if you have to ask someone you know online. I find the blogosphere very supportive and helpful so maybe its a great place to find such a friend. I hope you will continue to do things like this to balance your life and give you a chance for real long lasting success.

Sometimes, we are so stuck in our own image of ourselves that we can't find the positive. Sometimes, it takes the clear vision of a loving friend to show us just how special we are and help us start the process of improving our self image and changing our self talk. I know you think that I am a very self assured person, but there are areas where I lack confidence in myself. For example it took months before I would believe my friends who were telling me to share my story more. They kept telling me that my life was very inspirational. I didn't see myself as anything special I thought I'm a guy who shows up every day and works his but off to build a business that will allow him to support his family. I thought I don't do anything special I just find a way to accomplish the next task in front of me whatever that may be. I have learned how to do a lot of things I had never tried before simply because I had to. I didn't have anyone to do them for me and couldn't afford to hire someone either. But my friends finally convinced me that I am special. 
They explained that there are so many people out there who have no physical disability who fail to take action to improve their lives or live the ones they do have. They said Max the fact that you could sit at home on the couch, watching television, and eating junk food; is the reason why your story is important to tell. Because no one would think less of me if I had done that. So, I now realize just how big a deal it is to be one of the few that goes after his goals even when they are hard. But I wouldn't have seen this in myself without some great friends.

Once, I figured it out; I started taking steps to share my story and help inspire others. I wrote and self published my first ebook Leading You Out of the Darkness Into the Light a Blind Man's Inspirational Guide to Success. I've written guest posts and been interviewed for a major magazine. I've done podcasts, radio shows, and online summits. I am not sharing this to brag but to show what can happen when you change how you see yourself. Once you start to get a different picture of who you are and just how special this person is; then you will start to think better thoughts, use better words, and take more positive action. You will not only do more and think better of yourself, but you will find new parts to your personality. You will discover new talents, abilities, and skills. You will find you have the ability to learn many new things. And you will see more opportunities open up. This will happen partly because you are open to them but mainly because everyone who comes in contact with you will be able to sense that you are a living growing adapting, expanding, achieving kind of person.

So, I hope this brings home the value of having great friends around you. I haven't changed. I'm still the same person I was before. The difference is that now I appreciate just how special I am. This is something that happened because I had people in my life online and off who wanted good things for me. They saw the best in my personality and convinced me of it. I would still be working hard without their encouragement because that is who I am. But I wouldn't have realized just how special I am without their help. No matter how good a team is they still need cheerleaders and coaches to remind them of their ability and urge them to do even better in the future. Who do you have in your circle of friends. Are they cheering for you or for the other team. Are they helping you move forward or dragging you backwards? I hope you will follow my example here and not only bring some great new people into your life but listen to them when they tell you just how amazing you are."

So what do you think Lovelies? Are you Motivated? Feel free to EXPRESS your thoughts.

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