People Like Me

Stuart SmalleyOne of my favorite skits from Saturday Night Live was Stuart Smalley’s Daily Affirmations. In every episode he would look into the mirror and say his famous phrase, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and doggone it…people like me.” The idea is that some people have so little self-esteem that they need to go to these absurd measures to affirm themselves. We all get a good laugh at the silliness of it all.

But what if it actually works?

My top love language is definitely “words of affirmation”. When I have people speaking encouragement into my life, my love tank is full! But I’ve gone through times in my life that I have not received it regularly. As silly as this may sound, I’ve found that speaking scripture out loud over myself is more effective than I could have ever imagined.

I grab some of my favorite scriptures and read them out loud. I don’t read them as something written in the past to someone else, I make it personal. I read those promises over myself and before you know it, I’m feeling as confident as Stuart Smalley!

Here are some of my favorites:

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14

“The LORD my God is with me, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in me, he will quiet me with his love, he will rejoice over me with singing” Zephaniah 3:17

“For I did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but I have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom I cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15

“So I am no longer a slave, but a son; and since I am a son, God has made me also an heir.” Galatians 4:7

When I’m down or discouraged, I read these scriptures over myself. It might be weird at first but once you get over yourself, it’s liberating!

Have you ever found it hard to be around someone who is constantly self-deprecating? It’s almost awkward. They can be hard to like. I know I’ve been there on both sides. I’ve found myself so hungry for attention and affirmation that I put myself down hoping someone would build me up. When that doesn’t happen, I just feel exponentially worse.

“Like a small rudder steers and directs a massive vessel, so our thoughts & conversation about ourselves dictate our destiny on the ocean of life” Francois Du Toit

What we think and say about ourselves is so much more powerful than we even realize. Proverbs 18:21 says “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Many times we quote that verse in regards to what we say to others but it is just as applicable to what we say about ourselves.

I believe Stuart Smalley had it right. We should all find our own scripture for daily affirmation. Read it in the mirror if it helps. Speak it over yourself and see how it changes your day. If it works for Michael Jordan, it will work for you!

Do you remember this skit? Have you ever given yourself affirmation in the mirror?

Comments

  1. Positive affirmations are so important. Thanks for sharing this, Tony. I once heard Peter Lord say that we need more confession in the church. “Oh, great,” I thought, “here comes the guilt trip…”

    Then he started rattling off all these confessions we needed to make:

    -We need to confess that we’re sons of God

    -We need to confess that we’re made in God’s image and have inherent dignity

    -We need to confess that in Christ we are forgiven and clean

    And on and on he went. Confession is powerful!

  2. I should seriously read that love language book … :)

  3. Totally remember this, doggone it.

    I’ve never actually spoken to myself in the mirror, maybe I’ll try it… Lovin on that first Psalm for sure.

  4. Great article! One of mine is also “Words” so I completely get it! Thanks!

  5. You’re so right and it really does work. There is life in the word of God. We just have to appropriate it and stir it up. Good stuff, Tony. Thanks.

  6. You’re so right and it really does work. There is life in the word of God. We just have to appropriate it and stir it up. Good stuff, Tony. Thanks.

  7. You’re so right and it really does work. There is life in the word of God. We just have to appropriate it and stir it up. Good stuff, Tony. Thanks.

  8. journeytoepiphany says:

    I do confessions, or Scriptural affirmations on a regular basis. Its like saying if God thinks this about me who am I to think differently? Great post!

  9. I couldn’t take a compliment for a long time. Got to the point where I could from my husband, but that was about it.

    About 2 years ago, I was asked to do something I never thought I’d do and it has been really fun. And I don’t suck at it. That gave me the confidence to really start working on my writing more seriously. I’ve had some really kind comments from people who aren’t obligated to be kind (if that makes sense).

    All of that has led me to a place where I can accept love so much more freely. And being able to accept love more freely allows me to GIVE love more freely.

    It’s good stuff, I tells ya.

    • I love it, Alise! It definitely makes it easier to receive encouragement from someone who isn’t obligated to do so. You know it’s real and it breaks down that wall of mistrust you can unwittingly build around your heart. Good stuff, indeed.

  10. Yup. It’s like “do I believe what the enemy says about me, or do I believe what God says about me? and then I proceed to read aloud those precious promises. My favorite? “Never will leave you, never will I forsake you”. Yup, I’m important enough that he will never, evah, evah, evah, evah, evah leave me. Holla at that!

    • For evah, evah?

      Do you ever sleep man? I have this picture of you with a coffee cup permanently attached to your fingers. It makes for funny thoughts of you typing.

      • The coffee mug is actually glued on my chin, so I can type freely with both hands. When I need a sip, I just tilt my head back. You should try it. Best idea ever!

  11. My Love language is gifts and I find ‘gifts’ that He leaves me all over outside. Last weekend I took a personal retreat near a river and as I walked along the rocks, there must have been HUNDREDS of heart shaped rocks… I always feel like heart shaped rocks are a huge hug from God, letting me know that He and His Love is, all around. And then He gave me an awesome rainbow. When feeling a bit blue, it’s the most brilliant reminder that He is the keeper of promises. :o)

    • That’s cool, Nikki. I find that the only love language I struggle with is gifts. I love to give them but I don’t receive them very well. I feel indebted to the person and immediately want to reciprocate. Obviously that defeats the purpose though. I love how God loves us exactly how we need it most.

  12. I remember it and loved it. I heard a story of a preacher who went into the bathroom right before he was to preach his sermon who did not realize that his lapel mic was on. At precisely a time in the service when everything got quiet, the whole congregation heard him say to himself, “Go get ‘em, Tiger!” I haven’t ever done this, but I can see how it might be helpful.

  13. Funny Donald sent me here today. My first visit and I am one of those weirdo’s that fell for the positive affirmations back in my late 20′s / early 30′s (I am 50)when I used to listen to and read the positive affirmation folks. What is crazy is I set some financial affirmations because that is the hook they use…The shocker is the affirmations came true. Although I have a testimony of the fact they work I felt I was playing God and was not including Him. 20 years later when my life took me to my knees I began meeting God daily and one day I thought I heard His Spirit say that any affirmation I would ever need was in His word. Three and a half years ago I began reading His word daily and capturing “affirmations” by claiming the nature and character He calls me to have. I have found more joy than my heart can contain. I have thousands of them and finding them is like finding hidden treasure. That’s why I started blogging “Affirmations of God” a year ago. My only goal is that those seeking affirmation find what they need and the joy that I have found there. The JOY is NOT in reading my affirmations but reading the word of God and finding your own. God is so great and I understand the misuse and the amazing power of God as we write His promises on our hearts like they are our own. He is so faithul. Great post and I look forward to coming back.

    • Like Noah said in the comments, there is a big difference between the power of “positive thinking” and the power of “Biblical thinking”. The whole positive thinking deal was garbage.

      I’ve seen you over at Donald’s site. Thanks for stopping by today, Tom

  14. I absolutely despised that skit. I thought that was one of the dumbest characters on SNL. :)

    Gosh darn it, I didn’t like him! (Like him even less now.)

    I’ve never done the mirror affirmation thing. Honestly, it always seemed like something you’d see done in the movies so I’d think it was lame to do it in real life. :)

    • The mirror might be a stretch for some (okay most) but I’m definitely a firm believer of holding on to the promises of scripture. I say them out loud and something about that makes it more real to me.

  15. I am “words of affirmation” as well and I can’t tell you how superman-ish I feel when my wife builds me up. Even Chuck Norris couldn’t stop me.

    Thanks for sharing, Tony!

  16. Love this Tony!

    I am a big advocate of loving yourself! I used to think those SNL skits were the cheesiest – then I started telling myself over and over to quit dwelling on the negative things I didn’t like about myself and start focusing on the great things I did. I came to a pretty great realization: I’m awesome! haha

  17. I don’t recall the skit. I have tried it a few times. It is not something that I do often. After reading this I may start trying to implement it in my day more. My love language is touch.

    Great thoughts…!

  18. I have told myself in the mirror (and other reflective devices) “You are His son, Jay…no one defines you but Him. Not even you.”

    Thanks for the encouragement bro’

  19. What an awesome reminder! This concept is clearly one God wants us to grasp. 1 Samuel 30:6 tells us that “David encouraged himself in the Lord,” and Philippians 4:8 is a reminder from Paul to think on things that are true, honest, righteous, lovely, etc.

    Greater than the power of positive thinking, we have the power of biblical thinking. Excellent post!

    • Yes, I love that verse in 1 Samuel. It’s definitely not positive thinking because the source of hope is yourself or some unknowable force. Biblical thinking places its hope in God. His thoughts become our thoughts. Great thoughts Noah!

  20. I have a tendency to be self-deprecating. (haha — see, even right there!) It’s something I’m working on, that God is working on in me. That idea of reading scripture out-loud is fantastic!

    • Okay, my inner 12 year old is coming out and I’m thinking self-defecating, which is in no way recommended. Now that we got that out of the way…

      Yes, I read scripture aloud and I also pray out loud. Both are seriously helpful for me.

  21. Another awesome pop parable! LOL

    Yes, I definitely remember Stuart. Those skits were hilarious.

    Sometimes it can be really, really hard for me to give words of affirmation over and over again. It can feel like trying to talk someone off the ledge, and that gets old.

    But, kinda along with the discussion you and Donald were having, for me, it’s about speaking the truth over myself or someone else-about rebuking the lies of the Devil, especially the ones that are old lies-the ones that stem from childhood hurts. I really enjoy saying to a friend, “You know I love you. But, that is just BS and a total lie from the evil one and I won’t let it be spoken in my presence.” Then, finding a Scripture to fight the lies off with-that’s fun for me.

    • I know, 3 weeks in a row! These pop parables are coming out of nowhere!

      I used to really struggle with giving others affirmation and encouragement. It really wasn’t until I made some huge mistakes and needed grace and encouragement that I was able to understand what it’s like to be in that position. Now I have a lot more patience for it.

  22. I rehearse things in the mirror, including affirmation. That’s not my love language, but I need to remind myself that I’m worth more than the words spoken by my dad, my boss, my acqaintances or Satan taking on the form of the jerk – whether those words are good or bad, I’m not those labels, I’m not their perceptions of me, I’m who God called me to be. I’m a daughter of the King.

    I love the old SNL. Many gems in those episodes

  23. I know it sounds silly, but I’ve actually given that advice to some of my college students – to stand in the mirror each morning and tell themselves what God says of them. Sometimes it’s not quoting scripture word for word, but the paraphrase, like “I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” “I am loved and accepted,” etc. There really is something about looking at yourself in a mirror and speaking that stuff over yourself. I normally challenge them to do it for 40 days – something I did a while ago when I was learning to break the low self esteem I struggled with for years.

    • I dig it. In the craziness of life, it’s easy to forget. Especially if you don’t have people around you speaking that into your life on a daily basis. Thankfully I do have that now. I didn’t always have it.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I have from time to time written an affirmation that I needed on a sticky note or on the mirror itself (in dry erase marker) so that I will see it in the mornings and be reminded of whatever it is. Affirmations, though shown as silly in the movies and on TV, are actually part of our belief in our self and our self-esteem. God wants us to know how valuable we are to him, so sometimes we have to remind ourselves. Good post!

  25. Such a good post.

    I think I have a natural defense mechanism of self-deprecation so I’m not perceived as arrogant, but a lot of times, I feel like this has a way of beating me down. It just feels weird to not be deprecating. I’m the world’s worst at taking a compliment (see what I did there?).

    Thanks for the reminder and encouragement.

    • I know what you mean, man. I struggled with receiving compliments for a long time…even if I believed them. I always thought it was arrogant and that I should decline them so I wouldn’t get prideful. But that in and of itself is prideful because I was just so self-focused that I couldn’t even say thank you.

  26. So you just didn’t use Stuart Smalley in your post, right? Please tell me no…. :) Straight awesome.

    Isaiah 41:10 is a big one for me.

  27. >>Have you ever found it hard to be around someone who is constantly self-deprecating?
    —————————-

    All the time. I detest weakness for the sake of attention-seeking victimhood, whether it’s based on gender, race, or socio-economic status. No time for it.

    Did Jesus establish the New Covenant to enable us to be whiners?

    I should think not.

    Walk as sons, or stay in the weakness of your own making, and desist in expecting free handouts of sympathy because you so colorfully paint yourself as a helpless victim.

    Good stuff, Tony. This blog posting will stir things up, indeed.

    • It’s all about repenting (i.e. changing your mind) about who God says we are. Many of us were taught the victim mentality in our own family. It’s about breaking off the lies and walking in the truth and freedom that Jesus died for.

  28. I do it daily man. Joshua 3:5, Hab. 1:5, & Jeremiah 29:11-13 are all three my verses. They are what I read daily and cling to.

  29. I love those skits and still do them with my wife when she begins to question herself and then we laugh together.

    I am a big believer in using the Word of God as positive affirmation but not normally in the mirror Stuart Smalley like though. I will just do it whenever and wherever the need arises.

    I am a believer in the power of the positive things like taught by Zig Ziglar who has written some good things along these lines.

  30. I love those skits and still do them with my wife when she begins to question herself and then we laugh together.

    I am a big believer in using the Word of God as positive affirmation but not normally in the mirror Stuart Smalley like though. I will just do it whenever and wherever the need arises.

    I am a believer in the power of the positive things like taught by Zig Ziglar who has written some good things along these lines.

    • I love that, Jim! I guess you don’t HAVE to affirm yourself in the mirror but when you’re as good-looking as me, it helps! Ha!

      I’ve heard tons about Ziglar but I’ve never read any of his stuff.

  31. I do recall the skit, that was towards the end of Saturday Night Live being funny.

    As for the mirror stuff, I haven’t. My love language is touch. Words of affirmation is great though. Got some from my boss yesterday which I really needed to get back on track at work.

  32. bill (cycleguy) says:

    Consider me one of your dark age friends Tony. I have NEVER seen a SNL skit. Ever. For one, it is on Saturday night. Pastors don’t stay up Saturday night watching TV (least this one doesn’t). :) I was with someone yesterday who just about drove me nuts with her self-put downs. If her husband hadn’t been in the car encouraging it I may have said something. :( Even though my love language is not words of affirmation, I still like to hear them. You do a good Tony. Keep it up (and that is not blowing smoke or meant as a joke).

    • Wow! Never even one? That’s crazy. I’m not a HUGE SNL fan but I have caught most of the more popular ones.

      I learned this from James McDonald…it’s not about more or less self-esteem, it’s about no esteem, it’s about Christ-esteem. When I have a correct view about Christ, I can have the correct view about how He sees me. That makes all the difference.

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