I am Cool, Calm, Collected…

I am a firm believer that how we think about ourselves, or talk to ourselves, shapes who we are as individuals. In difficult times, we often are quick to talk down to ourselves, saying or thinking things like, “I’m worthless,” “It’s hopeless,” “I can’t do this,” “That was stupid,” “I am stupid.” When we think this way, our subconscious begins to believe it, making these negative thoughts and beliefs a part of our identity.

I know this first hand – as a child, I faced a personal trauma that forced me to grow up too fast. I responded with anger and frustration and became violent and cold towards my family. These actions were directly related to my feelings of low self worth.

Because I viewed myself as hopeless and worthless, my actions matched. I treated everyone around me terribly. I punched holes in the walls of my house, I cursed at my family, and I failed in school. This went on for years until my mother forced me to attend a seminar when I was in the 6th grade. There, I met other kids who were dealing with the same issues of self-doubt, low self worth, anger, and frustration. I watched as these other kids used affirmation cards to help change the way they thought about themselves.

I began using affirmations that summer. My first card simply stated… “I am cool, calm, collected.” The funny thing is, I was anything but cool, calm, or collected – they were things that I wanted to be.

I read this card every night and every morning… “I am cool, calm, collected.” Soon, my aggression started to subside and family members started treating me differently. It was not magic, I simply changed the way I viewed myself. I still use this affirmation today (along with many others). It is how I start and finish my day.

My philosophy is that life is filled with significant emotional experiences that change our lives forever, but we all have the opportunity to take what we want from these experiences – positive or negative.

When faced with a trauma, or anything that damages our self-esteem, it is often hard to see the positive at first. This is when it is most important to use positive “self-talk,” or affirmations, to help keep our self-esteem strong during difficult times.

An affirmation is a statement asserting the existence, or the truth of something. Simply put, it is an oath to oneself – you are identifying something about yourself that you want to be true. Even if it is difficult to “believe” at first, the more you say the affirmation to yourself, the more your subconscious will begin to believe and accept it. You will then begin to see positive changes in the way you view yourself and react to challenging situations, as your affirmation comes true.

What challenges do you face? What changes would you like to make in yourself? Write your own affirmations and read them every morning and every night. To help you get started, below are a few affirmations that I have used, or have known others to use.

I am moving forward in my healing.
I am dealing with my grief in a healthy way.
I am a happy individual.
I welcome life.
I accept all challenges and grow from my experiences.
I am excited about what tomorrow will bring.
I am comfortable telling my story and sharing my emotions.
I create opportunities to excel
I am comfortable with the unknown.
I am grateful for my friends.
Laughter is the best medicine.
Through grief I will continue to learn about myself.
I have strength.
Through grief I will learn about my loved one.
I have the ability to trust.
I have the ability to love.
I am growing.
I will be patient.
I am taking care of myself.
I have great communication skills.
I don’t have to take care of everyone else.
I have the power to keep moving on in my life.
Moving through my grief, I have gained new wisdom/perspective.

What affirmations have helped you in your healing? Please share as a comment, below.

Photo Credit.


  1. Chad E. Cronin said on April 29, 2010 at 12:14 pm ... #


    I wish there was some way of sharing this article on my page. I completley agree with you. I remember hearing the qoute:

    Watch you thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become your character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

    After hearing this I made a significant life choose to always try to see the positive in all aspects of life. This has made such a difference in my happyness from day to day.

    Stay Positive!


  2. Janet Macy said on January 1, 2012 at 8:56 pm ... #

    You are so right. The words that we say to ourselves are so powerful. We usually don’t even realize we are saying them.

    I think I’ll put a note over my laptop at work as a reminder. Just one word. I’ll know what it means.

    Thanks for this helpful article.

  3. Kris said on December 29, 2012 at 12:42 pm ... #

    Great article! Keep on positive thinking.

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