March 01, 2022


I am smart.

The year before I became pregnant with my firstborn, I was a substitute teacher at our neighborhood middle school.

Back then, I simply considered it a flexible means of employment that financed the tuition for my yoga teaching certification.

Looking back, though, I now consider it more like a gift from The Universe.

I generally subbed for seventh graders. And while I genuinely enjoyed the vast majority of them, my favorites were the ones that didn't like school all that much.

The ones who weren't too apt to go the extra mile.

The ones who had kind of been written off.

The ones who you could tell had been told by someone—somewhere—that they didn't have what it takes.

Now, to be clear, the fact that these kids' zest for intellectual achievement had been zapped before they even obtained their driver's permit was a crying shame.

But the reason I thoroughly enjoyed my tenure with them was because I relished how their faces lit up when I complimented them on any small feat or accomplishment.

It was almost instantaneous.

For example, if Jimmy sat down quietly at the start of class, I would notice and say aloud to the entire class, "Hey, guys, I'm glad to see you again! Thanks for sitting down so quietly, like Jimmy did..."

At first, Jimmy looked perplexed. He clearly wasn't used to hearing good things said about him.

Overtime, I found that my first words of encouragement would likely produce a domino effect.

Because I called out Jimmy's quiet entry (in a good way), he was more inclined to participate willingly when I called on him to read a paragraph. 

Then, I would say something nice about his reading, and I'd see his confidence inflate a bit more. And so on.

The point here is that, as children, we are incredibly fragile creatures whose belief in ourselves can often hinge on what we are told.

And what we are told—for better or worse—has a way of sticking.

Especially when it comes to our intellectual capability.

Let's face it: Many of us spent far too long believing that we aren't smart.

That because we suck at math or because we always read too slowly in school that we somehow don't have that "it" takes.

Well, no more, folks.

It's time we re-write the script.

Starting today, tell yourself—as often as you can—that you are smart.

It's going to feel weird at first.

We are going against years of programming to the contrary. 

Even if you were never told you weren't smart, per se, it is still possible that shadows of doubt exist within your subconscious.

And just imagine how much better we could feel if those shadows were chased away by the light of optimism.

Look at it this way: Not telling ourselves we're smart: How's that working out?

We've simply got nothing to lose.

The affirmation for March 2022 is:

I am smart.

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