• Dr. Michael Johnson

    Psychologist, Specialist in Problematic Sexual Behavior

  • Dr. Michael Johnson

    Specializing in Sex Addiction Treatment in Austin, TX

Essays: Affirmations

Return to home


Junky self-concept comes from junky experiences, usually as children. My father used to say to my mother about me, "There must be somethin' wrong with that boy." I got the idea. There was somethin' wrong with me. This message got written in brain language into the part of my brain where the information about who and what I am is written.

All of those messages you got about yourself that are not true are written in brain code. "You are bad", "You are worth less", "You are unlovable", and so forth. Sadly, you can never completely rid yourself of those old lines of brain code. If you want to replace programs on your computer, you can do that completely because you can reformat the storage surface or get a new one. But you can't get a new brain. That is just reality. It does not mean that you can't reduce the frequency, intensity, and duration with which those toxic bits of brain code operate. You can. But it takes work.

First you identify the lines of toxic code. It is a fine thing to find a list of affirmations somewhere and use those. But it is a better thing to write your own. Why? Because when you write your own affirmations you can tailor them to the particular bits of toxic brain junk written in your own brain code.

Get yourself quiet and listen to the messages that run in your brain about who you are. Notice the thoughts that come to you that hurt, that make you quiver, that cause you sadness or anger. Write them down.

Second, write a statement that completely contradicts each junk thought. These are your personal affirmations. Beware!! Your addict and inner critic may try to convince you to compromise doing this. If the junk thought is "I am bad" the contradiction is "I am good". But your addict and inner critic may try to persuade you to write, "Sometimes, I might be just a little bit good". See that the original junk thought is still embedded in the non-contradiction. It is a good idea to share your affirmations around with those you trust in order to ensure that you are letting yourself completely contradict the junk.

Third, read through your list of affirmations. Read them out loud and read them like you mean them. Pay attention to what you feel. Never mind the flavor of the feeling. Pay attention to the intensity. The more intense the feeling, the more important that affirmation is to you right now. Repeat that affirmation many times. Write it on Post It notes and put them in your car, on your computer, on your bathroom mirror, on the refrigerator. Put them wherever you will see them. Practice recitation of the affirmations. Sit quietly until your mind clears a bit from the business of the day. Then repeat your affirmations 10 times, aloud or silently, saying the affirmations as if you mean them each time.

Remember that you are writing new brain code. The more often you repeat the affirmation, the stronger the response will be. Resist the unnatural feeling. It is the old toxic brain junk that feels this is unnatural. Your healthy, authentic self becomes stronger as you practice.

Return to your list from time to time to select the affirmation you can most use. Repeat the process of saying them all aloud. When you discover new toxic junk, write and practice new affirmations.

When you find yourself thinking junk thoughts, interrupt the thought and replace it with the right affirmation. This becomes natural feeling with practice. If you have driven a stick shift for years and then begin driving an automatic (or vise versa), you will have to dig out the right habit to drive the car. You will make mistakes. But the more you do it the fewer mistakes you will make. The old program is still there. But the less you use it, the less likely it is to run on its own.

Practicing affirmations is a practical, effective, multipurpose way of changing your relationship with yourself and therefore your relationship with the world. As you change those relationships it will become gradually easier to resist the destructive cycle of sexual addiction which is triggered by the shame you feel when the old brain junk and toxic messages get loud and you seek acting out to quiet the brain junk noise.


Return to home