“I am good. I am handsome. I am doing great. I am rich. Today is a beautiful day!”

These are just but some of the lines I always recite and throw against the mirror every morning. Like a mantra, this exercise of giving myself a pat on the back, of affirming myself despite of occasional failures and disappointments I cause on others or other people have caused against me, has become a morning routine before I totally drench myself in cold water. And lately, it has become so natural and spontaneous. I guess some neighbors of my neighbors who would see me doing this would yell out at me, crazy! Or maybe they are already thinking I am one. But, hey, there is nothing totally wrong with this!

I almost always ask the participants in my seminars; students and teachers most of the time, if they are doing this in front of the mirror telling themselves how beautiful they are. And I am also almost always astonished by their answers. A big round of laughter always explodes inside the room as if I have cracked a joke. What comes next is that most participants would be pointing fingers and say, He is doing, She is doing that. And only a very, very, very small fraction of them does what I do. Out of the 30 average participants, only two or three would automatically raise their hands while other participants would be pasting their wide grin and laugh at these two or three brave and confident people at the top of their lungs. Others are very very hesistant to be recognized. Only when I share to them that I practice the exercise and tell them the beauty of it that a couple of hands would add to the rosters of confident and “beautiful” people – still, with great hesitation to be recognized and be included with my, I-am-Beautiful Squad.

There is nothing wrong with telling yourself how beautiful you are, how good you are and how much you love yourself. There is nothing wrong with giving yourself a pat on the back after a great victory or a humbling experience of defeat. There is nothing wrong with being beautiful being good at your own craft and once in a while tooting your own horn. O course, excessive affirmation of yourself such as facing a brick wall or a plant or a book and as if seeing your reflection everywhere and mumbling endlessly “I am handsome”. Hey, that is someone who should be brought to a psychiatrist!

After my sharing my morning routine, only then that they realize its simple yet profound beauty and importance. You can never give what you don’t have. That only through the affirmation and loving expressions toward your very own self that you can trod the road of life without doubt or fear. That by being conscious of your God-given beauty and talents and worth that you can give geniune love and affection to others the way they needed it. That by all these that you can live with peace of mind though the whole world around you crumbles and falls.

We are trapped with the erroneous understanding of humility and pride (the negative sense) by the way most people, our family and community have taught and raised us. When we say we are beautiful, or good or successful, I bet 75% of people around us would jeer at us as air head or bragging or anything alike. And when people tell us we are beautiful, or good, or successful, we usually step backward and tell them “no, I am not.” Most of us are afraid to announce to the world and receive from the world at the same time the truth and beauty of our humanity. Thus, most of the time because of this fear we fall to the middle ground which is false humility.

Many would say that this attitude of many of us has a tinge of long years of blurred history and cultural animosity and subjectivity. Whatever may be the case, man is still man who has the power to transcend and hold himself above all these cultural chains. Start saying “I am beautiful. I am good. I am happy. I am successful.” Paulo Coelho says that whatever you tell and command the world through your speech, the whole cosmos will conspire for your passion to be affirmed and complete.

In affirming yourself, you are affirming the very Being who gave you all the wonderful gifts of your humanity, with humility and thanksgiving. And what a way to thank the giver of the gift.

Toot your own horn. Now!

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