There are few sentences we can utter that carry more weight or power than ones that begin with, "I am..." I've highlighted this before, but really wanted to reiterate the notion that so much of our current and future successes are driven by how we end that sentence.
"You are..." statements -- the kind we receive from others around us -- can also hold a great deal of power. When phrased critically towards us, these statements play and prey on our fears, seemingly confirming our worst beliefs about ourselves. Conversely, when they're positive, we're uplifted and appreciative, yet often feel a need to downplay the praise, as if it's not entirely true; likely due to us holding onto fears and doubts about ourselves, believing it's only a matter of time before that praise is replaced with antagonism, or some kind of imposter syndrome realization.
The truth of the matter is that, "You are..." statements only hold as much power as we choose to let them. What's most important is our own truth about ourselves -- directly defined by how we finish, "I am..." These statements are so significant, because they clearly and concretely define our value to ourselves, and what kind of beliefs we hold. Finishing that statement with strong, positive, and empowering words can uplift us, and help to create a mindset and lifestyle of abundance, gratitude, and success. Alternatively, if we dump all kinds of negativity on ourselves, they have the power to utterly demoralize us.
One of the most difficult tasks in working with, "I am..." statements is that we're often not aware that we're making them. The language has become so ingrained and second-nature to us, that we internalize their meaning without really being aware of how we're finishing that statement. I frequently come to situations like these with my clients, and have a simple exercise I give them to help bring these statements to the fore. I'll share it with you all:
Begin by clearing and calming your mind as best you can. With a focus on the words, "I am...", complete the sentence as many times as possible, writing down whatever comes to your mind. Do not overthink or analyze anything that comes out from your brain -- simply write it all down. Let them be honest answers, and not what you aspire to, or wish for in the future; the exercise is about the here-and-now, and how you're subconsciously identifying yourself.
Once you've exhausted your creativity brainstorm, take a look back at all that you've written. Look for patterns, consistent or similar wording, and how heavily your responses are skewed towards negative or positive statements. These can all hold keys to unlock doors which are currently barriers in your life -- limitations you've placed on yourself -- and the areas that require focus, awareness, and attention. At this point, for every negative, "I am..." statement (or groups of similar statements), assess how true the statement(s) may be to you, and write a new one with your preferred intention (ex. Negative: I am awkward and weird Positive: I am confident in being myself). By the end, you've collected a list of positive, "I am..." statements about yourself, and have created a whole list of new intention to embark on.
The exercise is certainly a simple one, but I find that awareness is often the missing component when client are looking to excel. It isn't that they don't want to pay attention -- rather, that things have become so habitual or subconscious that they need someone else to help them find it. Something that sits right in front of us, yet we cannot see it.
We all have the power and capacity to create a mindset and lifestyle of success and empowerment for ourselves. It all begins with us, our beliefs, and especially the kind of language we use to cement those beliefs in our consciousness. That language can create all kinds of limitation, but also complete freedom -- it all depends on how we choose to use it. Use it to communicate your truth not only to the outside world, but far more importantly, to yourself.