I am a speaker. I am a trainer. I am a wife. These proclamations describe my identity. Who I think I am as a person.
They can be more descriptive. I am passionate. I am caring. I am loving.
They can be fleeting. I am bored. I am confused. I am hungry. I’m dying for those shoes (really???)
What follows the “I am” is very important because we are often unconscious to how we are describing our identity and what we are proclaiming ownership of.
Let’s look at the ‘fleeting’ examples.
I am bored. Is it really fleeting or it is the identity you’ve been stuck with for a long time? Are you saying this over and over again without consciously being aware of who often that declaration comes up. Ask your spouse. Ask your friends. Ask them, “do I say I’m bored a lot?” If they say yes or ask for clarification on what ‘a lot’ means, then you are well on your way to convincing yourself that you are bored, boring and have lost the ability to create your own entertainment.
Why? Because your mind is always listening and it will create the identity we constantly repeat. That is why mantras and self-affirmations are so popular. They are ways that can change the repetition to something much more positive.
In fact, any kind of change to a unwanted identity statement is a start in the right direction. You begin to move your awareness and with that, you can choose something else.
Here are some examples:
“I am hungry” becomes “I need water” – notice I have changed it from an identity to a want or a need.
“I am confused” becomes “I expect to learn something really soon” – again, I’ve taken the “I am” out of the statement and replaced it with an expectation.
“I am bored” becomes “I can create fun” – again, the change doesn’t refer to your identity but instead refers to your abilities.
Use whatever change works for you. Experiment with different phrases and find what resonates. The more you practice switching limiting “I am” statements the more you start shaping the future of the new you; learning something, creating fun and drinking lots of water!
What limiting “I am…” statements are you using that need to change? Use the above examples and create a new need, an expectation or an ability that moves you forward instead of holding you back.