I am….

How do you fill in the blank?

At end of the day_4Yesterday, I listened to a guided meditation. The suggested mantra was “So Hum” which translates to “I Am.” The meditation then asked me to repeat: I am healthy. I am strong. Though I was trying to be in the moment with the meditation, my busy brain started to wander – and wonder. How else do I fill in the blank after “I am”?

When things are going well, I tend to be kind and encouraging to myself.

“I am brave. I am powerful. I am wise. I am so much more!”

This positive feedback fires me up, makes me feel confident and ready to take on the world.

But when things get off course (which they inevitably do), I can be pretty hard on myself. Echoes of past critical comments and harsh judgments (from others and myself) can easily float into my mind.

“I am unqualified. I am afraid. I am too old. I am overwhelmed.”

These negative thoughts used to stop me in my tracks. Erode my confidence. Make me second-guess myself. And worst of all, keep me from pursuing what I really wanted. Ever been down this rabbit hole?

Now, when self-sabotaging thoughts show up, I’ve got a game plan that helps me start turning them into empowering ones.

  • Acknowledge the thought. Trying to push it away or ignore it, usually makes it stronger and more persistent. It often keeps returning until you pay attention to it.
  • Question the thought. Byron Katie’s 4 question framework is a powerful way to do this. She asks:
    • Is it true? (Yes or no. If no, move to 3.)
    • Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (Yes or no.)
    • How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
    • Who would you be without the thought?
  • Turn the thought around. Try stating the opposite of an “I am” that undermines you. Then look for specific examples of when the opposite (positive) “I am” is true for you.

What you say about yourself (even in the privacy of your own mind), creates the beliefs that determine your feelings, behaviors and results. You get to choose how you fill in the blank – in a way that empowers you or sabotages you.

So, what’s your “I am….?”

For me, Brene Brown said it best:“….at the end of the day, I AM ENOUGH.”

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