The single most powerful phrase in English, has got to be “I am”.
Every time we speak those words, we are defining our present and creating our future.
I speak often about the tendency we have to be our own worst enemy and use our own words against ourselves. You know? The negative self-talk that we use when we are comparing ourselves to others or coming down really hard on ourselves for something we feel we could have done better or differently. We speak so harshly to and of ourselves and I’ve been a champion of showing ourselves more kindness and compassion, for a long time now. If you follow my writing or you’ve attended coaching or training sessions with me, you will know how passionate I am about kindness and about showing some of that love and kindness we so freely give to others, to ourselves.
Recently, I’ve been working on my book and on fine tuning my theory relating to ‘authentic humanity’ and the traits we all need to possess and the behaviours we need to master in order to really thrive in this digital age. It’s by no means easy, birthing a book and it’s frightening beyond the thought of Pennywise and Freddie Krueger showing up on my doorstep for coffee! There’s a balance to be struck between the vulnerability and the arrogance of proposing a way of leading and a way of ‘being’ in the new world of work and I would be naive not to think that it will draw both criticism and praise.
But see, none of the criticism I am expecting, could ever come close to the harsh words I use on myself. Yes, you read that correctly – I’m only human and I too am guilty of the negative self-talk and the verbal abuse that my inner mean girl/bully unleashes on me every now and again.
I have a new secret weapon though and that bitch doesn’t stand a chance!
See, every time my inner mean girl criticizes me or comes down really hard on me and calls me names in my head, I have taken to replacing the mean and hurtful things she says, with 3 powerful “I am” statements.
Things like “I am kind” or “I am brave” and “I am persistent” or “I am the mistress of my destiny”. I tell myself that “I am a genuinely good person” and I remind myself that “I am doing the best that I can with what I have right now and where I am in my personal journey”.
These two little words are so immensely powerful and they remind me of exactly who I truly am and who I am becoming.
These words remind me that for the most part (at least 99% of the time) my inner critic is a scared, mean little girl who makes mountains from molehills and lies to me to make me feel bad. I have named that mean girl – not because I’m mentally unstable and need medication and psychotherapy – because she is NOT me and she is an enemy of my true self. She needlessly criticizes and always acts from a place of fear and naming her is a powerful reminder that she is a bully and she is NOT ME.
I’ve actually written about this technique of naming your inner bully, before. My tips on silencing your inner critic were even published in a major magazine recently, because apparently, I’m onto something here.
So, in addition to naming your inner bully and just being aware of your own BS, I invite you to start practicing the “I am” technique.
Speak to yourself and of yourself with love, kindness and empathy. Remind yourself often of how brave and strong and resilient you are. Speak into being who you are and who you are becoming, by simply stating repeatedly “I am!”
And when times are tough, you just keep reminding yourself that every storm runs out of rain and every night runs out of darkness, yielding to the light, and there is nothing more powerful than saying “I am”.
You are magical. You are powerful. You are wise. You are kind. You are intelligent. You are working hard. You are doing your best. You are becoming your best self. You are learning. You are growing. You, are….