The best and worse sentences start with “I am.”
I was working with a client, asking them what they do for fun—for reward. This is supposed to be a good conversation, but instead I started to hear a lot hidden “I am’s.” One after the other after the other. And because as a coach, I’m not supposed to talk so much, I listened.
Me: So when you finish the next step of your goal, let’s talk about what reward you’ll give yourself. What do you like to do?
Client: Well, I like painting, but I am not very good. I really like shopping, but I’m broke and working to get out of debt. I like going for walks along the water, but I twisted my ankle. I think I’d like a 12-layer slice of chocolate cake, although I’m fat and need to lose weight. And….
Me: (cringing) I’m sorry but I need to interject. (and now I am laughing, because that’s just how I am) You can hear yourself right?
Client: What do you mean? (laughing because I am laughing, because that’s how it works)
And then we proceed to veer off onto a new road in coaching because I was hearing one “I am” after the next that sounded more ridiculous than the last. I was listening to crazy logic. Regardless of how that conversation was fixed and cleared up (and how they DID find some rewards without limitations) here’s some truth EVERYONE needs to know:
THE TRUTH ABOUT: I AM STATEMENTS
When you start a sentence with “I am” you’d be best to end it right. And by right I mean POSITIVE. Because whatever follows “I am” will find you. Will hunt you down. Will follow you around till it can get in your pocket, eat through your clothes, burrow through your skin, and eventually nest itself into your soul.
I’ll explain the “I ams” in a moment, but first hear this. When you say “I am ____” your brain hears you. Your brain believes you more than ANY. OTHER. VOICE.
Out Loud Talk.
It. Hears. And. Believes. You.
You talk to yourself non-stop. If you kept a pad of paper by your side to jot down every thought you had about yourself and what you’re saying about and to yourself—well you’d be ASTONISHED. We self-talk all day long. And we listen. Intently. And our self-talk, our “I ams” either build up goodness or badness.
Doubt me? I really DON’T want you to do this—so please don’t unless you are a complete skeptic. But where you are sitting, RIGHT NOW, you just need to say “I am sad.” And say it like you mean it. Repeat it several times. Now look, don’t do this—let the research prove to you that people actually start to feel sad when they do this. They begin to slouch in their chair, and feel despair for no apparent reason.
And you can try to opposite. I really DO want you to do this. RIGHT NOW, you just need to say “I am happy” or “I am happy enough” or “I have reasons to be happy.” And start listing off happy reasons. But each time start with “I am happy because _________.”
And the truth is, you will feel lighter. If not happier. I KID YOU NOT.
HOW IT WORKS – IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK
It does not matter if you are overweight, lost your job, and in the midst of treatment for illness, or your long-time partner just split up with you. You can “feel” happiness by saying positive “I am’s.” It’s how we are built. It’s a strange magic key in our DNA. And because I’m a Spirit-Led life coach, I think it has a lot to do with a wise bit of old knowledge that goes like this:
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. ~ Paul of Tarsus (Philippians 4:8-9)
So there, it’s not hocus-pocus. It’s not silly affirmation mumbo-jumbo. It’s old wisdom – – scripture based stuff. Put into applicable ACTION. Period.
So change your “I am’s” to true, right, excellent statements.
STOP USING THE F, B, and N WORDS
If you’re overweight please don’t say the “F” word (I am Fat). Please change it around and say “I am ready to work towards being healthy.”
If you’re in debt please don’t use the “B” word (I am Broke). Please change it around and say “I am making better decisions with my money.”
If you have self-doubt please don’t use the “N” work (I am Not good enough). Please change it around and say what you ARE good at, and what you are learning, and everything that is good and noble and lovely.
Please talk lovely and lovingly to you. Tell yourself the truth over and over: “I am fearfully and WONDERFULLY made.” ~ King David (Psalm 139:14)
Because you are. And your “I am” statements matter.
What you think, what you say about yourself, you believe.
Whatever follows “I am” will come looking for you. Hunt you down and get into your soul.
CHOOSE TO BE LOVINGLY TO YOU
Because you matter more than you know. If you are breathing, you are here for a reason. So bolster yourself with good “I am’s” and make a difference—if not for yourself—then for someone else.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Now go rock the world!