The Next Steps – Part 2

The Simple Power of “I Am”

In my last post, you can find here, I shared a little about my journey that has led me to the place I find myself in right now. The reality of not engaging in proper self care leading to physical and mental illness, the discovery of photography in a way that connected with something deeper in my mind in a meaningful and purposeful way and the realisation that something had to change.

Something I have found in taking some time is that I often fight with my belief of what I feel as though I should do or aught to do. When I mindfully take notice of these voices, rather than simply letting them take over my thought process, I realise that they come from a place of believing that I am working in a space that I don’t belong. That I am an interloper and an imposter in that professional space.

This is something that I have always known this about myself. However, in the last couple of months I have started an intentional journey to discover the root to a lot of these negative self beliefs. My starting point was to draw out a time line of my life. I am a visual thinker and so I drew a line and added; life experiences and events, jobs, moments of joy, times of sadness, bereavements, thoughts I had, beliefs that came from those thoughts and experiences and then started to draw lines between them all, making connections. I had to be really open and honest with myself and because I was able to do this it was an incredibly powerful experience.

I won’t share the whole time line here as there was much not here that was very personal. However, I will share the significant conclusions. Essentially my thought and belief process led like this:

Beliefs

Don’t feel
Don’t show your feelings
Don’t be noticed
Don’t stand out

So…

Don’t achieve
Don’t win

Because if you do…

You will be noticed
And bad things will happen

Therefore…

Your voice & story has no value
And you will be found out as an imposter

As you can see this is a negative spiral that starts simply in one place and quickly gets out of hand. if you have ever felt like this then you may know that a spiral comes from a place of automatic thinking. To combat this we first have to be aware of what it is that we are working with and where it comes from. Then we look at combating these thoughts with thinking based on some truth. We become mindfully aware of thoughts that are balanced. Acknowledging our negative thoughts but examining alternative thoughts that may also be true.

For me this spiral has shaped so much of my life and decision making process. An example of this was following on from when I started blogging in 2017. i set myself the challenge of writing every day. Which I did for 4 months. I was then asked to write in different publications around ideas of children experiencing loss. You could say that this was the pay off for my commitment. I was now being paid for my writing, and yet I suddenly stopped writing. I didn’t write for months following this and I had no idea why.

Looking back now, with my new found knowledge, I realise that I had created a level of “success” that brought me to the attention of other people and my automatic negative thought process kicked in that led me to believing that I was being noticed, that this was a bad thing and that I was about to be found out as an imposter.

This level of self awareness has made me realise that those thoughts are the reason I am constantly thinking I should be doing something else.

So How Do We Combat These Thoughts?

My starting place is this. The Power of “I Am”

As you can see from my thoughts they are what we call NATS (Negative Automatic Thoughts) They simply pop up when the situation or environment is right for them and they hit us when we are at our most vulnerable. If you have them enough they can become so self fulfilling that they morph into our core beliefs we have about ourselves. So in my case, subconsciously, and sometimes consciously, I will believe:

I am worthless
I am without value
I am an imposter.

They simply become our truths. Even if they are not true. So the challenge I set myself this morning is to create a list of “I AM’s” that reflect who I really am. I started with wanting to create a list of 100.

100 statements of I AM. Let me tell you that although this is not an easy task it has incredible power to change and shift your thinking about yourself. The list should include things that you would like to define your life. These are statements that you would want to shape you inner dialogue, and simply by changing the words that define your concept of self and choosing the words that you opt to place into your thoughts you take back control of how your see yourself.

As an act of accountability to this process I have decided to share my list of 100. But I wonder what I am’s you would use for yourself? If you are brave enough perhaps you’d like to share them below in the comments…

I am a skilled therapist
I am a children’s worker
I am able to engage with Primary school children in a unique way
I am a children’s therapist
I am a good communicator
I am a really good dad
I am natural at speaking with young people
I am able to make a space for people to feel at ease
I am empathetic
I am able to create a space that enables people to talk
I am creative
I am an accomplished musician
I am not held back by standard thinking
I am a loving husband
I am an introvert feeling thinker
I am reflective in nature
I am a passionate about seeing people change
I am intuitive
I am empathetic
I am able to help people to explore their own thinking
I am able to help people to explore their own feelings
I am able to help people to explore their own behaviours
I am able to help people to transform
I am natural in front of a microphone
I am a child at heart
I am successful
I am not willing to sit back and wait
I am motivated to change
I am a dreamer
I am a deep thinker
I am a critical thinker
I am able see the problems
I am self employed
I am able to set my own agenda
I am able to communicate through written word
I am a good blogger
I am able to train others
I am able to connect with others through my ideas
I am an entrepreneur
I am work in progress
I am not the finished article, yet
I am open to challenge
I am in control of my own future
I am in the drivers seat of my own life
I am able to change hearts and minds
I am a photographer
I am able to see the world differently and communicate that
I am not having to be perfect
I am approachable
I am at my best when I believe in myself
I am caring
I am compassionate
I am able to see the best in people
I am loved
I am mindful of my actions and thoughts
I am open minded
I am one to wear my heart on my sleeve
I am a listener
I am able to see wonder in the small things
I am greater than my thoughts
I am greater than my mistakes
I am able to inspire others
I am blessed
I am wealthy
I am full of knowledge
I am empowering
I am able to help people see the best in themselves
I am enough
I am determined to succeed
I am happy
I am responsible for my own life
I am worthy of having the best life possible
I am responsible for my own direction
I am responsible for my own decisions
I am young enough to do whatever I want to do
I am fearfully and wonderfully made
I am improving
I am able to learn
I am free
I am going to be an author
I am creating opportunities
I am going to be known
I am going to get fit
I am going to be a recognised speaker
I am able to make healthy choices
I am a child of God
I am able to make wise decisions
I am a dreamer
I am someone who cares deeply for people
I am able to be flexible in my approach to new opportunities
I am not going to be held back
I am a paddle boarder
I am enjoying life
I am a guitarist
I am a singer
I am a mindful photographer
I am a competent designer
I am visual learner and visual communicator
I am always available for those that need me
I am protective of my time
I am an encourager
I am a youth worker
I am a mentor
I am a worship leader
I am full of ideas

*Actually 105….

Now let’s see yours

5 Replies to “The Next Steps – Part 2”

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