This past weekend I was at a retreat where the participants were, in my view, smarter and more talented, prettier, younger, hipper more in the know, i.e. just generally better than I am. Upon returning home I found myself tangled up in something I am calling, “I’m-ing” as in “I’m too fat to wear those jeans” or “I’m lousy at making pancakes”.
As it happens this is very inauthentic. It is also annoying. Oh and by the way, it sends a message to the universe that you don’t think very highly or yourself and because of your message you will get more of the same.
What I discovered was this:I had to get over myself and quit the whining.
I also took a look at what was going on.
Staying stuck in an “I’m” is a way of avoiding life. It offers the I’m-er a way of excusing not being a participant in creating one’s own destiny. “I’ming” is for victims of life’s ups and downs. So if you are ready to give it up…here’s some typical “I’ms” and the juice they give you.
Being stuck in an “I’m” frequently means you are not living in the present moment, rather you are allowing your itty bitty sh*tty committee to take over and bring you down.
Five Typical “I’ms” and what they do to keep you stuck
1. “I’m not too good at…”fill in the blank” math, spelling, reading,languages. Here you label yourself inept and you have a built in reason for avoiding tackling something difficult.
2. “I’m lousy at some skill such as cooking, sports, drawing, acting.” The translation here is, “well it’s just my nature.” This reinforces and justifies inertia. This one says that if you can’t be an Olympic champion, have a work of art that hangs in the Louvre or win an Oscar for your acting prowess then, why bother?
3. “I’m shy, temperamental, nervous, afraid…” This is very good. It is a behavior we got labelled with probably in childhood and so, as adults have decided to stay with the storyline to avoid being assertive or live up to our true potentials.
With this “I’m” as your definer you can excuse all kinds of self-limiting ways of being since they are out of your control.
4.”I’m clumsy, uncoordinated….” This “I’m” is a way of avoiding potential ridicule. It stops us before we get started. There is no way to try any kind of physical endeavor. Once a client told me she hated exercise because she was clumsy as a child, her mother said so and it became her life’s storyline.
5. “I’m disorganized, overly neat, perfectionistic, irresponsible, forgetful…” Especially useful when you want to justify some ineffective behavior. This defeatist way of being helps you to avoid life.
So how do you get over yourself?
First bring yourself to the present moment.
Take 3 slow, deep breaths through your NOSE and pay attention to where you are right here right now.
You may notice that you relax when you breathe that way
Become present to the number of times during the day you think or say out loud “I’m this or that…”
In that moment take your three deep breaths through the nose, reframe and begin again with a positive message.
I am so grateful for… might be a good place to start.
Write yourself a weekly affirmation and post it where you will remember to say it aloud often.
The bathroom mirror and in the kitchen are two good places along with your PDA and computer desktop. An affirmation can be a simple yet powerful way of breaking the “I’m” habit and getting over yourself.
Here’s one to get you started, “I deserve to be (fill in the blank, wealthy, happy,fulfilled) and say it each day, several times a day with joy and gusto.
Now go ahead, get over yourself and get on with it.