How A 'I Am' Board Can Change Your Life
“I Am.” There is such power in these two little words.
“I am” can empower you to overcome the biggest of obstacles. “I am” can also make you feel defeated and suicidal. It all depends on the words that follow “I am.”
Unless you’re on Gandhi’s mindset level, it’s easy to slip and let your internal critic shine too bright.
My internal critic likes to make Simon Cowell look like the nice judge. When I don’t make a conscious effort to pay attention to how my words influence my mindset and actions, my internal critique likes to swoop in and undermine my progress. It tells me “I am average,” “I am afraid to succeed,” and “I am alone.”
I’ve been able to stop this internal hell from spinning out of control and effecting my day by literally saying out loud, “Stop.” This ritual helps, but it’s like putting a Band-Aid on a deep cut. It’s not getting to the root of the problem, which is not having the right mindset.
Many swear by creating vision boards to help shift their mindset. In theory it seems like a great idea and I love an Oprah approved activity, but vision boards aren’t for me.
I’ve tried to create a vision board for a few years now with no success. I’ve gotten as far as cutting words and pictures out of magazines, but I have never put a single vision on a board. Maybe it’s because I am an analytical Virgo and I worry about selecting the wrong visual. Next thing I know, I’m living in some box on the street all because I pasted the wrong picture. Ok, I’m sure that’s taking it a little too far down the crazy mindset rabbit hole, but you get the point. Vision boards and my analytical mind don’t mix.
That was until I heard Mandy Hale from The Single Woman talk about creating a living vision board one night during a Mentor Monday session. I thought what a brilliant idea as there are no wrong pictures to paste, only my words, which could easily be erased.
I immediately ordered one of those white boards you can slide onto the wall like a sticker and some cute colored pens. Once it was all set up, I stood there thinking about what would be my first words. And then out of nowhere I wrote: ‘I Am….”
I stood there a little longer staring at those two words and wondering how do I define me? Not how the world defines me based on my race, gender, sexuality, hometown, education, etc. But how do I truly see myself? Before I put the pen to board again, I promised myself nothing negative would be written and no roles like daughter, entrepreneur, foodie or friend.
I then took a deep breathe to be intentional with my next words and I began to write. The words instantly poured out of me like water.
- and so much more…
It’s hard at first to truly feel the positive words you’ve rarely or never said to yourself. But when you do feel it, that feeling is everything.
Writing who I am has been an uplifting experience, but not enough to fully change my mindset. What really made the shift is my daily ritual of waking up every morning and the first thing I see is my “I Am’ board. It’s also the last thing I read every night if you don’t count Facebook posts before I pass out.
Reading my words out loud gives me inner strength. My voice gets louder and I can physically feel my confidence grow with every word. It’s no longer me reading some random words, but more like a daily celebration of where I’ve come from and where I am today.
I may not be exactly where I want to be at the moment, but I am grateful for the journey and my present state of mind. This right here is a testament to the power of words and how we use them.
Who do you believe yourself to be?
I challenge you to take a piece a paper and write in the middle of it, “I am.” From there, start to brainstorm. When you catch yourself writing down roles you play in life, cross them out. Then take a picture of your piece of paper once you’re done. This way you constantly have a reminder of whom you are wherever you go. I also urge you to focus on the positive and loving sides of who you are as these are the powerful words you’ll want to manifest.