“I am” Labels

“I am…”

I’ve discovered it is very hard for me to ‘claim’ good things about me. It is like I’m claiming some level of proficiency that I haven’t proved. It took me over a hundred paintings before I could think/accept/admit that “I am an artist”.

Why are these I am statements so hard? Why are applying labels we actually *want* so hard?

I feel like I’m comparing myself to others and deciding I’m ‘better’ than others somehow, or that it requires proof or validation to feel it or own it.  When you think about the words “I Am (x)”, that doesn’t mean, or EVEN imply, that others AREN’T.

 It doesn’t actually say a THING about being better than anyone else.  It actually has literally nothing to do with anyone (or anything) outside YOU.

So why are we sometimes so AFRAID to claim “I am “ statements?

We’re not, of course, afraid to claim all “I statements” … afterall,

I am broken

I am defective

I am weak

are all I am statements that, ahem.., some of us ‘happily’ shower down upon us and soak up like sponges.

But when they claim something GOOD about ourselves … when they are something we’d be proud of… we hold it away. Never measuring that we are ever “enough” or worthy “enough” for the title.  Just try these on for size:

I am creative

I am an artist

I am a singer

I am a photographer

I am a writer

I am kind

Probably, there are some of those where you ‘feel’ some resistance, or almost like you are on the defensive already – not feeling you have “data” to “back up your claim”.  Primarily, and almost immediately, in comparison to others.  Or, in comparison to some “measurement” arbitrarily agreed upon by society (or, at the very least, your skewed perception of that measurement).

Start by acknowledging that you are making the sentence BIGGER and more loaded than it actually is. “I am” never says anything about anybody else. It is NOT about making comparisons.  Look at the words.  Nothing does. Nothing implies a “level” or threshold.  A small bite of an apple is not NOT apple. If you feel that you are asserting something OVER someone else by the statement, then YOU are the one piling some assumptions and rules onto the words – and holding yourself apart from growth in the process.  You can’t EAT an apple without first taking a bite.  It’s kinda the only way you can…

And no this isn’t always true, but don’t let your brain rob you from “mostly” in its pursuit to refine everything into absolutes (it loves to do that, mostly to our detriment it seems).  If you are doing ‘something’, to ‘any’ degree, then you are a doer of it. Claim it. Welcome it. Embrace it. Only then can it be allowed to thrive.

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