During my time on Twitter, I have had the privilege to “meet” some absolutely amazing people. One of these amazing people is Josh Becker of i simply am. Josh’s spirit and his outlook on life is breathtaking. We graduated from knowing each other on Twitter to being friends on Facebook. Josh is one of those people every single one of us should have in our lives, a soul filled with light, gratitude, and ready to lift you up even when you don’t know you need it. His words have a way of speaking truth about whatever I’m going through right when I need to read them. He’s grown so much over the past years and I am beyond grateful to see him do so. I’m even more thrilled to be sharing him with you this coming Friday afternoon at 3:00pm ET for a special #PPDChat. Josh and I will be discussing the importance of self-talk, about being your authentic self as you journey toward healing and life. I sincerely hope you will be able to join us because I guarantee this is a conversation you WON’T want to miss. Go follow him over @isimplyam and say hi!
Below is a guest post from Josh, an intro, if you will, to the discussion we’ll be having on Friday afternoon. Read, comment, and share. And mark your calendar for 3:00pm ET Friday to dive into a live conversation!
This is one of my favorite quotes and for good reason. The way we think and speak about ourselves has the single greatest impact over the way we see ourselves and the world around us. Yet from a very young age we’re taught that what others think and feel about us is what really counts. As toddlers we were (very lovingly I might add) given praise from our caregivers for the things we performed well. On the flip side, when we didn’t perform as expected, we heard about that too. There was one question we never heard enough of…
“How do you think/feel you did?”
We were never given the permission to explore our own thoughts and feelings about life. We were usually told that something was good, bad, silly, stupid, smart, dumb, pretty, or ugly without any concern about what it meant to us. It didn’t take long from that impressionable age to know that to feel whole, loved, valuable, worthy, and important we had to go searching for it. Obviously these weren’t qualities we could identify and affirm in ourselves (so we believed). Our caregivers, and those closest to us, showed us these are qualities that you obtain after, and only after, you accomplish something. Even worse than having to “work” for your qualities, they would be judged first by them.
The problem with this model is that these qualities, and many others, are Inherent. That means that you were born with them. You didn’t have to do anything to get these qualities nor could you do anything to have them go away. They were there and have been there your entire life. As we’ve seen though, this isn’t exactly what we were taught from a young age. We wound up mirroring what we learned from our caregivers. If we heard we were dumb, ugly, fat, slow, weak, unimportant, unworthy, or not enough in any way then that is what we knew. Even worse than knowing this, we came to believe it as truth.
Our entire value system was taken from us and placed “out there”. That meant that we were drawn to those that affirmed us and turned off by those that didn’t. So much so that it was literally of no consequence how we valued ourselves. Esteeming ourselves came 100% from the outside world.
It’s one thing to have someone shame you (any comment or action that makes you think you are “less than”) but we’ve been doing it to ourselves. I’ll give you some examples of ways you might be shaming yourself today and not even realize it…
“Let me get my fat ass off this chair.”
“Oh, I’m so stupid!”
“I’m not good enough to do that.”
“I’m ugly and no one will ever accept me as I am.”
“I’m not important.”
“I don’t matter.”
“I’m not vulnerable.”
“She’s better than me.”
The way we think and feel about ourselves has everything to do with how we treat ourselves (our bodies, our thoughts, our feelings, our minds, and our spirit) and everyone else. Yet, when is the last time you corrected yourself for saying any of the above? In fact, often times you’ll stand up for yourself if someone else calls you stupid but then turn around and joke about how dumb you are after making a mistake.
If our goal in life is to become the fullest expression of who we are then we must change our starting place. Your starting place can’t be, “I’m dumb but sometimes I do smart things” or “I’m so ugly but once in awhile I can clean up nicely” or “I’m worthless so I’m going to take what I can get.” Making this your starting place forces you to express that which you think you are. If you really and truly think you’re dumb, ugly, not good enough, slow, weak, and unimportant then these are the exact qualities you’ll wind up expressing to the world.
The difference between who we truly are and who we think we are is that the latter is what’s always expressed.
I hope by now you see that you are not truly what other people think about you. You’re not truly even what YOU think about you. You are your inherent qualities that you were born with and you’ll always be those things. The question isn’t “Who Am I?”. We already know who you are. The question is, “How can I fully express my Authentic Self?” This begins with your self-love and that is expressed through your self-talk. As the Upanishads so beautifully pointed out, it starts with your thoughts but manifests in your destiny.
You are Beautiful, Intelligent, Creative, Compassionate, Important, Precious, Strong, and Thoughtful. Guess what? There’s literally nothing you can do to change that! So stop trying, stop listening to others, and start reminding yourself what is true and express that truth. It’s in that expression that your dreams, your hopes, and your Authentic Life lives!
What “I am” statement can you affirm right now? Even if it hurts to type it, let me know in the comments what the Authentic You looks like!
With Gratitude and Appreciation,
Josh Becker is an author, speaker and mentor dedicated to helping you take off those glasses of false belief in exchange for your glasses of inherent nature. Josh is bridging the gap between the needed healing of our past and the tools necessary to live authentically now and in the future. You can find him at www.isimply.am, on Twitter, and on Facebook.