I am confident.
I am amazing.
I am enough.
Don’t worry, I’m not getting big-headed. I say these statements to myself every day.
Why? It’s part of a routine I started a few years ago, and it’s safe to say it’s changed my life completely.
Before, I was an anxious, sad, and unconfident person. It’s true! If I left the house on my own, I’d have panic attacks. I’d also experience these episodes when speaking to someone, especially if I had to call them on the phone. I hated being in a room of people, and I hated having conversations with people I didn’t know (ironic that I became a podcast host, huh?). I was very risk-averse, too. I was never one to take chances.
My MS diagnosis changed my perspective on life. I realized there were more important things in the world. Compared with my diagnosis, the things I’d worried about, such as leaving the house, felt silly.
Unfortunately, I was still so fearful of everything. But now, it was all MS-related.
To help change my mindset, I started reading “I am” statements out loud every morning and journaling my thoughts. I didn’t believe the “I am” statements at first. I’d say them out loud and repeat them in my head every single day. For months, nothing changed.
I’d say, “I am confident.” I wished I could be a confident person. I was sick of being so fearful.
“I am amazing.” I didn’t believe that I was at the time.
“I am enough.” Growing up, I never felt like I was good enough.
“I am beautiful.” I believed I was ugly.
We all go through these phases from time to time; it’s perfectly normal. Although, if I have learned anything, it’s that there is a better way to live.
I was telling myself, “I can’t do this, I’m not good enough, I’m not clever enough, I’m not pretty enough, I’m not worthy enough.” And it only amplified those feelings.
Having those negative feelings affected my actions. I took fewer risks, I accepted fewer opportunities, and I made fewer friends.
I was miserable — until I discovered positive statements, sometimes called “affirmations.”
As I mentioned above, every day I would tell myself “I am …” and add a characteristic I wanted to improve upon.
“I can’t do that” became “I am a confident person who can do anything.”
When I changed my inner dialogue, guess what happened?
I unconsciously changed my actions.
I started a business.
I started to share my story.
I started a podcast, which still feels bizarre to me.
Changing how I spoke to myself was the key to unlocking a new world full of opportunity.
Try this with me right now.
- Grab a piece of paper, or open the Notes app on your phone, and brainstorm the type of person you’d like to be (confident, assertive, brave, beautiful, etc.). Make a list.
- Write out your own set of “I am” statements. Keep them short and positive. For example, “I am not listening to what other people think” could be strengthened by switching the negative to a positive: “I am in control of what I think of me, and that’s all that matters.”
- Repeat every morning. To start, put your statements on your bathroom mirror and read them whenever you see them.
Share your “I am” statements with me in the comments below!
Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.
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