I Feel versus I Am

I often caution clients as to the language they choose to use when describing their experiences. “I am crushed.” “I am devastated.” “I will never come back from this.”

The language that we use plays a direct effect on the choices we make in our response to our challenges and difficulties. And yet, it is also important to be able to describe and identify with the feelings we are having during those experiences.

Joel Olsteen has this to say about using the phrase “I am“:

“What follows the two simple words, “I Am”, will determine what type of life you have and will either bring success or failure in your life. Instead of saying negative “I Ams”, – “I am unfocused. I am never going to succeed”, say what God says you are. Declare “I am blessed, confident, loved, accepted.” When you change your “I Ams,” your life will change for the better. The seeds of greatness God’s placed on the inside will spring forth.”  – Joel Olsteen

Perhaps we can begin to identify how we are feeling with the phrase “I feel” instead. “I feel tired” is reflective of how you feel in the moment versus “I am tired” implies that you are always tired. “I feel like I have failed in this moment” sounds very different than “I am a failure.” “I feel crushed by this event” sounds very different than “I am crushed.”

The energy we send out tends to come back to us. Reminding ourselves of how we want to live our lives through the phrase “I am,” is one way (and a fairly simple one at that) to harness that energy to our advantage.

“I am grounded.”

“I am calm.”

“I am content.”

“I am brave.”

Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@yoannboyer

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