The Crafting of an I AM Statement
As we learned in Module 1, the I AM statement can be a useful tool in building a sustainable well-being. Telling ourselves who we are, in terms that might stretch us from what we’ve always believed ourselves to be, can give us a vision to be the best version of ourselves possible.
The lesson talks about a work team that shares their I AM statements with one another: “When days are tough or things don’t go as planned, the team members remind one another of their I AM statements and point out that, although the circumstances of the day may be difficult, that doesn’t change who they are – it doesn’t change the truth of their ‘I AM’ statement. In the bad moments, these workmates encourage one another with the true statements of who they are, and remind each other that the difficult circumstances cannot change their true core value. This team has found their I AM statements to be a powerful tool for overcoming life’s hurdles without losing their self-belief.”
MY I AM STATEMENT
To help you in crafting an I AM statement, let me first share mine. This I AM statement has been crafted over quite a period of time and self-evaluation, and with input from others. This is what I try to speak out loud everyday so my ears can hear what my mouth is saying and my core can believe it:
* I AM a person whose life goal is to foster the success of those on whom I have influence
* I AM a healthy person, who cares for my physical body as well as my spiritual and mental well-being
* I AM a good husband, who loves my wife honestly and passionately
* I AM a good father, who loves my children honestly and unconditionally
* I AM a good son to my mentors and to those whom I give place to speak into my life
* I AM a lover of people and, thus, courageously speak with honesty so I never carry a secret agenda in my relationships
* I AM integrous, character-filled and display an ability to care about people whenever possible
* I AM a person who carries excellence and a strong work ethic – I get things done in order to fulfill my destiny of success (Jeremiah 29:11)
* I AM a learner on a never-ending quest to be transformed by the renewing of my mind (Romans 12:2)
* I AM a unique carrier of the beautiful and powerful message of the true story of God’s love for people and for culture as represented in the personhood of Jesus Christ and carrying that message in love, I can positively impact people and positively impact the transformation of culture (John 3:17)
* I AM a leader in a movement of transformation that will impact my city, region, state and the whole world (Jeremiah 29:7)
I’m not all of these things everyday, but these are characteristics towards which I strive.
There are a couple things I want you to note in my I AM Statement. First, I’m not all of these things everyday. I fail greatly about half of them every hour (HAHA.) But these are characteristics towards which I strive. Some of them are directly related to ways I’ve failed in the past. Making those failures part of my I AM statement says to me “that past failure is NOT who I am – this statement is truly who I am and plan to be on an ongoing basis. By allowing myself to believe this is truly who Paul Swearengin is, I can learn to live into my I AM statement.”
Secondly, note that my I AM statement is actually crafted into categories:
- The first two bullet points are about me, personally.
- The next three start to become a wider view of who I am by including my family and inner circle
- Bullet points six through nine are about my relationships and goals in my professional life
- The final two are about vision for how I make a difference in the world that is bigger than my inner circle and how I can pour into others to increase my own capacity. These are ultimately some of the wider goals I’d like to be known for at the end of my life.
- So, in essence, my I AM statement is crafted around this idea: First, work on me and then let me personal well-being begin to impact my relationship with others and, finally, the world as a whole.
QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN CRAFTING AN I AM STATEMENT
Ultimately, crafting an I AM statement is like the “Professional Epitaph” we worked on in our first meeting (if you haven’t attended a cohort meeting, a “Professional Epitaph” is what you desire to have said about you when you retire at the end of your professional career.) The I AM statement is more about who you desire to be than who you think you are. Your statement can be the direct opposite of a deep-seated lie you’re battling to no longer believe. Here are some questions to consider:
- What are my unique gifts and qualities that I want to cultivate even more in my life?
- What relationships really matter to me and who do I want to be in those relationships?
- What are some areas of my life in which I want to improve?
- What are things I’ve believed about myself that are not true? What is the truth about me that I really need to believe at my core?
- What is the passion of my heart and my gift I have to offer the wider world?
The answers to these questions are items that I recommend end up in your I AM statement. Telling yourself daily the aspirations of who you want to be, can be an important tool in actually seeing those beliefs become realities. And can be cornerstones of a fulfilling and sustainable life.