Normally my posts are focussed on property and adding value to people interested in property but this post is something very different.
This topic for this post is the impact and creative power of the words, “I am”.
Betty Eadie once said:
“If we understood the power of our thoughts, we would guard them more closely. If we understood the awesome power of our words, we would prefer silence to almost anything negative. In our thoughts and words, we create our own weaknesses and our own strengths. Our limitations and joys begin in our hearts. We can always replace negative with positive.”
Today I decided to share my personal observations about these two words that seem deceptively innocuous but pulse with unlimited personal creative power. We use them often, yet we do not always appreciate their effect to impact our personal perception of reality.
The words: “I am”, are probably the closest we have to magic. I am not saying I believe in magic, rather the concept that “I am” is linked to nothing less than a declaration of who you perceive yourself to be, in that moment.
Let’s consider an example:
Let’s take an example of J, an adult human being. Sue asks J, which political party J supports. J states, “I am ABC”, not “I support the ABC” or I chose to vote for the ABC”.
J’s sense of self is defined by this statement. J sees his/herself as the political party.
That may seem innocuous but let’s go a little deeper. Political parties are far from perfect but once J links J’s identity to being ABC, anything that remotely is negative towards ABC, will be rejected out of hand by J, despite compelling and dooming facts, to the contrary. J becomes immune to logical argument, even when presented with proven facts, which are within the personal knowledge of J.
This leads many to question how an intelligent person can ignore a well-structured, logically sound argument, fortified by proven facts, and still persist in dogged defense of the ABC?
In J’s inner world, J’s very perception of J’s self-identity is now merged with the ABC party. An attack on the ABC is perceived by J, as an attack on J’s very identity. This is then nothing less than an existential onslaught against J’s sense of self and puts J into an existential crisis, which results in J protecting the ABC because J is defending him/herself.
As a side note, I have often observed that people like J are very likely to be very binary and less accepting of people who hold differing beliefs because their choice not to support J’s position, contains an implicit rejection of J’s belief, hence a perceived rejection of J her/himself.
This phenomenon occurs in various spheres and its always preceded by the person making a declaration like, “I am a _____”. This should also be a warning not to criticize the thing that the person identifies with, because it will negatively impact the relationship, may result in conflict, and no matter how compelling your argument, the fact that it attacks their very self of self – your articulate, researched, and logical points will have as much impact as a bug on the windshield of a speeding car.
I have also seen others who state things slightly differently, which makes a world of a difference.
Imagine if J rather said, “I vote for the ABC”. J’s words reflect an inner locus of control, where J does not define her/himself in terms of the ABC. J’s sense of identity is not seen as being one with ABC. If someone criticizes the ABC, J’s may very well agree (although J may still support the ABC) or if ABC is no longer a fit for J, J may even choose to vote for another political party, altogether.
Let’s consider another saying which is often heard: “I am angry” or maybe “I am frustrated”. This links our sense of self to a negative emotion or feeling. Would it then not be better to rather state these statements slightly differently. Maybe one could say, “This action makes me feel angry” or ” this situation, which is not being resolved, is resulting in me feeling frustrated”.
In my personal experience, I am not a property practitioner, rather I practice as a property practitioner. If someone runs down property practitioners (estate agents), I am not affected by their views because I have created the necessary space to separate what they are talking about and my personal practice as a property practitioner.
In my lay opinion, we need to be mindful of the language we use because it creates our perception of the world around us. We do however have the power to take control by reinforcing our internal locus of control, and creating the necessary space to mindfully craft our perception of our world and our part in it.
This post is a personal opinion and I don’t pretend to have any psychology experience or qualification. This post is therefore merely an observation of just another human being.