He’s arrogant! She’s irresponsible and unreliable. Oh, how she procrastinates!
Do you see the problem with the above statements? Of course!
If we were told this as youngsters, we might grow up and prove our parents right! On the other hand, we may want to prove them wrong by taking another path.
However, the problem when we apply such statements to adults, our colleagues, fellow community members, relatives, etc. we then begin looking for evidence to show how our judgment is correct. For example, most everyone knows someone who they think is chronically late. Now imagine the person arrives on time or even early for each meeting. We’re likely to focus or even overemphasize the one time they came late to reinforce our prior thought process that he or she is “always” late. This gets in the way of seeing this person any differently. We might even say something out loud each time they promptly arrive, hence embarrassing them and creating distance between us and them. We then cast a shadow on ourselves as being socially inept.
The “IS” boxes can also be self-sabotaging when we use them to describe ourselves. How often do you think or refer to yourself as “I’m not clever at that,” “I’m overweight,” or “I’m no good at _________________.” These thoughts become beliefs which lead us to behaviors that often become self-fulfilling prophecies. There is no room for growth with “IS” statements!
Making changes is easy when you look at it on paper. Imagine a triangle with a circle at the top point. Name it “Choices.” On the lower left point is “Payoffs” and on the lower right angle is the word, “Consequences.”
Whenever we make a choice there is some kind of payoff for us. As with most things in life there are consequences, as well. Take that third cookie you eat. The payoff is a “four-second rush!” We all know what the consequences can be! Up the ante to making choices regarding our finances, careers or relationships and the payoffs and consequences quadruple!
Contrary to what we think about ourselves and others, we all have the capacity to change. When done in increments we may become frustrated with the current results, but when applied over again, we can learn about ourselves through comparing and contrasting where we were with where we presently are.”
And so, that negative “IS” statement we had about ourselves can now be a “WAS” and be replaced by a new “I AM” reality.
I challenge you to become less of the old “IS” and more of the “I AM” in 2017!
“Change is inevitable…growth is optional…why not take the option?”