Wednesday Word

August 12, 2015

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Leave it to BeHappy.Me to share some encouraging words. The timing of this is impeccable, too. I was just reading an article by Beverly Daniel Tatum — “The Complexity of Identity: ‘Who Am I?'” — about how people define themselves when asked to complete the sentence, “I am _____.” The article found that people who belonged to dominant societal groups neglected to mention certain identifiers in their self-assessment. For example, a white heterosexual male most likely will not feel the need to outwardly define himself as such. Whereas, a person of color, a woman or a gay person will almost always use those terms to identify themselves. But what if, for just a quick second, we pretended that those qualifiers didn’t exist? How would you define yourself? Are you confident? Are you shy? Are you a dreamer? A trouble-maker? A world-changer? When we start labeling ourselves, we start to internalize those things and eventually become those words. If all your life, you’re told you’re going nowhere and you start to believe it, you might end up living beneath your potential. Or you could be born into a welcoming environment where all you’ve ever been told is, “You are destined for greatness,” and internalize that. Before you know it, you’re a success story. It’s reminiscent of a quote from mathematician, scientist and psychologist A.L. Kitselman: “The words ‘I am…’ are potent words; be careful what you hitch them to. The thing you’re claiming has a way of reaching back and claiming you.” So today, I choose to label myself a conqueror, a queen, a writer, a helper, a lover, a walking ray of sunshine and so much more. … Who are you?

To get inspired by previous Wednesday Word posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

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