Community//

You’re Not Who You Think You Are

On Just Being

Just like you, I’ve played a lot of roles in my life. I’ve been and done a lot of things, and many of them contradict each other.

girl
woman
young
old
smart
fool
brave
terrified
married
divorced
mother
child
writer
doctor
student
friend
sister
strong
weak
beginner
expert

With every role comes a story.

What does it mean to be a…?
Am I doing it well, or am I totally messing it up?
What does society think about my role?

Dig down, and every role has its story. For the most part, those stories are handed down to us.

We may think we choose the stories for ourselves, but they aren’t original to us. We learned them from someone at such a young age, we didn’t have any say in the matter.

I wrote about this in more detail here:

What You’re Telling Yourself About Your Life is Wrong

That doesn’t mean we can’t choose to change our stories.

That’s where our true power comes from.

Our original stories are programmed by the people and media around us, but we can audit those stories and rewrite them to be whatever we want.

Am I more than all these stories?

I just returned from a vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I was with my husband and a couple hundred other people attending a popular windsurfing race.

My husband competes, but I’m still relatively new to the sport and not yet experienced enough.

I caught my inner voice telling myself all sorts of stories about the experience.

I’m too old to get very good at the sport, I’m too small, I’m not strong enough…

Halt. I just am.

In the midst of all the swirling stories I was telling myself, another voice stepped in and said, “I just am.”

I just am.

Three small words put an end to the voices trying to tell me what I can and cannot do.

Strip away the human-made stories and labels, and we’re left with three small, but powerful words that tell us who we really are.

I just am.

Then I remembered, that’s what God says in the Bible.

“I am that I am.”

That’s the name God gave when asked.

What’s that mean?

“I will be what I will be” or, “I will become whatsoever I may become” are common translations of that phrase.

And if that’s what God is, that’s what you and I are too.

We just are. End of story.

Nothing else beyond those three words has to be true for you or for me. All the thoughts that follow those three words are made up, and because they’re made up, they hold no power over us.

So when that chattering in your mind starts to try to tell you who you are and what you’re capable of, take a stance and tell it, “I just am.”

I just am.

Thanks for reading. After last year’s windsurfing trip, I figured out that we sometimes have to ditch the way everyone else does it and forge our own path. You can read about that here:

I’m Embarrassed It Took My Entire Life To Figure this Out

Visit me at christinebradstreet.com where you can download your free 5-day Mastering Happiness PDF course.

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