Forgot who you are? Try the pocket mantra

November 6, 2007 at 9:20 pm | Posted in Identity | 2 Comments
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superboy_000003138127large.jpgHow many times have you walked into a room-full of people and felt intimidated and anxious, like you’re a total misfit? If you’re anything like me (especially if you tend toward introversion), you’ve probably been in this miserable situation hundreds of times. Often, we can feel tempted to avoid scenarios like this altogether or adopt a false identity just to survive the extreme discomfort. (Do you relate to the term “social chameleon?”) Either way, we and everyone in the situation with us, loses the opportunity to build authentic relationship.

Here’s the essential truth to remember — no matter what situation you’re in or who you’re with — you’re still you. And no matter where you are on your personal growth continuum, that’s an amazing person to be. No one can take away your strengths and distinctiveness, unless you choose to give them away or hide them.

Here’s an effective way to remind yourself of who you are, especially when you find yourself in challenging circumstances. I call it the pocket mantra, inspired by the Hindu and Buddhist belief that ideas become actualized through the power of speech.

1. Consider your unique strengths. What adjectives capture the heart and soul of who you are or who you want to become? Identify your three most powerful descriptors.

2. Create a card small enough to fit into your pocket or anywhere else you want to put it where you can read it often, i.e., your computer monitor, your car dashboard, your bathroom mirror. Small post-it notes work well.

3. Write on your card (or cards), “I am _____, _____, and _____,” completing the sentence with your unique descriptors.

4. Repeat your pocket mantra aloud several times a day, particularly before you know you’re going to be in a difficult situation or conversation.

These days my pocket mantra is, “I am confident, courageous, and wise.” What’s your’s?



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  1. So funny, I recently had to write a small bio and after that I did a 15 second pitch and as I wrote these I realized who I am and what I’m doing now and what I want to be doing in the days and years ahead. To write and speak these helped clarify my current path. I am kind, compelling and creative.

  2. That’s a great mantra, Chris. You ARE kind, compelling and creative!

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