To be or not to be… how are you labeling yourself?

Before you start, if you want to read this article in Spanish (🇦🇷) you can go here.

In March of 2022 I started the Ontological Coaching career and since the first day my brain is like this: 🤯. I thought I was going to learn how to ask questions to coach other people, and that was it, but that expectation was very low and far from reality.

The formal definition of the discipline is:

Ontological coaching is an emerging discipline that enables a different way of interpreting people, their way of acting, of relating, and achieving those goals proposed for themselves, their companies and also the society in which they live. One of the pillars on which it’s based, is that language not only describes reality, but thanks to it we can build new realities.

What are you saying?… That I can create new realities with my words? 😱

Don’t worry, I’m not lying 😇, and here’s the first tool you can use to change your reality.

I am vs. I am being

We label ourselves all the time, sometimes without even realizing it.

“I’m good”, “I’m funny”, “I’m disorganized”, “I’m not good at learning X thing”, “How silly I am that I don’t get X thing”, “I’m distrustful”, “I’m excellent at my job”, and many other “I am’s”.

By saying that “I am” a certain way I’m making it seem permanent and that there is no chance I’ll change. For good things it’s great, for example: “I’m a good person”, I’ll always be a good person and it’s not something I want to change. But… for the bad things? It’s not so great 😵‍💫.

For example, if I convince myself that “I’m disorganized”, I’m closing the door in the face of change, even though it’s something momentary and that can be changed if one wants to.

How can you change it and be organized? That will depend on you, and in other articles I’ll share with you some tools to change your beliefs, but for now there is a tiny effort you can make: don’t label yourself for the rest of your life.

The trick is to change “I am” to “I am being”.

“I’m being disorganized” is accurate to the reality: I have a messy desk, I can’t find my stuff, I have no idea what I’m going to do tomorrow at my job, and I have a delivery due 3 days ago. But it doesn’t limit my possibilities. Today I’m being disorganized, tomorrow I don’t know. Maybe I’ll continue like that or maybe in the next weeks I’ll learn to organize myself better and I won’t be disorganized anymore, but it’s not forever, it’s not determinant and that’s what matters 🙌.

You can extrapolate the same to any other example that applies to you, and also to how you label other people. You have to be very careful with that…

How many times have we said to a colleague, a friend, a son, “you are” followed by something not so nice? 😕

Know that everything we’ve seen so far applies to other people, and that with the use of our words we can either empower them into something good or completely tear them down and label them forever.

So, the idea is that you take from here that small but important change in the way you express yourself and that you practice it whenever you can, to change the habit of labeling yourself and others in things that don’t make your life better 👎. You might even accidentally say an “I am” that you don’t want to, but you can always correct it on the fly 🏋️‍♀️.

If you feel like it, I invite you to share in the comments 1 “I am” that you are saying to yourself and that you feel like changing based on what you read here, and how you would reformulate it into “I am being” (although it may seem obvious, it’s the first step to practice it 😅).

In the next article we’ll see what we can do when “we already tried everything and nothing worked” 😮.

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