I have a good memory for spelling, but I never spell ‘exercise’ correctly on the first try. It’s one of those words.

Here’s a thinking/writing exercise I found:

I am

I have

I need

I do not need

Here’s mine for today.

I am:
anxious and brave
thoughtful and conscientious
cautious but not stuck
trying very hard
resourceful and creative
hard-working and intelligent

I have:
a safe place to live
good friends who remind me of what I deserve
food to eat
diverse interests to keep me occupied
times of doubt and fear
the resilience and patience to keep moving forward
love for myself and others
a body that I can work with
feelings of self-worth
a life ahead of me

I need:
to stop and think about why I feel fear
to continue building up my boundaries and sense of self
to interrupt harmful self-talk
to take take time to be alone
to reach out to friends when I feel isolated
to surround myself with people who communicate in healthy ways
to do things that make me feel happy
to accept vulnerability
to examine myself critically but compassionately
to pursue new learning experiences
to go at my own pace
to remind myself that good things happen
to believe in my future

I do not need:
to compare myself to societal standards of success
to absorb the feelings of those who surround me
to always agree with my friends
to be responsible for the people I care about
to feel guilty about doing things for myself
to feel ashamed when something doesn’t go well
to make everyone like, hear, or understand me
to be selfless
to look perfect
to behave perfectly
to hold myself back
messages that create shame around body image, eating, and exercise
tons more materials things
or shame over acquiring some material things that I like

I had the most trouble with “I am”. It felt uncomfortable to make decisive, defining statements about myself. I’ve always felt weird using adjective for myself, but that is the approach I took. I could have said things like “I am a good cook” and “I am usually good at spelling”. It might be worth it to try this exercise (I did it right!) again another day and see what changes.

Do you like my list? (It’s ok if you don’t. I do.)

Will you be trying this out?

Do you want to share some of your results?