The Power of Owning It

I had a great weekend, two weeks ago, as the speaker for the women’s retreat of Snohomish Community Church. In one of our discussion sessions, I joined a group where the women were just getting to know one another. One lady, a tall, slim blond, introduced herself saying, “I’m a runner.” Now that isn’t all she said, but those words caught my attention. You see, I’ve been trying to teach myself to run.

I wanted more information. “You’ve probably run all your life — track, cross-country, marathons. Right?”

“No. I’ve never run before.”

My astounded face must have asked for explanation. “I lost ninety pounds, and I started by running.” She looked at another woman on the couch beside her, “I was pretty fat when I joined the church, right?”

“And you ARE a runner? You like it?”

She looked like maybe I’d blown a gasket in my brain. “I love it. I can’t go through a day without it.” Turns out, she runs five to seven miles every day. Her body looks like a long distance runner.

“Did you always love it?”

“No. I hated it when I started. Hated it.”

I could identify with that. I start every run with this phrase, “I hate running. I hate it. I do it because I want to learn. I want to get better. I want to be more lean. But I hate it.”  I started in January with three minute segments on a treadmill. I added one minute to my segments every week. I tell you, it’s a VERY SLOW way to progress. Very slow. I finally made it to outside running, only to discover that I couldn’t even run four minutes outside at a local park. It was crazy. I could do 20 minutes on the treadmill, and NOTHING outside. But I persevered.

Yesterday, I ran 3.68 miles outside without stopping. It was hard. But it was good. I did it.

But would I consider myself a runner? Not hardly. I’d never introduce myself that way. Not today.

And it made me think. What would happen to my running if I stopped hating it and started viewing myself as a runner? And what would happen if I stopped telling myself that I must pray, (and dragging myself into my prayer closet) and started declaring myself to be a prayer warrior? And what would happen if I stopped making myself read the Bible and started seeing myself as a Bible Student? Do you see the power of the phrasing?

Instead of I do this, my friend had chosen to say, “I AM THIS.” The change of wording is more than semantics. It describes identification, commitment, and declares that the thing (prayer, student, runner) has become completely inseparable from the ME.

It has me wondering. Could changing the way I view myself change the way I behave? Could it change the success I experience? Now wouldn’t that be something? Let me know what you think!


2 Responses to “The Power of Owning It”

  1. Cheri Says:

    I will try this new tactic and let you know!
    “I am thin”
    “I am happy”
    “I am …”

  2. Bette Nordberg Says:

    I’ll be waiting to hear. My guess is that as we change the way we view ourselves (and perhaps that comes with perseverance and hard work) we will begin to behave like the person we view ourselves to be. BTW, I ran this morning, and had a good time!

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