We are so often inundated with (false) reminders of what we are not: 

  • I am not pretty enough. 
  • I am not smart enough. 
  • I am not strong enough. 

Which of course then leads us to creating (again, false) facts about ourselves: 

  • I am ugly. 
  • I am dumb. 
  • I am weak. 

You see, there is a sort of power in words, and “I am” are two very powerful words you can say that will change the way you think and feel about yourself – both negatively, and positively. 

The second Sunday in March is National “I Am” Day. This day serves as a reminder to set time aside for daily positive affirmation and self-care. However, when I read the title of the day, “self-care” and “positive affirmation” weren’t exactly what popped into my head. At least not directly. 

What did pop into my head was the “I Am” series by Susan Verde. 

I know we have talked at length about the importance, fun, and inspiration that comes with reading picture books as an adult (alone or with your kids), and I am admittedly hopping on that train with this post.   

“I Am” is a series of books that teach children how to handle big emotions through empathy, compassion, and mindfulness. They also serve as a method of self-care and positive affirmation – teaching kids about authenticity, resilience, and how to make positive change.   

But although these books are for kids, I would argue that they aren’t just for kids.   

These books embody what “National I Am Day” is also trying to embody.   

They help kickstart affirmative thinking in children. It also helps that the phrase “I am” is usually one of the first set of “sight words” that children learn early in school. But I think —just as importantly — these books can serve as reminders for adults.  

For those of us who maybe have forgotten what we are. 

But positive affirmations can be hard for adults.  It can feel a little…silly. There’s a line in the author’s note of Who I Am (a book in the series) that says, “Even if it feels funny at first, think of what you would tell your best friend, and then tell yourself the same thing.” And as someone who is trying to make positive affirmations a regular practice in their life…. I can admit that it feels a little like a “fake it ‘til you make it” situation. Some days I can believe the “I Am” statement with ease – other days, not so much.   

It’s about trying it out and building the habit.  

This post is coming out well past the second Sunday of March, and that’s intentional.  It’s because positive self-talk is something that should be celebrated every day.  In fact, if you visited one of our branches in the winter, you may have picked up one of the Positive Affirmation Cards that were being handed out to help celebrate our Rogue Reads program. 

If standing in front of the mirror and saying “I am smart. I am beautiful. I am worthy” etc. sounds a little too weird right out of the gate – don’t do that.  There are a couple of other things you can do that feel a little less silly. 

  1. Put sticky notes up around the house with “you” statements.  “You are smart” or “You are worthy” etc. They feel more like a note from a friend and sometimes that’s easier to swallow. 
  1. Check out one of the “I Am” books by Susan Verde. You can find them here: I am (Susan Verde) | JCLS