Tuesday, September 27, 2011


As parents, we need to help our teens say, "I am who I say I am" and to teach them how not to internalize all the negative things they may hear said to them or about them.  Instead, they need to remind themselves everyday of all the positive qualities they have.  Today, I am honored to have guest, Mischa Martineau, the creator of I Am Who I Say I Am, who will show you how you can encourage your teen to let go of those negative throughts they have about themselves.

“Look at her she thinks she’s so pretty,” sneered two girls sitting across from me on my first day of junior high. That sentence shot into my heart like a poisonous arrow.

I said to myself, “They hate me.” It didn’t help much when my mom said, “They’re just jealous.” I let the thought … “they hate me”… go viral inside my mind. As I relentlessly turned that thought -- it twisted deeper into my heart pumping poisonous feelings throughout my body – spreading like a virus. The only defense I could think of at the time was: “I’ll never EVER think I am pretty.”

After that, when people told me I was pretty, I defiantly thought, “No I am NOT.” I tried to feel safe by emotionally locking myself up. Good thing it’s impossible to throw away the key.

Now I know. People tell me stuff. I tell myself stuff. What I tell myself creates my feelings and emotions. I can make myself feel sick or I can make myself feel good. How I choose to turn my thoughts is the combination that locks or unlocks my heart.Today when I am hurt -- I write down the negative thought that’s upsetting me. Then I flip it into a positive thought. In this case “They hate me” gets flipped into “They don’t hate me. I don’t know what their problem is. I am focused on the good things about me. I am hanging out with people who value and respect me.”

As I let these I AM thoughts go viral inside my mind – I gain the upward mental traction to feel great about myself. The better I feel the more I action I take. I reach out and connect with positive people. Each action generates more positive I AM thoughts. I am a fabulous person and all the fabulous people know it! I am a conduit of good in the world. I am who I say I am.

Do you have an "I Am" message for your teen today?

Mischa Martineau is the creator of I Am Who I Say I Am a personal training program for life success -- geared toward specific markets including bully prevention.


Brae Craig said...

I don't have teens yet. My oldest is 6, and so far, all of my 3 older ones (youngest is just a baby) have every confidence in the world about themselves. However, I have, on several occasions, worried about their feelings about themselves in the future. I certainly didn't hate myself, but I wasn't bursting with confidence either. This was some good advice. Thanks.

I'm here from voiceboks off to leave an alexa review.

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Anonymous said...

Hi...I subscribe to your blog...I think we've met through VoiceBok.:)
This is a must-read for all parents of tweens and teens...I've posted it to my Facebook and tweeted it. Thanks for having this wonderful guest whose advice is spot-on!

Shannon Milholland said...

Wow - I LOVE this way of thinking. I'm afraid I haven't done as good a job with this as I should but I'm going to work on with my teens.

Kathy said...

Great post!! I have been working on this with my children since they were born. I also work with it myself, changing the voices in my head. Last night my almost teenager ( will be 13 in Dec.) was so frustrated with himself because he failed a test. He is dyslexic and we have worked on his feelings, but he said yesterday, I just feel so stupid, I'm dumb" I let him talk it out a bit, and validated the feeling, "It is so frustrating, you worked hard, ect. Then we worked on reframing the thought, I'm really smart, I have a right to learn this stuff, I'm going for extra help, that is such a smart idea. It is hard to see your children struggle with the same feelings that you remember having, but it's great to have tools to help your teen and yourself!! Thanks for always having such great posts and suggestions!!

Rosann said...

My girls are still very young, but one truth I want to start instilling in their minds is Psalm 139:14 "...I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful..." We should have as much respect for ourselves as our Creator does. It's my hope that if they know this truth deep within, when someone does start nit-picking at them those words will float back into their head and be a source of encouragement to know God made them perfect and wonderful and His opinion is the only one that ultimately matters.

Great post!


Erin said...

What a great way of thinking. I have raised my 6 kids and worked hard to instill confidence and kindness in them. We read books, sang songs, played games about self confidence and how to treat others. I've watched them become self assured adults who know how to be kind and compassionate. I love the way of teaching them to flip those negative thoughts.

NovemberSunflower said...

Best post ever. I just read a book, it's called Mach II with your hair on fire. It touched on the same topic and how we can retrain our brains to be who we want to be and not base it on experiences we have dealt with in the past.
I was always complimented, I still am, but I always roll my eyes when people tell me I look pretty, or I'm beautiful. Now I'm learning, I AM beautiful so just say THANK YOU.
And I've told my husband to dial up the compliments, or else!
Here from members to remember frequent users list on vB.

Becky Jane said...

Thanks for sharing with us on this important topic! I teach my kids that they are literal sons and daughters of God. If they know this, then it won't matter what others say about them.

Golden Butterflyz said...

This is so important given the mixed messages kids are getting today. Our teens need to build up their self esteem so they can make better choices in their lives. I loved this post!

Not Your Ordinary Agent said...

Awesome! Thank you.

GJT said...

I think these thoughts can creep in at any age. I find my son saying things to himself like "I'm stupid" or whatever. And I'm trying to teach him how to nip it in the bud. Likewise, I've been trying to tell my super ego to shut up! Great advice in this post!

Gina from vB

Michelle said...

This is such great information. I don't have teenagers yet, but it can be such a tumultuous time. It's important to help them learn how to internalize the good things. My son is only 7, but he takes so many things to heart. He always get stuck on the "bad things" that people say and do. I think we're going to have a hard time with him, trying to make sure that he internalizes only the good things. Thanks so much for this post. Stopping in from vB MTR!

Mommy LaDy Club said...

I so believe in this, and really worked on it with my step-daughters. I think it made a difference for them, at least I hope so!! Liking yourself and turning negatives into positives is the key to life!

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