“The pen is mightier than the sword.”It seems like these two sayings are a little bit opposed to each other. The first one is a rhyme that children might say in a schoolyard to downplay the impact of unkind words said to them by any kid. Maybe they realise on some level that taking the sting out of unkind words, is essential for their future happiness.
The second statement is a realisation that words can have an enormous impact that can do more damage than your typical sword wielding maniac. This is what I have come to learn and know with absolute certainty. The language we use impacts our emotions and behaviour; and therefore impacts our lives.
So here are some of the words I work with my clients on being more conscious of, in order to propel their success, and to let go of the stuff that is not swerving them.
The Power of Words – Tip #1: Where are you starting from?
This was something that was very obvious to me with a client the other day.
They started a lot of sentences with: “To be honest…”
Other versions I have heard is: “The truth is…” or “The reality is…”.
Now starting with a phrase like that ‘implies’ (or presupposes) that everything that follows that statement is: truthful, useful, factual, the reality, chiseled in stone, etc.
Can you see where I am heading?
What I find is that in many cases the words that follow such a profound, all encompassing statement, are in the vast majority of cases ABSOLUTE RUBBISH!!!
They are the person’s perceptions, or beliefs, or guesses, or fantastical stories about the future, or views based on a limited experience, or incorrect information, or future self-fulfilling prophecies.
DON’T GIVE POWER TO THINGS THAT ARE NOT 100% TRUE, 100% OF THE TIME!!!!!
This process of starting statements with a ‘to be honest’ or similar causes someone to stop THINKING. To stop being curious. To stop to consider whether the past actually has to equal the future (which it definitely does not). To stop to consider the known facts. To stop to consider that what happened for one person is no guarantee of it happening for everyone.
So…be VERY CONSCIOUS of what you prefix your statements with as they may be leading you in the completely wrong direction and causing you significant emotional angst.
The Power of Words – Tip #2: I have said this before, and I will say it again…:-)
Just straight out remove the word ‘SHOULD’ from your vocabulary.
I have removed it from my vocabulary and it has not made me sound like a babbling uneducated idiot. My sentences still make sense. It has also provided me with more freedom, joy, relaxation, and control of my life.
Do YOU love being told what to do?
Does it make you smile and be happy and love life?
My guess is that you are like most people and are not a big fan of being told what to do.
As psychologists will tell you. us humans LOVE autonomy. It provides us with a feeling that we are in control of our lives. It makes us feel GOOD.
The word SHOULD creates the opposite feeling. When you say ‘should’ you are no longer in control of your life, but are being directed by forces external to yourself. You no longer have autonomy. You are not making your own choices. You are controlled by someone or something else.
Remove ‘I should…’
Replace it with ‘I choose to…’
When an ‘I should’ slips out of your mouth, just stop. Back up. And then see what it FEELS like to say ‘I choose to’ or ‘I choose not to’. How does that power feel? Much better?
Don’t just take my word for it. Try it. It is VERY liberating. 😉
The Power of Words – Tip #3: Two of the most powerful words in English
These are the two most influential words I know:
Treat them with reverence. Treat them with delicacy. Use them when your mind is actually fully engaged.
Be conscious not to attach anything to the end of ‘I AM’ that disempowers you.
For instance. I AM…
– Not smart
– Not good enough
– Not worthy
– Never going to figure this out
– Never lucky
Instead, make subtle changes to statements like these. So they read more like:
– I am becoming smarter very day by expanding my knowledge.
– I am getting better every day by doing the inner work.
– I am worthy of love because I am unique and special.
– I am good at figuring things out because of my powerful mind (& being humble enough to ask for help).
– I am getting luckier every day.
The other trick with the very powerful I AM words is to make up your own empowering statements, like:
– I am expanding in abundance every day.
– I am self healing.
– I am limitless.
– I am an adventurer who faces each day with excitement.
– I am in love with life.
Don’t believe your thoughts. Just because you have them (about 60,000+ a day) don’t think they are true. A lot of times they are random ideas that the brain generates to try and explain what your body is feeling. The brain is a great tool but it is not always right.
The subconscious parts of your brain are SO focused on survival, they will tell you stuff just to keep you in the comfort zone. Also known as the familiar zone. Also known as the past. Feel free to watch your thoughts as they fly past and then disappear back into the ether.
Create a new future by creating new (conscious) thoughts and then getting attached to those thoughts that are taking you forward. Into and beyond the unknown.
The secret is to slow down your conversations internally and externally and get clear about what you are TRULY saying. Are your words helping you or hindering you?
Are your words helping you to feel great or causing you to feel bad?
Words ARE powerful. So use them wisely. As I know you will. 😉
And on that note, these are my final words…
Have a super awesome day and take care!!!