The power of words
For the next 7 days, try saying little and listen more. Imagine that each word is really precious and 'less is more'. Therefore, say less, but say it really carefully with thought and know that each thing you say is worth its weight in gold and will hold a lot of importance. Not only think about saying a little, but think about the kind of language you are using.
For example, let’s say you use the word 'conflict' to describe a meeting. This implies people on opposite sides of the table, entrenched and dug in like a battle scene. What would you expect from these interactions? Something negative I bet! Well then, guess what you are going to get from that meeting?? Some hostile interactions I'm guessing. What we say and think is so powerful that it becomes our reality.
What if, you reprogram conflict to ‘discussion’? Suddenly the disagreements can become fun and food for thought and much friendlier. I was once having trouble confronting someone, and I spoke to a mentor about this saying 'I am terrible at conflict'. Her response… ’no-body likes conflict. The difference is that others view it as a discussion and you view the same thing as a conflict. No wonder you dread it. Change it to a discussion and see what happens. A discussion looks for a win-win outcome, rather than conflict which is egoistic and unfriendly - and there is one winner and one loser.’ Those words remain with me today and help me every-time I need to have a difficult conversation.
The words we use give us an insight into our thoughts and behaviour – as well as the outcomes that flow out from us. By consciously choosing words, they can change how we think, our state and more importantly, our outcomes.
This week, use only positive language. Some words to avoid:
- Never – 'Never' is setting yourself up for failure even before you start. Use 'it will' instead.
- Try – This tells your subconscious mind that you 'may' or 'may not' – either choose to do it or not.
- Can't – 'Can't' makes you feel powerless. Use 'can' or 'will' instead.
- Have to – This makes you feel like you don’t have a choice and can make you feel resentful or powerless. Use 'I choose to' instead. This makes you feel powerful again.
Start reprogramming your mind and outcomes with the language you use. Words are so powerful; they are our spoken thoughts and programs running in our head which lead to our experiences. If you find that you can’t re-program your words and thoughts out of negativity, then you can read some good re-programming books. Alternatively, hypnotherapy or neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) or a daily gratitude practice can help.
If you want a lasting change, a good coach can help examine and reprogram these beliefs that you hold. Use our search tool to find a coach near you and start your journey. Watch your relationships become friendlier, the discussions become easier and more productive, and your experiences become much more pleasant.