Being mindful of what you say to yourself, others, an event or any ‘thing’ shapes how you think and how you feel. If you pay more attention to the way words can shape your brain—you can start to choose your words more carefully to get positive results.
Attributed to the contribution of Tamara Lechner on How Word Choices Affect Your Mind, studies have shown that the way we speak has directly influences our ability to be successful and happy—yet little awareness is brought to the way we speak.
Give you an example. Do you ever tell yourself:
- “I’m such an id*ot!”
- “It’s all my fault!”
- “It’s all because of them that I feel this way …”
These thoughts demonstrates self-blaming, name-calling and shame–rather than demonstrating proactiveness, or solutions-thinking. What does it feel like to recite those thoughts to yourself? It likely feels frustrating and hopeless. What we tell ourselves, reveals the way we approach life.
What if you recited the following phrases when something goes wrong in your career and relationships?
- “Okay, I was responsible. What can I do now?”
- “I wonder what I’m missing here … that might help me understand what’s happening better?”
- “How can I do things differently?”
Notice how much more useful these questions are.
A great poet and writer Hafiz said, “The words you speak become the house you live in. Our question is for you is …
What house would you love to build?
Here’s an extract from the written piece by Tamar Lechner with some simple yet profound tips on what to pay attention to, and how to shift your word choices to a more empowering state (Source: www.lifehack.org/293677/how-word-choices-transform-your-mind).
The most powerful word in your vocabulary…YET.
Often we make statements like “I can’t speak French” or “I don’t know how to lose weight” but by adding one little word, yet, to the end of each sentence you change the sentiment from something you cannot do to something you aspire to do. Your brain recognizes the subtle difference between a hopeless statement and one that suggests that at a future time it will happen. Whenever you start something new, remember this helper word to make sentences stronger and more hopeful. For example, “I don’t know anything about economics yet” or “I haven’t run a marathon yet.”
Take BUSY out of your life.
The word busy has certainly become a buzzword of this generation. We aspire to be busy as though it proves that we are doing important things and not wasting our lives. Busy implies doing a lot or even struggling to complete all that needs to be done. I suggest replacing busy with productive or full. This simple switch empowers you to have a results that you control without implied turbulence. Getting the hurry gone and slowing down mentally actually makes us more effective at multitasking. Don’t have busy days — have productive days!
No more SHOULDs.
The word should doesn’t imply a positive action. It gives external focus as to why you are doing what you are doing. If you want to act from a place of personal strength the impetus needs to come from within. Replacing your shoulds with get to, going to, or can creates a much stronger statement of intention. For example, don’t say you should be studying but that you are going to study. Thinking really carefully about the source of the should is a great exercise. It might be our peers, our parents, our culture or religion that has caused us to think we should do something. If that should doesn’t align with what we really want then is it actually something we want to do?
No more I’ll TRY.
Yoda had it right when he said “Do or do not. There is no try.” Try implies that you probably won’t do it or be successful. Take try right out of your vocab to adopt a more positive and powerful mindset. If you intend to do something, do it. If you have no intention of doing something then own that. By speaking your truth you align with your inner-self and actually start to recognize more clearly what you want to do in your life.
Start talking positively (aka no more negative)
When you move towards what you want rather than away from what you want, you speak with a much more powerful voice. Instead of saying “I have to stop dating losers” say “I will date people who bring out my best”. Instead of saying.” Stop arguing with your brother” say “I would love to hear you speak kindly to one another.”