How the language you use affects the life you experience.
Are you about to walk into a nightmare or a challenge?
How much are the words that you use predicting your outcomes? The language we use in our heads, and often that which we say out loud, can have a huge impact.
If you think ‘I always walk into a nightmare’, then you will be seeing your world through the filter of – a nightmare. If you think ‘my team are not good enough’ then you will be actively focussing on the ‘not good enough’ parts of the team and your attention will be on these.
Words can make a significant difference – in his book The Achievement Habit, Bernard Roth suggests the following substitution:
- Replace but with and
I want to leave on time but I have a report to write becomes
I want to leave on time and I have a report to write.
But creates conflict and sometimes an excuse, it feels overwhelming and can trigger us. Using and unlinks the two statements and opens the situation so you may see a different way forward, a more positive one with less drama. Here’s another one:
- Replace I’m unsure with I’m going to find out and see what difference it makes to how you feel.
Here are some tips for language change:
- Become more conscious of your internal dialogue, when you are somewhere you won’t be overheard say the words out loud that are going through your head; you will probably shock yourself!
- Notice what negative words you habitually use e.g. nightmare, shocking, difficult, ridiculous.
- Do the ‘best friend’ sense check – if my best friend came to me for advice would I talk to them the way I talk to myself?
- Really consider – how much do I actually create stress and overwhelm for myself?
- Take the 10 day positivity challenge, make sure everything you say or think is positive for 10 days to reset the habit.
- Instead of a swear box set up a negativity box in the office and charge people for negative language – see how much money you raise for a good cause!
Simple tips and techniques for a big impact.