The words we use can make or break us.
When it comes to causing success or fulfillment, language is often overlooked. The words we use have such distinct power, yet much of what we say is loose, frivolous, and not at all deliberate—ignoring the price we pay as a result.
Much of what we do is driven by unconscious behavior, not conscious. The subconscious mind is influenced only by what it hears, not what it is true. When we fail to appreciate just how keen these senses are, we are at the mercy of a cascade of disempowering thoughts. Given how we spend most of our days reacting with emotion, we slowly hypnotize ourselves into forming beliefs we never actually screened.
Examining my use of language has been as rewarding as it's been uncomfortable. I identified a several patterns that weren’t aligned with my greater purpose, and began working to interrupt them.
Apropos of clear and concise communication, I want to share with you five of most beneficial patterns you can employ immediately to begin shifting the outcomes you experience in life.
1. Keep Your Past In Your Past
As I mentioned before, your subconscious mind is always paying attention. Even when you’ve checked out mentally, its still quietly listening.
A common phrase I utter is, “I struggle with ____________.”
This acknowledges struggle as something real and true. When in fact, it’s simply a temporary feeling I have in the moment. By reinforcing it however, the thoughts and feelings associated perpetuate.
We can place this statement in the past by transforming it into, “I’ve struggled with _____________ in the past.”
This is now a much more empowering statement, and one that has no impact on the present moment — clearing up space for a new feeling or possibility to ensue.
2. Trade But For And
Everyone wants to be successful to some degree. Whether it’s work, relationships, spirituality, or simply being content with the self, we have very compelling reasons to make things happen.
We all have very good excuses, also. Consider the following statement:
“I want to start a business, but I don’t know how.”
The human, OCD side kicks in and connects the dots — assuming the two are in surefire relation and nothing can be done to change it. Within this collapsed mode of speech, an irrevocable lid is placed on the potential for accomplishment. Disassociate the two, and you have you have a much more empowering statement for your cognition, exemplified here:
“I want to start a business, and I don’t know how.”
No less or more true. Simply more room to work.
3. Can’t Versus Won’t
There’s not much power in saying you can’t do something. It communicates a message that there’s nothing to be done about it, and what’s so is what will remain. There both a lack of control and a lack responsibility present.
Using “won’t” as a replacement is indicative of choice, which is much more empowering.
Every time “can’t” is used, it registers in the subconscious as a weakness. Leveraging “won’t” instead, and it simply registers as opting for an alternative.
4. Drop should, need, have to in favor of get to, want to, choose to
I’ve written on this subject before. It’s pretty clear that the bar is set awfully low in terms of things we have to do in life — eat, sleep, hydrate, regulate, to name a few.
Apart from caveman fundamentals, it’s all choice. But we don’t communicate to ourselves that way.
We speak to ourselves in a constricting, limiting manner that adds to the stockpile of overwhelm building in our minds. Eventually, the thing blows up.
Keeping as much space clear in our minds — for creation — is critical. If we don’t, we get more of the same and nothing new.
I’ve found the tendency to use “need” trumps the others most often. Raising awareness and sensitivity to this word, quickly moving to insert a more powerful replacement, will do wonders for your stress management.
Goodbye, Anxiety. I don’t need you anymore.
5. Highlighting the positive wherever possible
This is especially helpful when dealing with other people — most notably, difficult ones. The path to harmonious relationships can be treacherous, but it’s not impossible.
By default, our comparative and self-imposing psyche latches immediately onto the negative when referencing others— if for no other reason than to fulfill an outdated survival mechanism, effectively communicating the likelihood that we outlast a most certain apocalyptic crisis over anyone else (this is the ridiculousness we’re up against, folks).
So much so that the phrase “I hate people” is commonly thrown around in conversation today, as if it has no consequence whatsoever.
I, like you, am literally programming my mind with the audio I feed it. I cannot afford to be careless. Especially with the words I utter, as these are far more responsive to identification.
People don’t suck. They just aren’t perfect. What I focus on, I’m going to feel. If I look hard enough, I can find something good in just about anybody.
By highlighting the positive— especially in reference to others — I’m not stopping myself. There’s nothing in the way between me and being a kind, compassionate, loving person towards everyone I meet.
Which at the end of the day, isn’t that all what we’re here for? To make a difference?
You may have qualms about one or all of the items listed above, and that’s perfectly fine. I’m not telling you what to do, for I can only share what’s made a difference for me.
All I can say is I don’t have as many self-defeating thoughts anymore, I’m far more confident when I speak, and things that seemed impossible before are now clearly within reach or have already been attained.
Sure, others factors have played their roles but we cannot multi-task. We have to take it one step at a time. And transforming my words, which now set outcomes in motion, proved to be a fantastic place to start.
I’m not done, either. This is a campaign. I have to monitor my word on a near second-to-second basis, which may sound over-the-top, but we adapt and get better — resulting in less effort over time.
Suspend judgment. Play full-out. And see what happens for yourself.