Your Words Are Important

Your language is very important. Not only does it convey your thoughts and feelings to others, it can convey them to you too. What am I talking about? Let’s say you go through the day saying this is hard and that is hard and they’re hard to talk to. You’re describing your day and also sending yourself a message that everything is hard. And since we all like to be right, even subconsciously, everything stays hard.

Fall Back Words
I call words you use over and over again in your day to describe something as a fall back word. It’s your personal go-to description word like hard. When you find yourself using a negative fall back word try to find another way to describe what you’re talking about. Using different language will take some of the sting from the description and things will feel less hard (or whatever your fall back word is).

Saying if indicates you haven’t fully committed to something; that you still have a decision to make about it. In many cases I know that if is entirely intentional. What about all those times when it’s not intentional? If this project is on time we’ll have time for that or if I get to work early I’ll answer that email or if I leave on time I’ll stop at the store. Subconsciously you just told yourself and anyone listening that you’re not committed to the project being on time, getting to work early or leaving on time.

Change your wording to when. So, it becomes when this project is on time we’ll have time for that or when I get to work early I’ll answer that email or when I leave on time I’ll stop at the store. See the difference that makes?

Should or Have To
Stop should-ing all over yourself. I had never heard that phrase until I became a coach and now it’s one of my favorites. You know you say it, I still say it occasionally – I should do this or I have to do that. How do you feel when you say those words? Do you feel heavy, maybe a bit of Ugh! type feeling? A let’s get this over with already feeling? What if you said I want to instead? I want to do this. How does saying that feel? Does it feel a bit lighter? Maybe you’re looking forward to doing it now?

Can’t say I want to do this about something? Find some reasons that you do want to do it. Maybe you want to make that phone call (or send that email) because sitting and worrying about it is much more draining then actually picking up the phone. Or making time to teach someone how to do that task might take you an hour now (when you could do it yourself in 10 minutes), but then you won’t have to do that task 15 times in the next month (you gain 2.5 hours!).

Our words affect how we feel and think about things. Notice when you’re saying these things and ask someone else to nicely point out when you’re using these words. They often creep into our vocabulary when we’re not paying attention.