We’re talking to ourselves all the time. Nattering away in our brains for the large part of the day. Have you ever stopped to think how your internal dialogue is affecting the way you feel about yourself, what you’re doing in your life and ultimately, the quality of life you have? The impact of the language we use on the way we feel and consequently, the actions we take is massive! There is much research on the link between our language and our levels of success, positive mental health, performance and relationships (Psychology Today has some great articles on the topic).
It takes time and effort to make fundamental changes to the thought paradigms we’ve held for most of our lives BUT, there are some quick and clever ways that you can start making some serious leaps forward in your mindset work, and I’m going to show you how by removing three simple words from your vocabulary:
This is a funny old word, four little letters and it’s one of the most judgemental words you can come across. When you use ‘Must’, it comes with a lot of unnecessary pressure. By saying I ‘must’ go for a run, it has an undertone of force (something no one likes to feel). But if you replace ‘Must’ with ‘Could’, the energy changes completely. ‘Could’ has possibility and opportunity. By using ‘Could’ instead of ‘’Must’, you’re inviting in freedom and allowing your brain to open up and think of creative ideas and solutions, for example, ‘I could go for a run. I could also go for a swim. I could even read my book now and do that HIIT class I love later’. This thought pattern is much more motivating and exciting than the rigidity of ‘Must’, and I’m willing to bet you’ll get much better results too.
Another absolute word that tramples all opportunity in its wake. Think about the times when you use the word ‘Always’. Often, it’s when something not so awesome has happened – ‘My boss is always late for my meetings’, ‘I always get dumped with the sh** jobs to do’. This language reinforces our negative beliefs and renders us victims in the situation. If we take this word out of our repertoire, what are we left with? We’re left with fluidity, with situations that change and outcomes that are different depending on the circumstances.
When we don’t use ‘Always’, we’re left with a situation that carries a lot less meaning. Its just something that has happened and can be attributed to many different factors. The next time something bad happens, refrain from saying something like ‘You ALWAYS do this’ or ‘This ALWAYS happens to me’. When you don’t use ‘Always, see what creative ways of seeing the situation enter your consciousness.
This word can often serve as a mask to hide behind. I’ve used it a lot myself. ‘I can’t start my own business as I don’t have enough corporate experience yet’, ‘I can’t go to the gym because I don’t have time’. It’s very easy to use the word ‘Can’t’ as it takes away our responsibility in the situation. But what if you stop using the word Can’t? You’re then able to understand what the real reason is you’re not doing something – is it that you can’t or you won’t? and if it’s the latter, why? Are you not able to do something? And if so, what is stopping you from being able to do it?
Let’s take my example ‘I can’t start my own business because I don’t have enough corporate experience’. It wasn’t that I couldn’t, of course I could. There were no barriers preventing me. It’s because I wouldn’t start my own business – why? Because I was afraid, and why was I afraid? Because I didn’t feel good enough, clever enough, special enough. Once I took away ‘can’t’ from the equation, I could look at the real reason behind my decision and I was then empowered to address the reason. Next time you use the word ‘can’t’, challenge yourself to use a different word and see how quickly you get to the reason behind your block.
We’re talking to ourselves all day, we can be our greatest cheerleaders and our most soul-destroying critics. What we say to ourselves has the ability to propel us into action, creating, doing, living and loving the life of our wildest dreams. OR, it can leave us feeling lost, stuck, anxious and alone, it just depends on the thoughts we choose and the language we use. Try these simple language swops that need little more than some practice but can render big changes in your happiness and the choices you make.
Holly is a Career and Mindset Coach, helping people to shift their mindset and start making decisions that feel right. To find out more and have a chat, please get in touch
Thank you @Paullywooten for the image x