I remember when our boys were small and we encouraged them to ‘use your words’ instead of acting out emotions such as anger or frustration.
When was the last time you really listened to the words you use when talking with others, and even more important: when talking with yourself?
Coaching training taught me to listen very carefully to people’s choice of words. Often we’re unaware of the words we use, yet these words are extremely powerful. As Mahatma Gandhi said:
Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.
3 words to change your thoughts and actions
Here are 3 words I encourage you to listen for. Listen while you’re talking with friends, co-workers and family. Stop and listen to your self-talk, both silent and out loud. Pick one or two words that you want to use more often and replace negative words and thoughts with positive actions as you develop life-long habits that allow you to live a happy and joyful life.
Should. I remember the first time I heard the phrase: ‘shop shoulding all over yourself’, and resolved to limit my use of this negative word. Should implies outside influence for something that we’re not quite convinced we want to do. Replace ‘should’ with ‘will’ or even better ‘want’ and watch your energy levels change.
Try. Try is one of those weasel words that if we’re truly honest with ourselves means ‘I’m not going to do this’. Replace ‘try’ with ‘will’ , ‘want’ or ‘am’ and you’ll follow through with your goals.
Can’t. When we say “I can’t do ____” we’ve given up before we even started. I’ve heard women change “I can’t run 1 mile without stopping” to “I’m learning to increase my endurance” and the next thing I know they’re finishing a half-marathon. Instead of setting yourself up for failure with the word ‘can’t’ use words that describe learning and gradually making changes.
- I’m learning to……
- I’m changing my habits to……
- I’m deciding to…….
Language is a powerful tool that we can harnass to reach our personal goals. Make language work for you starting today.
Want to gain more insights into how you can energize your life, change habits, and increase your health and wellness? Join my new coaching group Flourish After 40. Registration for the 12-week group coaching program held on the phone is only $125 when you register by February 15th.