Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny. —Frank Outlaw
We use words all the time; we use them to convey our ideas to other people and influence them. Countless leaders used words to motivate people and to ultimately cause them to behave in a certain way. What we aren’t always aware of is that words are influencing us the moment we utter them.
You can learn a lot just from listening to someone else talk. For example, if he uses the word fear or anxiety a lot it means that it’s probably a big part of his experience.
We all know how changing our job title to something like manager can improve our feelings even if we do the same job and earn the same salary. The only thing changed was the name that gave us a feeling of importance. When we feel better we are likely to preform better.
Words create a lot of our beliefs and they can also reveal them. For instance, if someone says “I’m that way because…” or “if you go out without a coat you’ll catch a cold”, he is expressing his beliefs.
Let’s do a little experiment, say the word fear for 30 seconds. How do you feel? Are you afraid? To cancel the negative effect say the word love for a minute.
This exercise shows us that by changing our words we can instantly change how we feel and thus change how we act. I want to clarify that words just like emotions are an energy form; they aren’t good or bad. However, some words will assist you to achieve what you desire and others won’t.
Different people use different words to describe the same situations and therefore they experience different emotions which cause them to act differently. What changed wasn’t the event but rather the words they used.
When we use a certain word it becomes our experience even if it wasn’t at the beginning. We categorise our emotions to ease our thinking process; however, by doing so we force the category on the emotion. For example, if you felt uncomfortable and you called it fear it would become fear.
One of the reasons that people become similar to their friends and people that they spend a lot of time with is because they begin to use their friends’ words. Moreover, if you don’t have a way of representing something then you can’t experience it.
In order to change our lives we need to know what words to use instead of the “negative” ones. In addition just to completely omit certain words from our vocabulary.
Instead of ‘I hate something’ use ‘I prefer something else’. Instead of ‘I fear something’ use ‘I feel uncomfortable or excited’ when this happens. Instead of saying ‘I’m angry’ say ‘I’m slightly bothered’. When someone asks you how do you feel or how do you do, instead of saying ‘OK’ you can say ‘excellent or wonderful’. That will surely change how you feel.
Instead of saying ‘it stinks’ say ‘it’s a little smelly’. Instead of ‘disappointment’ use ‘delay’. Instead of ‘lonely’ use ‘available’. Instead of ‘failure’ say ‘feedback or learning’. Instead of ‘depression’ say ‘not really at my peak’.
These are just some of the examples you can use. Make it a game, play with it and try to come up with funny and positive alternatives. It will help you moderate your negative feelings and increase the positive. This doesn’t mean that you will never feel anger or fear, these emotions are useful in certain situations. It means that anger and fear won’t be your first choice.