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Language That Sabotages You

“Language exerts hidden power, like the moon on the tides.”  Rita Mae Brown

Following five hours in a car last week, listening to some very random conversations, I was inspired to write about, how our language can sabotage us.

‘I can’t’ – how many times a day do you hear that?  It is such a common phrase that often gets used to avoid things that we don’t want to do, or deal with.  Imagine how liberating it would be, to stop automatically saying ‘I can’t’, and start thinking about what is actually possible.  Because if it’s not 100% impossible, it must be possible!

‘I don’t know’ – this is a great way to keep stuck.  Have you had a conversation with somebody who keeps saying ‘I don’t know’, or ‘it’s up to you’, or ‘I’m not sure’?

Similar to the ‘I cant’s’, ‘I don’t know’ helps us to avoid taking responsibility for our decisions, which can be problematic.  You are handing the power of your choices over to somebody else rather than saying ‘this is what I’d like…’.

Commit to banning the phrases ‘I can’t’ and ‘I don’t know’ from your general vocabulary.  Save it for the times that are reasonable, like with something that is physically impossible, or with a question that you actually don’t know the answer to.

‘Try’ – this is interesting because ‘try’ shows that you are attempting to do something, e.g. ‘I’m going to try really hard’, but it’s a subtle way of being negative as well.  It gives you an option not to do it, and has the potential of being non-committal.  Consider how you can replace ‘try’ with ‘I am going to do this’, or ‘I will do this’, and see how differently that feels.

‘I should…’, ‘I must…’, or ‘I need to…’ – It’s like you’re creating this list of things that you feel beholden to do, but do you ever get round to them?  These phrases are a way to create resistance in your life, give yourself a hard time and feel like a failure.

Instead look at the ways that you can use language in a useful way, e.g., instead of saying ‘I should’, say ‘I’m going to’ or ‘I’m choosing to’.  This way, you are making a commitment to yourself; and bonus, you will be a lot more productive.

‘But’ – how often do you hear the little ‘but’ in statements?  ‘I’m pleased with what I’ve done, but…’  ‘But’ is a brilliant way to belittle any positive achievement, they creep into sentences and negate all the good things and enhance the issues.

Stop using ‘but’ by replacing it with ‘and’, e.g., ‘I’m pleased with what I’ve achieved today and I’m going to finish off the rest of the job tomorrow’.

‘Quite’ – the use of the word ‘quite’ in a sentence dilutes what you are feeling, it is also confusing to your brain.  For example, if you say you are ‘quite happy’, are you happy or not?  Instead, allow yourself to fully commit to positive feelings by getting rid of the ‘quite’.

Test this out – say to yourself ‘I’m quite happy today’, now say ‘I’m happy today’ – how different did that feel?  It makes a difference by firing up your positive neurology and it feels good.

How you use language will impact on how you feel, how you behave, and what action you take during your day – choose your words carefully.

If you want to learn how the Lightning Process uses language to support your health and life, contact us to find out how we can help you.