Have you ever watched a preschool teacher or parent instruct a 2 or 3 year old to use their words? The child is bellowing noise or perhaps crying crocodile tears but no one can figure out what they need, so they are asking him to use his words. Or in my case, when our oldest son was two he would point at the refrigerator and grunt when he wanted milk and point at a toy and grunt when he wanted to play. Finally, I realized this kid needed to start using his vocabulary. He knew the word milk and toy but it was just as effective to point and grunt. So I began to ask him to use his words and then I waited for those words before I responded to his need. (Side note: He’s a free lance writer now. He learned the lesson of using his words, well!)
This week I was in a conversation with some fellow coaches. One of them was urging us to help people change their language. Instead of saying, “I’m so tired of arguing with you,” say “I want peace in our relationship.” Instead of saying, “I hate my job,” say “I want to find work I enjoy.” This change in language forces us to think of active ways to change and not wallow in our circumstance. As Robin Sharma said, “Words can inspire and words can destroy. Choose yours well.”
A few years back many of us saw a popular YouTube video posted by Andrea Gardner on The Power of Words. Few of us saw the follow up video she posted that demonstrated how changing our words would change our world. It’s just over a minute long, watch it right now.
Words are the outpouring of our beliefs. What you verbalize either out loud or in your head indicates what you are believing at that moment. Last week, a good friend of mine gave me a gift. It was a sign that said, “She believed she could, so she did.” What you are believing is what you will become. Your words are pointing to what you are believing. Find phrases that you are saying to yourself today that are not inspiring you. “I can’t get this right.” “I’m so stupid.” “This is never going to change.” Your words may be slowly robbing you of energy and capacity. Change the language so that it is moving you toward something, not keeping you stuck in something.
WORDS: So innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne
Take the challenge today to use your words for good, even the words you are speaking to yourself.
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