Choose your words carefully
I caught up with a friend on Friday evening, a gorgeous summer evening on a terrasse in the posh old 16th, breaking bread, chewing the fat, shootin' the breeze. Not sure how we got there but we ended up on the topic of language and how important it is to our mental state, drive and ability to achieve goals. In fact, I think I picked her up on her use of the word 'should'.
Evil damn word, 'should'. I have almost entirely eliminated it from my vocabulary since the day a school friend said "You should come to the party". I came to the party. She was distinctly uncomfortable to see me there. What she had said to me was clearly not what she had meant. From that day forth, I have come to recognise that 'should = lack of intention.'
There is no good in should*
It's the word of procrastination - "I should start looking for another job" = "I should, but I am kind of comfortable where I am and it will take a lot of effort."
It's flimsy. There is no weight of intention behind it - "I should go home" = "I should, but I am having such a blast right here."
It's the word of judgement - "I should save for a rainy day" = "I should, but I'd really rather expand my mind and experiences by taking another trip."
It's the word of lack of confidence - "I should start my own business," = "I should, but I might not be able to do it / I might fail / I might lose money / [insert own limiting belief].
Consider my all-time favourite quote:
"The mind is everything; what you think, you become" - Buddha
Language is intrinsically tied to how and what we think, defining our thoughts and reality. It's how our cultures have been formed. It's how the holy books began. In Conscious Language, The Logos of NOW, Robert Tennyson Stevens describes Conscious Language as "...the science of choosing the words that express our true intent, and knowing that our words are the quantum templates of health, abundance, peace and relationships." Language has been vital in history to describe our stories, our cultures, our experiences, our ideas. It is not coincidence that many cultures rely heavily on story-telling to this day - through history and on, these cultures understand the power of language,
In essence, Stevens' book gives guidance to re-frame one's language from negative, limiting sentiment to upgrade it to positive, affirming, expansive words, since, as he writes, "limiting language shapes reality by shaping our consciousness".
Witness the use of 'I can't'. To use another well-known quote:
"If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you are right" - Henry Ford
While the quote is quite a clumsy one, the sentiment is clear - whatever you think, either way, you are right. It's a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Think before you open your mouth
Sounds like something your mother said, I know. Given the power of language, she was right. Take some time to think about your own language and how it could be limiting your thoughts, beliefs and consquently your ability to achieve all you desire.
List all the words and phrases you commonly use and re-frame them - spin them into more positive, affirming phrases.
Conscious language to use instead are words like:
I am, I can, I will, I choose, I love, I create, I enjoy, I imagine.
There are many more ways and phrases to upgrade your language and I thoroughly recommend Robert Tennyson Stevens' book to start changing your reality with language.
And I have another whole blog in me about the difference between 'wish' and 'desire' - that's for another time!
*This rather catchy phrase was created on Friday night. Amazing how a couple of friends, food and wine can fuel one's creativity!
Book a free one hour 1:1 Business Breakthrough session with me to help you fast-track your path to entrepreneurship.