Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
As a blogger and as a human being it is no surprise to me that our lives are defined by words, but it wasn’t until I started making a conscious effort to choose the words I use wisely and with purpose that I could witness first hand the effect they have. Not only can you improve your life, you can improve the lives of your children by modeling positive thinking and speaking.
I remember discussing the power of words in university. I remember learning in anthropology about how language was key to our development as a species. I found it very fascinating that something doesn’t exist until we label it. I laughed in History of Medicine when I learned that PMS didn’t exist until the Victorian Era when it was coined and women used it as an affliction to gain access to some pretty fun drugs. Hmmm, I thought, no PMS eh?
Recently, I took a course which included a section about the power of language and it really got me thinking about how I can improve my life by changing my words, and I wanted to share it with you so you can try it as well.
Here’s an example. Recently, my husband has taken on a 12 hour shift, which means on my “day off” I have all three kids from morning until night by myself and I have to attempt to not only care for and entertain them, I have to do my laundry, cleaning, groceries and other chores at the same time.
Come Friday people would ask me what my plans were for the weekend to which I would reply “I have to watch the kids for fourteen hours by myself”.
Sounds pretty stinky right?
Of course it does.
But the truth is I don’t have to do anything, I get to.
Technically I could hire a babysitter (of course I can’t afford that) or enroll them in classes (hahaha) or not do the laundry etc. etc. I choose to do it because I am a responsible and organized mother.
Everything I do is a conscious choice that I am making. Rather than frame the statement with “have” to this making it a chore and taking power away from me, I can change it.
I get to watch the kids for fourteen hours by myself.
After all, spending time with my kids is a privilege and having special time with them by myself is a wonderful opportunity.
Another little big change is the word should. Being a busy working mom I will often should myself to death.
I should stop on the way home and pick up more milk.
I should walk the dogs now while the girls are happy.
I should stay up late to finish my report.
Again, using the word should steals your power. It makes you feel like you have little power over the situation leaving you with a bad taste in your mouth.
Instead, by thinking of it as could, all of the sudden you have power again, choice in your decision, and the dialogue goes from negative to positive.
I could stop and get milk.
I could stay up late to finish my report.
I invite you to try this for even a day and see if you feel more empowered and in control. My guess is you will.
A few others to try are:
-Do not use but or exchange it with and.
-Eliminate the word try.
-Stay away from words with a negative stigma like failed
In closing I invite you to share your experiences with words or other substitutions you have found to make a positive difference in the comments section.
Have a great day!