It’s been scientifically proven that our words affect our psychology!
Did you know that a single positive word can strengthen our brains cognitive functioning?
Did you know that a single negative word can increase the activity in the fear centre of our brain?
Negative words interrupt and shut down our logic and reasoning areas of our brain. These words don’t even have to be said even if there’s a thought of them they effect us. Pretty powerful stuff if you use it to your advantage.
Recently during one of our ‘business coaching’ sessions with leaders of a business we spoke about the use of language when talking with their direct reports and being cognisant of the words they choose. Eg. Do you really need to say “I’m so disappointed” instead you might say “I’m feeling under-whelmed’. Your message is still out there however the emotionally intensity has been dampened.
Use this knowledge during your working day as well as with yourself. “How” you might ask??? Well I’m glad you asked.
Make a list of the emotionally charged words that you normally use. When I say emotionally charged this could be in a good or positive sense or a negative or dis-empowering sense. With the positives look to ramp up the emotionally intensity and with the negatives look to soften them.
Example (list thanks to Tony Robbins).
|Negative expression||Transforms to…||Good word||change to (great word)…|
|Anxious||a little concerned||Curious||fascinated|
|Depressed||not on top of it||Fantastic||fabulous|
|Failure||stumbled||Glad||over the moon|
The list goes on, what can you come up with? The words you use shape your destiny. What will your destiny look like???
Make a conscious effort to make a change for 1 month then reevaluate and add more words to your list…
You might like to also give the following a try – it goes hand in hand with the above.
Have you ever lived with anyone and as you are walking out the door they call out “Don’t forget the milk/bread”. I know I have, I say a few times to myself “Don’t forget the bread”… “Don’t forget the milk”. Little did I know back then that I was self-sabotaging!
My brain (and yours) only remembers what it considers the most important information (our brains process 5 ± 2 chunks of information at any one time). It processes out what it considers redundant information. In this statement, it processes out the “Don’t” and leaves the message behind that states “Forget the XYZ”. We had the right intensions, we wanted to remember, however we have inadvertently told ourselves to forget the very thing we wanted to remember, how crazy.
This was a bit of a light bulb moment when I heard it and ever since you will never hear me saying (to myself or anyone else)… “Don’t forget the XYZ”. I’ve changed this statement to “Please remember the XYZ”… Give this a go and see what a difference it makes to you and those around you.
The other piece of information that I wanted to share was how we make statements and the emotions that are created because of these statements. If someone says to you “Step outside of your comfort zone” what emotions are brought to the surface with this, take a moment and write down 5 words/emotions of what this statement means to you.
To some people stepping outside of their comfort zone is quite scary and to others it’s exciting (and of course we have variants between these two). If this statement excites you and motivates you to action, then rock on. However if it stops you in your tracks, what if you changed the statement to “Expand my boundaries”? It means the same thing (growth) however, we’ve now softened it. Make a list of 5 words/emotions of what this second statement means to you. To some people this second statement is more achievable than the first. Which statement will help to drive you to action? Use words to your advantage, look for opportunities in the statements that you us to make some small changes that will ultimately have a big impact on your life. If you’re sitting there thinking that you’re happy with where you are right now think about what you need to do to get to the next level, keep on striving, learning and growing. Take a look at the Boundaries picture if you need some motivation as to why you should be doing this.