Which would you rather hear: "I'm so proud of you. You're awesome!" Or "That was fine, but you can do so much better."?
One of those statements lights you up, the other makes you feel less than. How can that be? They're just words; printed letters, formed into sounds - inside your head or spoken out loud - that convey ideas.
Words have an incredible power to affect us. Especially if these are things we tell our selves repeatedly hundreds of times per day!
How would our relationships improve - with each other and with our own selves - if we could be more mindful about the language we use? Paying attention to our language and communication is vital to creating a life we love - especially when we're trying to create transformational changes in our lives.
In our opinion, the most sacred and important conversation you can have in life, is the continual internal dialogue you have with your Self.
When working with our life coaching clients, at some point we begin to talk about the power of words. The words we use are vital in creating the results we want in our lives.
We are responsible about how we communicate ideas, concepts, and information to others. Our words have the power to create rifts and separation, or harmony and conciliation. Mediators are gifted wordsmiths, and a motivational speaker can wake people up and literally change lives.
What about the words we continually tell ourselves? We can be so mean to ourselves, sometimes! Constantly belittling, judging and criticizing, telling ourselves we're not good enough, or we're too this or too that.
That negative self-talk can be a destructive onslaught on our self-esteem, the root of anxiety and depression, and the cause of so much of our unhappiness. Yet, it is often so ingrained in us, so unconscious, that we can't tell it apart from who we truly are.
The good news is: All of it is a lie! All that negative self-talk is monkey chatter that has no purpose other than to keep us small.
The other good news is: WE have the power to change that. And it begins with being aware of our limiting, negative thoughts, and then starting a new habit of reversing those thoughts and replacing them with positive, loving, kind inner words.
Yes, it's like going to the gym and working out a new muscle. Yet it is much more insidious, since we are not aware of it most of the time.
If you've read our free eBook Stop The Bullshit You've Been Telling Yourself (if you haven't you can download it here) then you know that we are huge believers in breaking through limiting beliefs. And a huge aspect of that is the words we use, internally and externally.
Two of our favorite words, which help to immediately shift things around when we think or say something limiting, are: Until Now.
We explore those two words, and a whole lot more, in the eBook. Please read it and you'll see what happens when you start changing should to could, but to and, and create some new habits that are self-loving and kind. Your life will transform! We promise!
We also want to explore the connection between using two little propositions, and how they can either help or hinder us. Remember propositions? That long list that you had to memorize in grade school? After, at, by, down, for, from... Well, in that list of 150 there are two that are vital to examine in the coaching process. The first one is "out of".
We, as human beings, often talk ourselves "out of" things that are important in our lives:
we talk ourselves out of going to the gym or hiring a trainer
we talk ourselves out of going on a date with someone
we talk ourselves out of starting a new business
we talk ourselves out of stopping a bad habit
we talk ourselves out of getting up 15 minutes early to meditate
we talk ourselves out of saving money and gaining more control over our finances
What if we were able to shift that experience and begin to use the other, more empowering preposition: "into"? What would it take for us to talk ourselves "into" doing something valuable and life-affirming? What if we decided to:
talk ourselves into creating positive habits
talk ourselves into taking care of ourselves physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially and creatively
talk ourselves into being more open to partnership and romance
talk ourselves into doing things that will add meaning and value to our lives
talk ourselves into getting through some discomfort and making financial investments
Can you imagine the positive results that would show up in your life?
Another operative word here is "talk." What kind of self-talk are we telling ourselves? What excuses are we coming up with to stay sedentary, keep with the status quo, remain on auto pilot to simply survive? What do you need to be telling Your Self so that you can shift to a place of thriving?
Here's some more good news:
When we're able (and we all are, right?) to talk ourselves into making a small change - ordering a salad instead of a chocolate fudge sundae, for example - it then creates an empowerment muscle within, and new habits begin to take hold that are rooted in self-care.
When we do that, the next time we're faced with a choice between talking ourselves out of something and talking our selves into something better, we're much more likely to continue with that habit of positive self talk, followed by action, yes? Try it!
Life goes by in a flash. It's so precious! Let's do all we can to maximize our experience on this planet and enjoy being here. Making some adjustments to the words we use with ourselves and others is a subtle shift, with enormous and profound positive consequences.
What have you been struggling with that you've been, until now, talking your self out of? What self-talk are you willing to let go of? What are you wanting to talk yourself into?
Would love to hear about your experience in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!
Love, Eli & Joseph