Empowering Language

I was thinking about words again today, and how often all it takes is the change of one word or phrase to totally change my attitude.  So this morning the phrase was ‘have to,’ as in ‘I have to get up and walk on the treadmill this morning.’  I really didn’t want to get up and do that, so I started thinking ‘I GET TO get up and walk on the treadmill this morning.’ It may be a mind game, but it works for me.  No, it didn’t make me feel great about getting up and walking, but it did change my attitude about it enough to get up and do it.

In my coaching I talk about empowering language a lot, because so many people do not use it unless they think about it.  I am a work in progress on so many levels, and this is one that I have to think about all the time.  I am better at it then I used to be, but I expect to get even better at it.  When I say ‘I have to do this’ it it makes me feel like someone else is making the decisions for me. The fact is, I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do.  There may be consequences for not doing something, but it is still my choice.  For instance, the consequence of not going to pick up groceries right now may be that we do not have any food in the house.  I can decide that I can live with that consequence, or I can decide that I do not want to live with that consequence, and therefore I choose to go to the store so we have food.  Just changing the words I use to remind me that I am always at choice makes all the difference to me.  So I am trying to stop saying I ‘have to’ do anything, and replace it with I ‘choose to’ do things.  It is a small change, and it may not result in any other change but my attitude, but I find that is enough.

Another word I would like to ban from my vocabulary is SHOULD.  But that’s another story and perhaps another blog post.  What about you, are there words and phrases you use that make you miserable?  Can you think of some way you can change that to make you feel like you are in charge and making the decisions?  Because you are in charge you know – you get to decide for you.  Any comments are welcome!

6 comments to Empowering Language

  • “Have to” is a big one that sticks it to me. It sounds so simple that I have the power of the choice, but sometimes it doesn’t feel that way. Thanks for reminding me that I do “Have a Choice”

    We need to be aware of what we say to ourselves, as our minds tend to believe it. I am a work in progress too. Maybe together we can make better choices and spread good words.

    • Judy Stoffel Loewen

      Sometimes it does feel like we have no choice – like we are locked in. But we always have a choice – we just need to decide if we can live with the consequences of the choise we make. I have to admit., sometimes it is easier to pretend the choice wasn’t ours, then we don’t have to ‘own’ the consequence either.

  • sue

    My word is “not”. It is such a negative word. I feel more empowered whenn I choose to express myself in a positive manner. For example, “I don’t want….” can easily be changed to “I’d rather….” Sometimes I catch my self saying it and hope awareness and practice will keep me on the right path.

    • Judy Stoffel Loewen

      Isn’t it funny how much easier it can be when we come from the positive rather than the negative! Thqanks for reminding me of this!

  • Judy,

    Great post, attitude accounts for so much of what we are able to do. I wrote also wrote a post on this topic that you might enjoy titled Gettu or Gottu. You can read it at http://www.soundbusinessdevelopment.com/2010/08/02/gettu-or-gottu/

    • Judy Stoffel Loewen

      Loved your post so much, I ‘stole’ it and posted on my fb page and tweeted a link to it! Thanks for sending it – it is definitely worth a read! :+)

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