4 tips to change the way you talk about yourself
The language you use for yourself will define who you become
Words have the power to change our lives. Think of a time when someone’s words moved you into action, or perhaps moved you to tears. Think of a child whose teacher told him that he’d never be successful, or, on the other hand, how some kind words helped an impressionable teenager find his or her way. Think of words that have made a lasting difference throughout history, “I have a dream”, “Be the change you want to see”. Words have energy and power.
That is the power of words. And zooming into ourselves, it’s not just the words we hear or read that impact us, it’s also the words we use for ourselves. When was the last time you actually took the time to listen to yourself? And I don’t mean the way you speak to yourself, but the words you use. It’s so easy to slip out a “Gosh, I’m so stupid” if you make a small mistake, or “Ah! I’m having a senior moment” if you forget something. Okay, so you don’t say these words aloud. Do you know the words we hear in our head have an effect on us? A study by Raymond Birdwhistle in the ’70s revealed that the words we speak to others represent just seven per cent of the results we get from our communication. However, the words we speak to ourselves generate 100 per cent of the results we’ll get in our lives because our mind interprets and follows our instructions better than anything else.
Now knowing the power our words have, would we ever talk loosely to ourselves?
Language is central to how we think. Its power is enormous and its influence can be piercing. So, if we want to take baby steps to wake up to the power of our words, consider this:
1. Be kind
Listen carefully to the words you use for yourself. If you would never say it to someone else, don’t say it to yourself. If it’s a tone you wouldn’t like hearing from someone else, don’t use it for yourself. Be kind and respectful to yourself and watch the magic unfold. Don’t trust your intuition yet? Try this simple question every day for a month for small things, such as “What does my body need for lunch?” And allow your subconscious to respond. It is the unconscious mind’s prime directive to keep us alive and healthy, and it will leap at any opportunity to do so. Trust it.
2. Be aware of the emotion
Be aware of how the words make you feel. If certain words drain you, make you sad or mad, stop using them. Some people use self-debilitating words in jest, ‘I flop miserably at baking’, ‘I’m always falling for the wrong men’, ‘My life is a train-wreck.’ It may sound cute and endearing and get you some attention, but if it makes you feel low, stop saying it.
3. Choose high vibration words over low vibration ones
In her book Every Word Has Power, author Yvonne Oswald says that by focusing on powerful, high-energy words such as excitement, joy, success, or love, we can increase our ‘good’ feelings. Low-energy words, particularly words that have negative emotional association such as sadness or guilt, resonate at a lower frequency, making you feel less than great by literally lowering your energy levels.
4. Your keyword search
Did you know that we all have an internal keyword search scan? For instance, if you say “I hate math, your unconscious mind scans through, almost like a keyword search, and it will pull out a list of all the things you hate. Can you see that happening? It’s a surefire way to slip into a low vibration. Instead if you said, “I don’t like math much”, the key word here is ‘like’ and your subconscious will scan a list of all that you like.
Apart from all the communication we have with the world, the most important is the one we have is with ourselves. Our language has immense power — to make us our own worst enemy or to guide us toward our best self. So choose wisely, mindfully and consciously, till it’s normal and natural to use kind, empowering and supportive language.