Mind your Language – How our words affect our life

How we speak, to ourselves and to others, can have a significant impact on our lives and our perspectives. Our words affect our life.  It’s time to be a little more conscious and mind our language.

It is true – our thoughts become things. What we focus on intensifies. Our language affects us.

I love to listen to podcasts and I try really hard not to get caught up buying the books of every person I hear interviewed on my favourite shows. But this day, listening to Alicia Dunams on Mark Shapiro’s Are you Being Real? podcast, I couldn’t help myself and I hit Amazon to purchase Alicia’s book as soon as I stopped driving.

Unlike some of my other impulse book purchases, when this one arrived, I dove straight in to it. It seemed not only inviting, it was also small and looked pretty manageable. The book is called “I Get To” and is focused on how using the right words can radically transform our lives, relationships and businesses.

Well I’m so happy I exchanged my time to read this book. “I Get To” – is full of great advice, stories and anecdotes and I found it very action oriented with small things I could start doing immediately to improve the way I used language, both out loud and in my head.

Now to be clear, I have no affiliation with Alicia Dunams, or with this book in any way – except that I brought it and read it. So I am only recommending it to you because I really loved it!

There are many gems in this book however I am going to focus on the top three that really landed for me. The ones that I’m taking in to my life every day.

“I Get To”

So let’s start with the title of the book – “I Get To”. By changing our language we can also change our perspective. The basic premise here – and it’s not new – is to approach our language with a pivot from “I should” or “I have to” to using “I get to” instead. I’m trying this and I can tell you, it definitely changes how I perceive what I’m telling myself and others. I get to rise early and go to the gym. I get to go to work today. I get to cook dinner for my loved ones. I get to spend time on things that light me up. I get to do the washing.

I’ve even added to this myself by committing to reduce my use of the word “should” and replace it with “could”. I could go to the gym. I could have done that differently.

Mind your language.

“Yes, if”, instead of “No, because”

The premise here is that generally speaking, ‘No’ is followed by an excuse whereas ‘Yes’ is followed by a possibility. So instead of ‘no because’, a ‘yes if’ can change your focus from obstacles to opportunities. I’m committed to using this in a few corporate meetings to see how it goes over and what it brings.

Mind you, I am a firm believer in the ‘Hell Yes or it’s a No’ concept- if we are in fact a definite No – then we should honour that – no excuses necessary.

“I’m committed to..” vs “I’m trying to..”

I’m trying to exercise every day.  I’m trying to eat whole foods.

I have a tendency to keep promises I make to others much more stringently than I do the promises I make to myself. Gretchen Rubin calls this the Obliger tendency. You can take her quiz hereto see what your tendency is.

I realised that (maybe because of this tendency), I knee-cap my commitments to myself by using the word ‘try”. That way, if I fail, well….I tried. A cop out really isn’t it? Making a commitment to myself however, well they’re strong words and they come with accountability.

So that’s my goal, from now on I’m going to try, I mean from now on I commit, to changing my language from “I’m trying to” to “I’m committed to”.

A simple and easy read

There are in all, around 40 tips in the book. It’s a bite sized, easy read and a good reminder about how our language, and the actual words we use, if we are intentional, can transform our mindset and our communication with others.

So – the lesson I took away – mind your P’s and Q’s – mind your language and notice the difference it can make in your life. I’d recommend this read – I’m sure, like I did, you’ll get something from it.

Everything counts.

Written by Michelle McFadyen

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