In this short article, we explore language and the impact that words can have on our state of being (how we think, how we act, and how we feel.)
We look at how the words that we use to describe ourselves and our relationships, as well as the situations and events in our lives, not only point to our current internal state of emotion and interpretive process (mindset) but also to the way we will continue to experience ourselves and see the world.
In turn, these perspectives, which are essentially ‘frozen’ in time and held in place through the language we use, also continue to reinforce the same emotional states again and again until we begin to use more discerning, precise, and self-empowering language.
Language has to power to heal or to hurt us
Part of the process of personal change and transformation and achieving it relies upon changing the language we use. When we begin to pay attention to the language we use to describe our experience of self, others, and life, we become empowered to understand when, where, how, and why we use the words we use. In addition, through this self-reflective process, we gain grounded insights on how to shift our perspectives in a way that will be reflected in the language that we use, and in turn change how we feel about ourselves, others, and the world.
When we use words and language that reaffirm our prior limitations and challenges, we continue to keep the cycle of pain associated with these perspectives and experiences. As a result, we may feel stuck, disempowered, or victimized by our circumstances and relationships.
When we begin to use words that represent and embody who we want to become, how we want to act, what we want to feel, and the way we want to see and experience ourselves, others, and the world, we start connecting to our future self and to the feelings and emotions of that future self. Through this process, we begin to create and strengthen new neural pathways that reinforce and revalidate the experiences we want to have. In this way, we become active participants and conscious co-creators in our process of healing.
If we’re not defined by a vision of our future, we’re stuck replaying the past
What are the words and language you use that don’t belong in the future you’re wanting to create? Have you been using self-criticism, judgment, blame, victimization, or even punishment in an attempt to try to change? This is the language of the past; the language of disempowerment that keeps us feeling stuck and victimized.
There isn’t a single thought about who you don’t want to be, who you’ve perceived yourself to have been in the past, or which points to perceived limitations and beliefs about yourself and your circumstances, that will empower you to move faster towards your future, i.e. who you want to be.
Embracing your future and the future self that will enable you to accelerate towards that future means becoming it now. It’s that simple, and yet not that easy to achieve. As it relates to language and the words that you use, it means already speaking and expressing yourself as if you were in that future right now as your future self. By using the language that your future self would use, you’re starting to connect to the desired feelings and emotions that this new language brings about. You’re essentially beginning to feel like your future self without having to wait for something outside of yourself to change; and as a result you become your future self.
Where to begin with this change in language
- Start by becoming ever more aware of the language and words that you use on a daily basis and what they point to.
- Once you become increasingly aware of any self-limiting, self-critical, judgmental, or victimized words in your language (mental and verbal), trace them to the root.
- Once you’ve traced the language to the perspective, fear, belief, expectation, or judgment that’s being reflected in the words that you use, you can now apply any emotional release method you’ve learnt in order to release any such limiting perspective, fear, belief, or judgment.
- Simultaneously to this process, think about the language and the words you would speak as your future, loving, self=empowered self and start using this language in order to define your vision of your life and of your future.
- Begin to talk about yourself, others, and life with words that reflect elevated emotions such as gratitude, appreciation, awe, joy, etc.
- You can also journal about your future self and use words that describe that future self in the present tense.
- Repeat this process over and over again until the language emerges naturally as you’ve merged with your future self in the present moment.
Working through any resistance
Having personally experimented with this process, we feel that the more focus and intentionality you apply to changing your language, the greater the results.
Resistance will come up. It comes up with any change. It’s part of the process of change and retiring the ‘old’ self to become a new you. Working with this resistance with patience and loving yourself through it will help you move past the resistance with the least amount of effort.
You can look at this resistance as a part of yourself, a child part, that wants to keep believing in the old self and to protect it, thinking that it will help you avoid repeating past painful scenarios and therefore keep you safe.
If you don’t fight the resistance or try to change it, and you remain open and aware in the present moment, focusing with intention and determination on what you want to feel and who you want to be, and the language that embodies this new self, the discomfort will clear all by itself. That is essentially letting go of the old self, making space for the new you to emerge.
Using the 3-foot rule to help you navigate this process of change when resistance comes up can be very useful. You can find out more about this process here.
You can change your state of emotion and being by choosing empowering language and words that consistently and comprehensively support your intentions and goals. When you change the words you use, you change your perspectives. And when you change your perspectives, you change your experience of self and reality.
If words can change your reality, imagine what your life would be like and how you feel as a result of this adjustment. Try it out and let us know how things change for you as a result.
Wishing you a life of joy, playfulness, deep inner peace, and personal success,