Watch your language!


Not to sound like your grade four teacher with eyes firmly fixed on you, slightly peering above thick rimmed glasses but watch your language! I mean it! Now, before you get bent out of shape or excited, this post is not about profanity. It’s about the words we use in our everyday life, although admittedly, some of them have four letters.

You see, our brain is incredibly powerful. It rules everything, good and bad. We also know that repetition is a powerful tool for memory and learning. That’s why the words or language that we use daily are so important. The way we describe ourselves, finances and our job. It’s something that we rarely pay attention to because it becomes habit. This is where a lot of us begin and strengthen our self-destructive patterns. In the Frankenstein Condition, I describe it as the monster we create. Much like Victor Frankenstein, we create our monsters from pieces of the people around us. People we admire, whether through social media or real life: celebrities, family and friends. Language is the thread that we use to stitch our monster together.

We do this in conversation with others and through repetition begin to believe it ourselves. We say things like “I’m always late” or “I’m really lazy” or “cook? I can’t even boil an egg.” These seem rather innocuous but when repeated we begin to believe them. You will always be late, lazy and a horrible cook because you have accepted it. Reality is made through language.

It is particularly destructive when we apply this to relationships, money and work. When we say “I’ll never find someone” we are basically guaranteeing that we won’t. Instead say “I haven’t found the right person YET” and you change your mindset entirely.

You now open yourself up to the possibility of a relationship by simply adding one word. “Yet” gets your ass off the couch, brushes off the Dorito crumbs from your chest and into clean clothes. “Yet” means it will happen. More importantly, it implies that you need to do something and not just sit and wait.

For me it was money. I always associated money with negativity. I hated money. Rich people were devious, pretentious and gross. I repelled money thinking it made me a better person. Did it? Not at all. It took me decades to accept that money has the opposite effect. Money allows you to be generous, enjoy life through travel and experiences and buy the real Doritos not the no-name version. I had to change the way I spoke about money. I also needed to associate the change with an positive outcome. A result. More money would mean more travel, for example, which would bring me happiness. Money to pay off debt would relieve stress. Once I applied both, my subconscious took over through the power of repetition.

Self deprecation is also a slippery slope. It is steeped in language as well. When we constantly, and usually jokingly, self deprecate we not only hurt our self but give permission to others to do the same. So many people use this, me included, as a form of humor but it’s root runs deeper. It is about self-confidence and self-worth. It’s a defence mechanism. Instead of opening ourselves up to criticism we take the initiative and do it before someone else can. Again, we are our own worst enemy. Don’t expect other people to respect you if you don’t respect yourself. Stop and pay attention to how you speak to others about your achievements. Don’t dismiss or diminish them. “That shirt looks great!”…“This old thing… I got it for 5 bucks on sale”. Change that to “Thanks!” Be appreciative and positive. Accept compliments.

There’s so much more to say on this subject. I will explore it further in the future but for now make me a promise: watch your language. Start today. Pay attention to the words that you use or associate with the important things in life. It’s amazing how much you can change your world with just words. It’s something you can do right away and it will have a profound impact on your happiness and the people around you. And don’t forget to mind your P’s and Q’s!



Robert SmithComment