DTD Episode 84 Show Notes
Use Tenacious Language to Create Ownership and Action
The way we process our life experiences and build relationships is through our use of language. The words we use create vision, emotion and sometimes even physical reaction. That’s whether they are spoken or just live within our thoughts. I recommend that you pay close attention to the language you are using and modify where necessary.
When you are communicating your goals or just thinking to yourself about your future, what words do you use? Do you say, “I will probably get that done”? Or, “I should do that”? If you speak like this you might as well be saying, “I won’t get that done.”
And shoulding on anything creates a victim mentality. Own it! Do you need to do that thing or not.
Watch the language you use around your choices. For instance, if there is a networking breakfast at 7:30 am you could say, “No, I can’t go, I have to get my kids to school in the morning.” Over time, however, the concept of “can’t” may add frustration, or worse, could build resentment against your kids! Your language is taking away your power and creating the illusion that you have a life of boundaries outside of your control. And the truth is, you could go to the breakfast. There would be SOME way to work it out. It might be very hectic, you would have to ask a neighbor for a favor or pay additional money to a child care provider of some sort. But, if you really needed or wanted to go, and the benefits outweighed the costs, you could make it happen and get there. So, really, you are choosing to prioritize that time with your kids or want to avoid the extra navigation or expense. Use language that is consistent with this fact. “I choose not to attend the networking breakfast at this time.” Now you are empowered. I have many choices, and this is the one I pick.
And stay away from the term “I will Try” altogether! There is no action in trying. This is one of my favorite illustrations.
Hold your pen up in the air and try to put it down. If you actually put the pen down you are not “trying”. You actually did it. Trying to put your pen down means holding there continuously.
This exercise shows that trying is no action and that sometimes it takes more effort to “try” to do something than it does to actually do it. You are expending more energy holding your pen up when you “try” to put it down than you would if you just set the thing down.
Using tentative language carries no power. No sense of certainty. You are letting yourself off too easily. Playing life to win requires persistent determination. The language you use needs to mirror this.
Instead, use words of action, certainty and ownership. Say, I will do that. And be specific. What will you do and by when. Or, “I procrastinated”, rather than, “procrastination happened.” And, my personal favorite, “I commit to that.” Or, “that is my commitment.” We feel commitment in our bodies. So much more powerful than I will try, yes?
Words of action, certainty and ownership are winning words and will move you forward as a winner in your life. They will move your forward towards your goals and will transform your relationships. Communicating authentically will build trust and connection.
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