The Power Of Words
Whatever language you speak you use words. Even if you “speak” sign language, you use actions to represent your words. When a writer writes they very often will take a painstaking amount of time to choose exactly the right word…and Shakespeare would invent a new word to describe what he was trying to say. “The shipwrecked arch-villain saw a shooting star as a moonbeam offered an unearthly tranquil amazement.” In that made-up, non-sensical sentence alone there are seven words or phrases that Mr Shakespeare coined. Witches, Wiccans, Wizards and other spell casters will choose the most powerful words they can to enable them to produce the desired results. You may not be a writer or a Witch but it’s time for you to take control of your words and give yourself the power you deserve.
Tony Robbins is a huge inspiration to me and he is someone I aspire to…It is one of my goals to be as good as and as successful as (if not better than) him. In his book Awaken The Giant Within he talks about transformational vocabulary. This is where you take a word and change it for one with more, or less, power depending on the situation. Words can create powerful images…blowing one’s stack, making the blood boil, feeling on top of the world, as high as a kite! They conjure up a strong picture don’t they? Can you think of any other powerful phrases? By choosing your words carefully you can almost immediately change how you feel. So rather than feeling anxious you could change that to feeling a little concerned. Doesn’t that simple change of phrase have a much better feeling to it? How about changing "I hate..." to "I prefer..."? Hate is such a powerfully negative word!
Tony says in his book
“Simply by changing your habitual vocabulary - the words you consistently use to describe the emotions of your life - you can instantaneously change how you think, how you feel, and how you live.”
He then goes on to tell the story of how he was in a business meeting with two men. One used to be the CEO of one of his companies and the other was a mutual friend. During the meeting they received some upsetting news along the lines of being taken advantage of unfairly. Tony was "angry". The CEO was out of control using words like “furious” and “enraged”. The mutual friend was simply staying calm and said “If you get upset, then you lose control.” If you lose control “Then the other guy wins.” So he changed his vocabulary. He used words that disempowered the anger. He changed his state by using words that actually made him smile and others laugh.
I’m So F*@!&~^% Angry
The mutual friend from the previous paragraph had an encounter with the IRS whereby they took a quarter of a million dollars of his money…and it was their mistake. Rather than being angry or livid he said that he was “…a little bit peeved.” By using this ridiculous sounding word he changed his emotional energy. He enjoyed using it and bringing a smile to his face. By choosing this powerful word he was able to have complete control of his emotions and not let them control him. By choosing a different word you are adjusting the intensity of your experience. Now anger used properly is absolutely fine. You can use it to your benefit. A short sharp burst of anger can kickstart you in to action. But when you hold onto it that’s when it causes problems. Remember, you don’t want to hold onto the anger so if you can change your state to one of amusement you’re onto a winner and then you can deal with the issues in a more rational way!
How Are You?
“How are you?” This question (or one of many variations) is one of your standard, run-of-the-mill icebreaker questions. Very often it is being asked out of politeness rather than a genuine enquiry. I used to think to myself - are you asking to fill in a gap or are you genuinely interested? I used to dread the question because I knew (or thought I knew) that they were just filling in a gap…in fact I actually told people outright “I bloody hate that question!”…so they’d ask me anyway just to take the piss! Anyway, our stock answer to that question is usually one of the following: “I’m fine”, “I’m okay”, “Not bad thanks”, “Good thanks”, “Been better…but I’ll survive”, “Fighting on” . Usually we choose a non-committal answer because we ‘know’ that the other person isn’t actually interested. Anything that gives the chance for further questioning scares us - thus “Been better but I’ll survive” is only for the brave!
But what if you changed your answer? What if instead of a glibly glum reply you said “I’m fantastic!”, “I’m amazing!”, “Living the dream!”, “Couldn’t be better!”? You’d probably catch the person who’s asked you the question totally off guard! I know it happens to me when I reply in that way. Alternatively they’ll laugh! But isn’t that a sad state of affairs that we should laugh when someone responds in such a positive way? We expect people to respond with a non-committal, wishy-washy answer. Sometimes I’ll be asked “Why?” [am I fantastic, amazing or awesome] and I’ll reply “Why not? I’m alive. What more could I wish for?” (This isn’t a blog about wishes or desires so I’m not going to go into any more detail on wishes) I have found that by changing the way I respond to the “How are you” question and using super positive, powerful words I’m actually making myself feel better.
A Final Word (or 491 of them)
The use of language has always been fascinating to me; I love playing with words. I read a lot and try to grow my vocabulary on a regular basis. But that’s not to say that I will use a gargantuan word when a diminutive one will suffice! Words are there to be used but think about the reasons behind your choice of lexicon! If you’re using fancy words to try and sound important and to elevate your self-perceived status then it’s possible that you’ll alienate yourself. In the same way that using words that are too simple, or using sentences that are littered with curse words, can have the same effect but for very different reasons. I love helping clients find new ways of describing things. If they have a negative disposition getting them to change their choices to super-positive ones is great fun. If they suffer with stress, anxiety or anger helping them find words that can change their state in an instant is exciting.
As ever, the desire to make a change in your life lies entirely with you. You can change your vocabulary to change the way you feel but maybe you’re so used to feeling the way you do, that you feel that a change is either not possible or necessary. Here’s a challenge for you! Next time someone asks how you are, instead of giving a stock answer of “I’m ok” try being enthusiastic. Instead of saying you’re angry (or pissed off) try and lighten the mood with a silly word like “peeved”. I’m a very passionate person and I found that by changing my regular vocabulary to have a more positive slant was actually having a positive impact on people I was talking to. Someone once said to me “You’re such a positive and passionate person. I wish I could be passionate about something other than stuff that clogs my arteries!” I suggested they use transformational vocabulary and transform they did!
By using transformational vocabulary you may at first feel a little self-conscious. You may feel embarrassed, but the more you do it the more natural it becomes. Never dim your new found light because some people feel uncomfortable. They’re the ones who need to come up to your vibrational level. The more positive you are the stronger your positive vibrations which is when things really start cooking for you! People may belittle you (or try to) for being so positive…let them try! Others will look at you and want some of what you’re having because you’ll give off a new energy and they’ll want to be a part of it. It’s almost like you’ve cast a spell over people with your new found words! Not only that, but it can be a great conversation starter - “How I changed my words and changed my life”! Have a fantastic day and fill your life with absolute joy by choosing your power words.