28 Jan

Use Your Words

Words hold power. They’re symbols of much more complicated thoughts, symbols we’ve come to collectively agree mean certain things.Words hold power. They’re symbols of much more complicated thoughts, symbols we’ve come to collectively agree mean certain things.

But a word is never just a word. It has nuance and subtext that our unconscious minds hear and understand even as our conscious ones don’t.

We get used to using certain words. So used to them, in fact, that we’re inured to their deeper meanings, to the definitions our subconscious hears. And yet our actions–and our feelings–are dictated by the thoughts we speak to ourselves, whether or not we’re actively listening.

We tell inconsolable toddlers to “use their words,” to use their limited but exponentially expanded vocabulary to put a label on what they’re feeling, and why. It’s a technique meant to teach…and to calm.

The process of having to stop and label what we’re feeling restores balance. It takes our head out of where we are and helps us see where we’re trying to go. It helps us understand how the very words we’re using are contributing to or complicating where we want to be.

Feel the difference:

I had such a busy day. I’ve had such a full day.
I commit to exercising every day this week. Every day, I commit to exercising.
I can’t. I won’t. I don’t. I choose not to.

Yes, they’re subtle shifts. But powerful ones. They can mean the difference between immobility, and action. Between feeling overhwhelmed and feeling in control.

Between wondering what happened, and making things happen.

What words are you using?

Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tacitrequiem/2801158109/