Watching Your Language
Updated: Jan 3, 2020
It’s important to be clear, honest and very precise with your language.
Language has a way of reinforcing, propagating or convincing you to adopt certain beliefs – profoundly influencing the way you view and interact with the world.
If you pay close attention to the language you use, you’ll begin to recognise patterns that will say something about how you actually perceive the world and your place in it.
It’s important at this point to make the distinction between what you believe you believe and what you might actually believe, as expressed in your actions.
Stay with me for a second; let me give you some quick examples.
I don’t have time.
Possible underling meaning: this is not important enough for me to bother.
I don’t have a choice. Possible underlying meaning: I’m afraid of what the consequences might be.
It is out of my hands. Possible underlying belief: I’m powerless and helpless and have no influence over my own life.
It’s not my fault. Possible underlying meaning, I’m not responsible.
And so the list goes on.
A slight shift in your verbiage will begin to frame specific instances differently, eventually leading to a shift in how you actually perceive the world.
Change, ‘I don’t have time’ to ‘I have more important things to do’.
Change, ‘I don’t have a choice’ to ‘I’m afraid of the consequences’
Change, ‘It is out of my hands’ to ‘I decided it wasn’t for me’
Change, ‘It’s not my fault’ to ‘it’s not my responsibility’
The slightest of adjustments can have profound impacts.
When you speak the truth and if you’re able to do so consistently, you’ll find yourself becoming more grounded in reality.
The terrain in which you navigate your life all of a sudden becomes much clearer and you’re able to make decisions that better reflect it.
Be precise with your language and ask others to do the same.
Be very careful with the words you choose and try to really connect with the underlying meaning of what’s being said.
Get a real sense of how the language you use reflects on both you and the environment that you find your self in.
Be intentional about it.
Remain present and watchful, paying very close attention to every word.
Don’t be afraid to correct yourself, to rephrase or push back and ask for further clarity. As that’s what will ultimately help you cut through the pretence and get straight to the heart of any matter.