Our brains are very literal. What we say sticks. And that isn’t just with our outside voice but also with the inside voice too.
Example – the literal brain
When we use the word ‘weight-loss’, the brain is on board to lose weight…but only temporarily. What happens when you ‘lose’ your wallet? You look for it! The brain is wired to look for the things it loses. So even if you are successful at losing weight, it won’t be forever, it will eventually be found again. Instead, terms like ‘lifestyle management’, ‘weight reduction’, ‘weight removal’, ‘releasing pounds’ or ‘shedding weight’ have more lengthy results over time.
Example – what we say sticks
For anyone who has children, you’ve probably said at least once in your life “don’t spill that milk!” When only moments later the milk actually gets spilled. The word ‘Don’t’ isn’t interpreted in the brain – it actually bypasses altogether, meaning that the brain only registers a command, “Spill that milk!”
Why does this matter? Well, let’s first be brutally honest. The conversations that we have with ourselves are way more vulgar than those we have with others. We tend to focus on the things we ‘don’t’ want and not on the things that we DO want. Flipping our thought patterns can be a very powerful tool for changing our lives for the better. Understanding that dropping a few pounds is more empowering than losing a few pounds can go a long way in helping our physical health. Our language is so, so important.
Each year, I choose a word to anchor myself towards a goal, achievement or a feeling. More accurately, the word chooses me. I’ve used words like Onward!, Thrive!, Invest!,Grace, Become (to begin to be). And finding the right word that encapsulates your journey can take you on a journey itself. Once the word has found its way into my heart, I create a vision board around it that creates the feeling the word means to me and then I hang it in a visible spot where I can see it and reflect on it every day. I can’t even begin to tell you how these Power Words over the years have not only helped me, but saved me.
This week we are encouraged to pay attention to the language that we are using with ourselves and others. To be mindful of the internal dialogue and ensure that it is empowering instead of limiting. Let’s spend some time thinking of words and using language that raise us up, get us fired up, inspire us and move us forward in the direction of our goals. Let’s give ourselves a little grace, be gentle and love ourselves a little deeper this week within our own minds.