The Power of Language:
Use it or Get Used by it

Use the power of language to make things happen in all areas of your life.

Ever been told you have spinach in your teeth? Bad Breath? Body odor that would stop a train?

How did you feel about the news or about the person who delivered it?

Embarrassed? Humiliated? Angry? Grateful?

What did you do with that feeling?

Yank out the spinach? Pop in a breath mint? Head for the nearest exit? Punch out the messenger?

Whatever you did, you didn’t keep doing what you were doing before you got the news flash. Because the power of language put you together with green teeth and bad breath or body odor, your feelings and your behavior changed in a heartbeat.

You sensed you were suddenly at risk and moved into action.

What is language about?

The common view many of us hold about language is it is primarily passive and descriptive. It's used to describe events or to transmit information. This view of language is true, but it is only one view.

There is another view that says language is active and creative and makes things happen.

This active view of language says that even before you speak or take a step, a language action always precedes what you are about to say or do.

That language action is an interpretation or assessment you make about what is going on around or within you. It’s a conversation you carry on with yourself, whether you are alone or with others.

Everything that happens or is about to happen in your life gets filtered through these assumptions, these language actions. You don’t get out of bed in the morning or cross the street until you first tell yourself it’s time to get up or it’s safe to cross.

What’s the problem?

The problem is, you are seldom aware of what the power of language is doing to you. So long as you remain unaware of its influence, language lies hidden in the background of your life and silently runs it without your permission.

  • It allows you to move toward some goals but not toward other goals.
  • It lets you try some behaviors but not other behaviors.
  • It creates your feelings and the moods you live in.
  • It influences how you speak and listen to others and how you work with them.
  • It controls the kinds of relationships you have with family, friends, co-workers, and customers.
  • It dictates how you stand, walk, or sit, and the way you show up in public

That’s the power of language!

When what you tell yourself squares with reality, you act in ways that work in your favor. You get out of bed and go to work or to school if you tell yourself that your job or term are at risk if you don’t show up.

But when your assessments are groundless or unproven, you behave in ways which work against your best interests. You sleep in because you tell yourself no one will care you if you’re late or absent.

And if you continue to let these beliefs like these run your life, over time you fail courses, lose jobs, develop a reputation for being unreliable, and make yourself unemployable.

It doesn’t have to be this way. You can choose to put the power of language to work for you instead of against you and get better results in all areas of your life.

How put language to work?

Pay attention to the way you use language. More importantly, pay attention to the way language uses you by developing your self-awareness.

Discover your role in creating your current level of happiness and success. See how the assumptions and beliefs you have about yourself, others, work, the world, and life itself dictate how you feel, how you behave, and what kind of results you produce.

Next, develop effective communication skills to generate better results in those areas of your life that you want to change.

Learn to create conversations that make things happen.

Or, discover how coaching can help you tap into the power of language to improve your life.

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