In this blog article I want to share what I have learnt about the power of the words we use and how they affect our daily life. I don’t know about you, but sometimes my mouth moves before I think. I know words are powerful and still I catch myself in the act of using disempowering words. Especially when it comes to describing myself. I’ve been examining my language. Especially the use of the words: No, Sorry and Thank you. They might seem harmless, helpful words…Yet their misuse can slowly drain your self-worth, damage your relationships and cause you to take on misplaced responsibility. Using your language more consciously takes practice. To figure out where to start you need to first look at how you use your language now. This is the first step to figuring our what the power of your words is and how they affect your life.
I started looking at my use of the word ‘No’. I think many of you can relate to this 1stone. It’s something I still struggle with today. I’m always eager to help others and have a history of not saying no when I need to. Instead causing stress for me and people around me with my semi-automatic ‘yes of course I can’ response.
Here are a few of the examples of where I found I’ve said yes when I should have said no:
- I don’t like to let people down and want to make everyone happy
- The majority of the time I fail to prioritise me; forgetting that my needs matter as much as the other person
- I think there is always more time in a day and forget to calculate time to get from place A to place B
- I don’t want to miss out on anything, have some real FOMO (Fear of Missing out) going on
- Take on more work to help out others
- Give away my time for free
Saying yes can feel good, as it often comes from a positive place. It means we care about other people, want to do the right things and spread joy in the world. It means we’re optimistic and believe in our abilities. On the other side always agreeing may temporarily avoid discomfort, but it’s often short-sighted and avoids making a true connection with someone. Instead of setting a boundary, we slip into an easy “yes”. If you’re worried about missing out or scarcity, let that go! If it’s really meant to be, there will always be another chance, job offers or opportunity. Think about this: ”every unwanted yes takes you one step further from abundance, freedom, well-being, time with yourself and loved ones. On the other side every no creates space for something glorious to grow.”
The second word I looked at was the word ‘Sorry’. During the review I found I’m super quick to say I’m sorry. Even when it was not needed or even sincere; it was just an automatic response. I wanted to be the nice girl, to be liked, to do the proper thing! I’ve strong principles people might not always agree with however that doesn’t mean I’m the one that needs to apologize.
When you catch yourself handing out ‘a sorry for who you are, the beliefs and dreams you have or for not being able to give anymore without depleting your own energy reserves’. Then you know you’ve gone too far! This is the point where you need to re-examine your language.Remember, while it’s super important to be compassionate about what other people think of you in the end it is none of your business. You can’t please everyone. I choose to own my mistakes, however, I don’t take on other people’s stuff that has nothing to do with me. I speak my truth when needed not to keep from feeling any discomfort. Sorry isn’t a way to keep the peace at the expense of your self-respect. There’s a difference between truly being sorry and a fear of being judged. Don’t say sorry if there’s nothing to be sorry for.
Self check excercise
Here is the check you can do for yourself; ask yourself: “Am I truly sorry for what happened?” if the answer is ‘ No’, then you don’t need to apologize. If the answer is yes and in some occasions it will be e.g. when you messed up it is. Then you need to give a heartfelt apology. This will help you as much as the other person.Another strategy that has worked for me in situations where different points of view apply is the let’s agree to disagree. Respect each others point of view and continue.
The third word in my language review was the word ‘Thank you’. Gratitude is a lovely way to honor and connect with yourself and others. Saying thank you for a generous present, act of kindness or a favor is gracious. Repeatedly thanking others because you feel guilty, undeserving or unworthy isn’t. You can express your gratitude however make sure it is in ratio to the favor and you’re not overcompensating. No one should hold you captive emotionally. If you find yourself saying thank you too much, that might mean it’s time to re-examine the balance in that relationship. Perhaps they don’t deserve you. Look beyond your compulsion to say thank you and address the real issue or elegantly remove yourself from the drama.There’s a fine line between healthy and unhealthy use of language. It’s part of our journey to find your tipping points and gently adjust them.
- Start with getting clear when you use or mis-use the word
- 2nd find out what is the why behind the mis-use of the word
- Get clear on what you need to keep or release – make a list
- Practice and be gentle with yourself in the process, relates to the self-love blog
This exercise will help you reflect on the power of the words you use and how they affect your life. Awareness will help you create more room in your life to add positive language and less second-guessing.
Be positive and use positive words
Contact me if you want have some support when reviewing your language, want to go even deeper or if you want to find out more about my coaching program. Discovering your limiting language and starting to work on re-programming it is essential when empowering your leadership style.