“Words are all we have.”
I’m indebted to Colin Blundell, the finest teacher I’ve ever known, for introducing me to many concepts and in particular helping me to understand better the power of language. “Words are all we have” said Samuel Beckett and whilst some might argue that we can communicate through other mediums such as pictures or even music we tend to label the landscape and describe the emotions using words. And of course we speak to ourselves using words and it is the choice of these words that is my current fascination.
Are you talking to yourself now? Of course the answer has to be “YES” as we rarely if ever cease. Some might be saying “what a load of old bollocks” whereas I hope others are saying “this is interesting and worth reading,” of course whatever you are saying right now will be different to anyone else and will change again should you choose to reread this at any future point.
Stephen Covey offered the idea that you make the greatest changes when you change your paradigms. Building on this, I actually believe the trigger is to review your language and it’s tonality too. Some clients tell me they have a very critical inner voice, some that it’s quite aggressive and challenging, “Come on idiot”…”This is going to be too hard”… “I’m going to cock this up…” My response is to encourage first a change in structure so that every thought is communicated positively – “Now I’m dealing with this”….”I’ve succeeded before and will do now”…”I’m looking forward to this…” Next I suggest the tonality is softened, perhaps even adopting another gender or accent – Colin for example chooses Marilyn Monroe to whisper to him! Finally, I suggest the speed of dialogue is reduced as well, ideally to half the normal speed or even slower. This of course takes practice and begins with making a correction every time you fall back to the old patterns, you will discover quite quickly that the change takes hold, probably around the 30 day mark, although for some much sooner.
Once you have started talking more positively with yourself you might then discover how your communications with others have improved as well, in fact I guarantee it. Words are all we have, so choose them carefully.