Happy 2018 – Day 114 – Better words

Yesterday, I talked about the power of language – specifically, the language that we use in our own heads. These words can completely alter your perspective of a situation and change your state, leading to action (or inaction.)

These words might just be the difference between success and failure.

I’ve had some tough times recently, but I’m happy to say that having gained some headspace, I’ve been able to see that these tough times were actually nowhere near as troublesome as I’d led myself to believe. In fact, the problems that I told myself were overwhelming actually didn’t exist anywhere other than my own head. And they only felt overwhelming because I kept telling myself internally that I was overwhelmed/stressed/failing/going under.


With this in mind, I thought I’d offer some more language swaps today. I’m making a real effort to use these words more often, both out-loud as well as in my head. Yesterday, as I was late for an appointment and someone missed my turn off on the motorway, I felt my blood boiling and started getting ‘stressed.’ I had a word with myself, forced a smile on my sour face and said, “How exciting! I get to go on a mini adventure!” I’ve only been really working at this for a week now, and while this still feels like a pretty ridiculous thing to do, I’m already feeling less skeptical towards these statements than I was a week ago; I’m actually starting to believe myself.

So here are some more language swaps I’ll be trying:

  • As I said yesterday, “problems” are now “challenges.”
  • I’m “angry” becomes I’m “annoyed.”
  • I’m “tired” becomes I’m “calm/peaceful/recharging.”
  • I’m “stressed/nervous/scared” becomes I’m “excited!”
  • I’m “worried/overwhelmed” becomes I’m “strategising/planning.”
  • “I can’t” becomes “I can’t yet.”
  • I’m “surviving” becomes I’m “thriving!”
  • “What a distaster!” becomes “what an adventure!”
  • “Why me?” becomes “why not me?”
  • “I don’t” have becomes “I do have.”
  • “I deserve,” becomes, “I’m so grateful for…”

The key is to re-frame in a way that matches the feelings that you’re already having. Excitement, for example, feels very similar to nervousness. Therefore your brain is much more likely to accept the notion that you are in fact excited before you do something terrifying, than if you’re trying to kid yourself that you’re calm and relaxed.

If you can think of any more language swaps, let me know in the comments below!

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