Respect the power of words. Choose them with care. – Unknown

Last week here in Australia the media had a field day.words

Plastered all over the t.v., radio and newspapers were two incidents that sparked community outrage, with anyone and everyone sharing their rather ‘heated’ opinions.

One of the incidents occurred at a weekend football match where a 13-year old girl’s choice of words (aimed at one of the players – who was from Indigenous decent) was quite distasteful.

Naturally, the player took offense.

She was marched out of the auditorium by security officers and subsequently questioned. Not something she will forget in a hurry, I’m sure.

The other incident was when a high profile sporting broadcaster added to the debate and voiced his dislike to the 13-year old’s comment. Yet later in his radio show he (foolishly) let a comment slip out that was not only contradictory, but extremely offensive to the very same Indigenous football player.

The term ‘putting one’s foot in one’s month’ summed up what he had said, perfectly.

Within seconds of realizing this he apologised, yet despite his continued apologies and expressions of regret he just dug himself deeper and deeper into the proverbial hole. And, in the days following with the ongoing barrage of negative press and outrage by the community, he was eventually driven to tears.

All because of a few words.

Words that were distasteful, insulting, and that negatively impacted someone’s wellbeing.

“Never underestimate the power of worlds; words hurt – even more than actions.” –Anon

They certainly can.

Thankfully, many of us realise the importance of choosing our words wisely – especially when it comes to what we say to other people, and the comments we make when others are in ear shot.

However, are we as cautious about the words we say to ourselves?

How careful are we about what we tell ourselves?

Unfortunately from personal experience and from the hundreds of clients I’ve worked with – we’re not careful at all.

In fact, every day the things we say to ourselves undermine our value and our work, so-much-so that we keep ourselves stuck.

Here are three common statements people say to themselves that prevents them from building the business of their dreams, doing what they love. See if you recognise any:

1. “I’m not good enough”

This is Self Discrimination.

You put such high expectations on yourself or continue to compare and measure yourself to what other people are doing that it becomes impossible to remain confident and focused on what you are doing.

Comparing yourself to other people can be soul-destroying. And, can stop you from continuing to learn and refine your skills.

Perfection is under-rated and so is thinking you’ll never be good enough.

You CAN be and you WILL be – if you stop constantly putting yourself down.

To do: STOP telling yourself this and start to measure yourself against YOUR personal best, not what other people are doing and achieving.

2. “Other people can do it – but I can’t”

This is Self Doubt.

This occurs when you believe there’s just no way you will ever be able to accomplish something, or be as good as everyone else.

Oh really?

Do you honestly think the people who now excel at something, were always so skilled? Even when they first started?

Of course not – they needed to learn and hone their skills.

They took time to develop and practice their skills until they reached a level of excellence and mastery.

And so can you. If you give yourself time.

To do: STOP telling yourself this and take the time to practice and refine your skills. Do the work and before long you will be just as skilled and achieving the level of success others are achieving.

3. “I failed … again”

This is Self Disempowerment.

Do you have a tendency to only focus on what went wrong, or when things didn’t turn out as expected.

  • You only enrolled 5 people into your group coaching program and you really wanted 10.
  • You only had 15 people sign up to your newsletter and you really wanted 45.
  • You only had one client sign up to your 6-month VIP program and you really wanted 3.

No wonder you feel miserable.

What about the 5 people who are now in your group coaching program; the 15 who are now in your circle of influence and will continue to receive your regular newsletters; or the client who is now working with you and will continue to experience incredible results through investing in one of your high-end programs?

By focusing on the clients you didn’t sign up, you’re forgetting to celebrate the clients that did.

One of the things I constantly remind my clients of is to celebrate every success – even the small. Celebrations – big or small, you should celebrate them all.

To do: STOP noticing all of the things that went wrong. Start to celebrate every step you took forward, and everything that did go well each and every day – even if these are small steps. They are still getting you closer to your goal!

And, before long you too will be moving forward in leaps and bounds.

Remember: These three statements and the words you are telling yourself are toxic and will keep you stuck from building the business of your dreams doing what you love – if you let them.

So what can you do to change them? Here are 5 simple steps:

  1. Start noticing the triggers
  2. When you hear yourself utter a toxic thought say to yourself: “STOP! This is NOT my truth.”
  3. Think of something you could say instead that would be helpful and supportive
  4. Write it down
  5. Say it to yourself and continue to remind yourself of this helpful statement

For instance:

  1. You’re reading a great article that is written by someone who’s working in the same field as you, and you think “I’ll never be able to write as good as that.”
  2. STOP! This is NOT my truth!
  3. Instead think: “As I continue to learn and develop my skills as a writer, I’ll be able to write inspiring articles like this one too!
  4. Write it down. [And while you’re at it set a goal and the action steps you’ll commit to, to achieve your goal].
  5. Keep reminding yourself: The more I learn and practice, the better my writing skills will become, and VOILA – You WILL be.

And, one final important piece:

When we understand the power of words and realise that we can choose what we think and speak – our lives can be transformed. –Anon.

What will you choose moving forward?


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