I’ve been talking to my daughter this week about powerful words and the importance of language. It’s a topic I like to wax lyrical about, and often covered while teaching. Not just the words we say out loud, although they are undoubtably powerful, but also the words we keep inside.
One word I have been using more over the last few years is YET.
Rather than beating myself up about what I can’t do, or don’t want to do, or can’t be arsed to do. I simply end with the word YET.
‘I’m not comfortable going into town… yet.’
‘I don’t feel like being sociable… yet.’
Why Does it Work?
I’ve found it takes away the sense of finality. Opening up the idea of progress, allowing time to be our friend. Some of these things I may ever do again, some places I may never feel able to manage, but the word leaves an open door, a possibility.
One way to start this process is to be mindful (you can ask people you spend time with to help) about words you use frequently. Being aware of them, and their impact, can help you to find more helpful alternatives.
Some of this will be covered in any Cognitive Behavourial Therapy you may come across. Powerful words are an important part of re-training ourselves out of negative patterns. You don’t need to follow a whole program to make a start.
Using words to help us, and trying different ones to get a perfect ‘match’ of what we need from language, is a practical thing to do. It seems a bit simple at first, but our choice of words really can have a big impact on how we feel about things. If you have got into a habit of being very negative with yourself, you are constantly chipping away at your self esteem. This won’t help with your grief, or life in general.
Letting Words Out
One of the ways I used this knowledge when teaching personal development was to take control of our feelings, by watching how we express ourselves. This article from University of New Hampshire explains it well.
Maybe expressing feelings will be the focus of a different post… If you need a place to leave your feelings when they feel overwhelming, I’d recommend keeping a Journal. You can use any old notebook, or I have this one available too.