How to use the Power of Words to Change Your Reality

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I worked with a client who was totally overwhelmed by her life. Her children were hard to manage, her husband unhelpful, and her business left her feeling overstretched and overwhelmed every day. During our session, I listened to the language she was using. She repeatedly said, “I can’t cope. I can’t cope with my badly behaved children, I can’t cope with how impossible my business is, I can’t cope with my constantly chaotic household.”

Your Words Can Start to Form your Beliefs – and Actions

After she finished talking, I pointed out to her that she was frequently using the phrase, “I can’t cope.” Immediately, she broke down, “Oh my goodness, my mother used to say that constantly.” This client had inherited that phrase—and by extension, that belief—from her mother, and was not taking responsibility for the words and pictures she was choosing. As a result, she had convinced herself that her life was one she could not cope with. This is how the power of words manifests itself in reality through influencing your mind.

As a business owner, you may relate to some of this. Your entire life isn’t just about your business—you have a life outside of it too—and juggling the two can present challenges. In Practitioner Marketing, we teach our students the importance of mindset and terminology, because although the challenges won’t necessarily be removed, you will be surprised at what an impact changing your language can have.


Change Your Words to Change the Picture

We replaced that phrase, “I can’t cope,” with something more neutral, “I have phenomenal coping skills.” Every time she began to feel overwhelmed with her life, I instructed her to say out loud or to herself, “I have phenomenal coping skills.” This subtle shift made her believe the phrase was true. By using different words, she created a different picture.

After a few weeks, she came back, feeling far more able to cope with her life, succeeding in her business, and getting on better with her kids and husband, who had also noticed the change in her. But her life hadn’t changed at all—her beliefs about it had, which made it all the more bearable. She was a perfect example of the fact that to underachieve you have to fill your mind with negative thoughts and images, and to overachieve you have to do the opposite.

Notice here that I didn’t instruct my client to say something that wasn’t true. Her business was demanding and her kids were a challenge. But by changing the overtly negative, “My business is hell, my kids are badly behaved,” to a more neutral version of events, “My business is demanding at times and my kids can be a challenge, but I have phenomenal coping skills,” you immediately create less emotionally and negatively charged feelings towards it.


It’s About Changing your Perception, not Pretending everything is Positive 

This isn’t about the power of positive thinking and pretending everything is rosy; indeed, thinking positively when things objectively aren’t can be unhelpful and set up expectations that can’t always be fulfilled.

This is about actively re-framing the events of your life to reflect a different, more realistic picture. So, “I’m late again, I’ve messed up, I’m going to fail at all my tasks today,” turns into, “I prefer to be on time, but I can still do this, I can get through the day in a manageable fashion.” With the latter phrase, you’re not pretending you’re superman or woman, but you are encouraging yourself to not expect the worst whilst believing in yourself.

Almost all of us talk to ourselves, but few of us examine the way we talk to ourselves. And we forget the power of words and how they can shift our perception of ourselves and situations.


Listen to What You are Telling Yourself 

When you pay close attention to the words and phrases you’re constantly saying to yourself, you identify some repeat offenders—such as my client’s, “I can’t cope,” refrain. Ask yourself, would you talk to your best friend that way? Would you say “Oh, you’re always messing things up,” “You’re so hopeless,” or, “You really have taken on way too much, you’ll never get it all done”?

Chances are, if you’re a good friend, you wouldn’t dream of saying those things. Instead, you would be kind and encouraging and helpful. As a friend, you might say, “Life isn’t perfect, but we all do the best we can,” or, “I’m sure you’ll get through it, and I’ll help you.” So ask yourself what might happen if you choose to talk to yourself in the same way you might address a friend. Be kind, encouraging, and supportive of yourself—you’ll be amazed how much easier the world around you seems to become.

Learning about the power of words and the human mind is a fascinating and intriguing field of study that can help people in just about every area of life. If you are interested in adopting the mindset and habits that successful people have, you can download my free audio hypnosis.


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