Change Your Words And Change Your Life
The difference is remarkable
We all have self-definitions and self references.
Sometimes these are good for us. Phrases like:
- I’m happy today
- I have a lot of energy
- I knew I was going to get that job
work to make our lives better. These positive words make our lives easier and happier when we say them to ourselves.
Sometimes though, we’re not kind to ourselves. Often those are the words we remember and repeat over and over again.
- I don’t know why I even bothered, nothing ever works out for me
- I’m just so stupid
- I always eat more than I need, no wonder I’m so fat
Criticism does not help anyone get better or feel better. Negative words don’t help you at all.
What Really Happens
People most often experience thoughts as words. We see or hear words in our own heads and sometimes even say them out loud. Either way, our thinking is mostly language based. Words are what we’re going to use to change our thinking and change our lives.
Here are the steps I used to change my thinking from negative to positive. I still say negative things to myself but not very often. Now the positive words I say breathe life into my day.
1. Pay attention to your thoughts
This can be harder than it sounds. In fact, some people even swear they never hear that little voice in their heads verbalizing their thoughts. But it’s there and in order to find out what it’s telling you, you must listen.
We live much of our lives in habitual behavior and as a result we often get the same results from that same behavior. The same thoughts often accompany that habitual behavior. That’s where you start listening.
You will be astonished at the amount of talking that exists in your own mind. In order to change your life for the better you must first listen for the negative critical thoughts.
When you hear them (which won’t take long), you move onto step 2.
2. Write down the recurring negative thoughts
They’re already real and you are going to get rid of them. Putting them in physical format allows you to see them. Carry a little notepad to write the negative thoughts in.
You don’t have to get rid of all the negative thoughts the first time around. You’ll probably have 2 or 3 thoughts that show up on a regular basis. Write those down because those are the ones doing you the most harm. Then move on to Step 3.
3. Rewrite the negative words into positive statements
Use a different page in your notepad than the one where you wrote down the negative thoughts. You are going to wind up keeping the positive thoughts and getting rid of the negative ones, so please keep them separate.
Here’s an example.
If you used to say something like, “I’m just so stupid” you could rewrite that to say “I love learning new things.”
Read the positive statements out loud to yourself until you are comfortable with the language and can remember them without trouble. Then it’s time for step 4.
4. Tear out all the pages on which you have written the negative words
Crumple those pages up into little balls of papery negativity.
Now burn them.
Please do this safely.
When the negative words are burned up and all that’s left is ash, throw the ash away outside. Not inside.
You did all this work to get rid of the negative thoughts, don’t dump them in your kitchen trash.
Again, make sure you do this safely. Don’t throw away any ash that is still warm to the touch. Wait until the ashes are cool and there is no hint of any fire left.
5. Take the new positive thoughts from your notebook and write them on a different paper.
When you’re done, read each of the positive thoughts out loud to yourself 100 times. I usually do this in 10 groups of 10 repetitions so I don’t get mixed up.
You’re repeating these words so many times because you are creating a new positive habit of thought to replace the old negative words.
This process is as simple as it sounds. And it works. When you change the words you use to describe your life you will feel different. It could take some time to get used to the new feeling that you are speaking in a positive way to yourself. That’s OK, you’re worth it.
There’s a reason why we’re taught to repeat and memorize in school when we are young. It works to create habits of thought that come automatically to the front of our consciousness.
You are changing your life while you’re doing this and that can feel awesome; maybe a bit scary, but awesome nonetheless.