“As I began to explore the power of vocabulary, I still found myself fighting the idea that something as simplistic as changing the words that we use could ever make such a radical difference in our life experience. But when my study of language intensified, I came across some surprising facts that began to convince me that words absolutely do filter and transform experience.”
— Anthony Robbins
from “Awaken The Giant Within”
Ever really listen to phrases or words that people use regularly? I remember listening to my parents and the phrases they used often. I picked them up and used them habitually myself until I was awakened to the power of those phrases. Many of you may even find some of these that I heard and picked up from your childhoods: When asked how you are doing? I would hear, “fair to midlin.” When asked about money, I would hear, “do you think money grows on trees? or “we can’t afford that.” When asked about the weather, “it’s yucky outside.” As I look back and remember many of these phrases, I see that the vast majority of them are negative. Much of the focus was on what was wrong, what others were doing to us, and so on.
As I grew older and began really studying personal development, I started thinking about my own word choices, how often I used the f-word and more. Then, I got Awaken the Giant Within and it really opened my eyes to how to change your picture of things by changing your language.
Some of the first things I changed (even if I didn’t actually feel it at the moment), was the most common responses, such as, when someone asks you, “how are you?” We know they don’t really mean it, but I would shake things up a bit by saying something they didn’t expect. I might say, “off-the-chart awesome! How about you?” I would make it extremely positive and put some emotion into it as well. It was fun and I still do it 25 years later, and the main benefit is that I changed and those statements became true.
I began changing other words that I commonly used. Tony has a couple of lists to make choices from to change the whole feeling from negative to positive, from lifeless to exciting and so on. In a chart on page 226, he changes a word confused into curious. I love this one: from pissed off to tinkled. I’ve used that one many times and especially talking to myself. Or this: from fear to wonderment, frightened to inquiring, frustrated to fascinated, hurt to dinged. Love the last one. Image this: “I’m so mad, she really hurt me” turned to this: “I’m so disenchanted, she really dinged me.” It’s laughable now. What a difference changing a few words makes to, as Tony calls it, your state, or your point of view.
Some people will think you’ve lost it. That’s okay. It really wasn’t worth having to me. Today, the weather is overcast and drizzly. Someone said to me that it was yucky today and I responded that I was excited and was absolutely loving this change. They stopped talking. What they wanted was agreement, but I cannot oblige them, or I would be back in that old way of thinking.
When people say that we don’t create our own world, I have to heartily disagree. We do and we do it every minute of every day in some of the most taken for granted kind of ways using our habitual language and habitual thinking. What is really awesome to me about that realization is that if someone wants to change their world, it is so easy to do and changing some of the language we use will help begin the process. Try it for a week and see for yourself.
I Love The Fact That I Need Not Wait For Any Person, Event, Circumstance, Or Outside Power. I Have The Power To Change As I Desire.
Spread Some Joy Today–Go ahead. Try some new words. You might get the book, Awaken the Giant Within and start with chapter 9 and use some words from Tony’s lists. They’re fun and interesting and they will change things up–for the better!