Has this ever happened to you?
You’re having a conversation with someone and almost everything you’re hearing from the other person is negative.
A recent coaching session with a client began with words like – “frustrated – worried – overwhelmed – fearful – judgmental…” And so on… – What kind of picture does that paint when you’re hearing and feeling words like that on a consistent basis?
One of the great things about being a healthy human being is that we feel such a wide and broad range of emotions and feelings – and that’s a pretty good thing, when we consider what the alternatives are!
The danger, however, is when we live in those negative emotions and speak them over and over and over again, it then becomes difficult to dig ourselves out of the negative rut we’re created – One of the awarenesses that I’ve made as a Coach is how often we speak negatively – We don’t say what we can do, we say what we can’t do – We often ask ourselves questions that require a negative answer instead of a positive answer – One of the practices that I enjoy when it comes to words and language – is to just tweak them a bit so that we can move out of the negative emotion and move up to a better feeling emotion.
For example – Switching up the word “frustrated” to “challenged” instead- And “worried” to “a tiny bit concerned” – She moved overwhelmed to “a bit challenged” and “fearful” to “a tiny bit concerned.” – In a few short minutes we went from spinning downward into a word salad of negativity into some better feeling options. Now this isn’t going to solve life’s biggest challenges, but it’s certainly going to move us into a better feeling state which will help us move back into the direction of where we want to be.
When we make very small shifts in the way we talk and the way we structure our sentences, it can make a powerful impact on the communication we are creating with ourselves and with others.
Try it on for yourself…next time you’re feeling “frustrated”, use the word “a bit challenged” instead and see if that helps with making you feel better. Giving you more options and choices on how to handle life’s situations, using the power of words to see things for what they are – and avoiding turning a small challenge into a disaster film!
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