you ever reflect on the power of words? Words can cause us to erupt
into laughter, break down into tears, fly into a rage, sink into
despair, or float on clouds of happiness. Pretty strong stuff, wouldn’t
you say? Yet, that’s only the beginning, for the words we use do more
than describe the events we experience and actions we take; they
determine their outcomes. What I am today is the result of the words I
have used. What I will become and experience tomorrow, depends on the
words I use today.
My thoughts have no substance until
they are shaped into words. Once they become words they can be strung
together to make statements. And the statements I make create my
reality. If I make angry statements, I AM angry. If I make joyful
statements, I AM joyful. When I state my job is miserable, I AM
miserable. When I state my job is interesting, I AM interested.
words we use can block our progress or clear the path to success and
happiness. They can deprive us of personal power or release it. Words
are potent. They are infused with a divine spark. They are a gift from
God — tools, which are used to create our reality. Their significance
is hinted at in verse one, chapter one, in the Gospel of John: "In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was
Let’s move away from the theoretical and become more
practical. The important point is that words are powerful and because
we use them, we are powerful. But unless we are aware of their power
and their proper use, the power may mistakenly be used destructively.
November 17, 1847, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote the following: "Words — so
innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how
potent for good and evil they become, in the hands of one who knows how
to combine them!" So, let’s look at ways of combining words that will
release our personal power, not block it, and ways that will prove to
be constructive, not destructive.
Tom will be our first
example. He lacks the power of his friends who are comfortable working
with computers. When asked about it, he replies, "I'd like to learn how
to use computers, but I have no time." His combination of words, his
statement, is filled with denial, negation, powerlessness, weakness,
excuse, blame, and fear. Would you say his statement releases personal
power or blocks it?
Let’s help Tom. We’ll begin by
changing just one word in his reply. By changing BUT to AND, his reply
now becomes, "I'd like to learn how to use computers, AND I have no
time." Look at what’s happened. Instead of one negative statement, we
now have two separate statements. The first statement, "I'd like to
learn how to use computers," points to a desire to increase one’s
personal power, so that’s good.
The second statement is an
exaggeration and needs to be changed to a truthful one before we can
continue. So, "I have NO time" becomes "I have LITTLE time." This is
actually a positive statement. After all, if I have LITTLE time, I have
SOME time. I can now accomplish my wish to learn about computers by
spending a LITTLE time studying and practicing each day.
you feel any guilt, shame, or regret because you’re not doing some
things that you wish you were? Good! Those feelings are your friends.
They are your inner urges to become more powerful. Use those urges as
inspiration to combine your words into empowering statements. Change
BUT into AND, and add SO at the end of the statement. For example,
change "I want to quit smoking, BUT I’m addicted" to "I want to quit
smoking AND I’m addicted, SO (I will kick the habit by doing the
following . . .).
If you find yourself often using BUT as
an excuse, you can keep it in your statement if it makes it easier for
you. But reverse the order of your statement and add SO. Here’s what I
mean. Instead of saying, "I’d like to quit smoking, but I’m addicted"
change it to "I’m addicted to cigarettes, but I’d like to quit, so . .
. (I’m going to do the following...).
Here’s another hint.
Always replace SHOULD with COULD. Why? SHOULD conjures up feelings of
stress, pressure, anxiety, and resentment. I feel like it’s something I
don’t want to do. For instance, I SHOULD clean the house. Ugh! But when
I use COULD it points to choice, which is the source of personal power.
It also invites reflection on what would happen if I were to do what I
COULD. Let’s see, now, I COULD clean the house, and if I were to do so,
I would feel a lot better. Well, let’s get started!
change HAVE TO to WANT TO … BECAUSE. In other words, "I HAVE TO clean
the house" becomes "I WANT TO clean the house BECAUSE . . ." The WANT
TO empowers you, and the reasons generated by BECAUSE motivate you to
act. Similarly, change MUST to CHOOSE TO . . . BECAUSE. So, "I MUST
clean the house" now becomes "I CHOOSE TO clean the house BECAUSE . . ."
you see how the words you use shape you and create your environment?
Can you feel the enormous power locked into words? Don’t take your
words lightly. Become aware of them and use them to empower you. Don’t
allow a poor choice of words strip you of your unlimited potential. To
help you move in that direction, here’s another tip. Replace WISH, LIKE
TO, or TRY with WILL. So, "I WISH I could quit smoking," or "I’d LIKE
TO quit smoking," or "I’m going to TRY to quit smoking" becomes "I WILL
quit smoking!" WILL releases commitment and allows you to work on a
plan to reach your goal.
Finally, replace SOMEDAY, SOON,
or EVENTUALLY with a specific date. "SOMEDAY I’ll start an exercise
program" or "I plan to start exercising SOON" or, worse yet,
"EVENTUALLY I’m going to join a fitness club" are statements that block
my power. On the other hand, "I’m going to check out two fitness clubs
and join one of them THIS WEEKEND" empowers me today and will create a
much better future. Can you become aware of the words you use, change
them, and develop your personal power? Of course you can! Just believe
To see more articles by Chuck Gallozzi, visit http://www.personal-development.com
To the depth of your being.
Nourish the talents
Your spirit is freeing.
Know in your heart
when the going gets slow
that your faith in yourself
will continue to grow.
Don't forfeit ambition
when others may doubt.
It's your life to live;
you must live it throughout.
Learn from your errors;
don't dwell in the past.
from a world that is vast.
Believe in yourself;
find the best that is you.
Let your spirit prevail;
steer a course that is true.
by Don Stabler
is a Canadian writer, Certified NLP Practitioner, Founder and Leader of
the Positive Thinkers Group in Toronto, speaker, seminar leader, and
coach. Corporations, church groups, teachers, counsellors, and
caregivers use his articles as a resource. His articles are published
in books, newsletters, magazines, and newspapers. He was interviewed on
CBC's "Steven and Chris Show," appearing nationally on Canadian TV.
Chuck is a catalyst for change who is dedicated to bringing out the
best in others.
joined Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, and other experts to coauthor "101
Great Ways to Improve Your Life" and also joined Dr. Wayne Dyer, and
others to coauthor, "Walking with the Wise for Overcoming Obstacles."
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