How Words Affect Your Reality?
Your choice of words can either empower or disempower you. In other words, the language you use creates your reality, for better or worse.
“A powerful agent is the right word. Whenever we come upon one of those intensely right words, the resulting effect is physical and spiritual, and electrically prompt.”
– Mark Twain
Words can build us up or they can bring us down. They can make us feel on top of the world or at the end of our tether. They can make people fall in love with us, or they can push them away. They can make us laugh, and they can also make us cry. They can be the difference between negotiating a great deal and landing a job, or losing everything we have.
Did you know that your reality and your beliefs are formed by words? You’ve probably always known this without really thinking about it too much. But everything you believe and don’t believe is a result of the language you choose to use.
We all have the same power to tap into language that empowers us, in the same way that Martin Luther King Junior did when he stood before an audience and said that he had a dream.
We can all choose words that embolden us and make us feel awesome. The problem is that most of the time we choose not to use these words.
When we don’t master words, but instead let words master us, we limit our experience of the world. The morning is not refreshing – it’s just “okay.” We don’t feel fabulous today – we feel “fine”. As always.
People who are all too aware of the profound effect words have on their reality have a much larger chromatic palette to choose from. They use a wide repertoire of words to describe their feelings and experiences of the world.
Many of us automatically choose the same words over and over again. We’re “tired” today. We don’t “feel like doing that” because we “can’t be bothered.”
We’re “bored” and “depressed.”
What is happening here is that we are unconsciously letting these words create our reality.
We’re also very good at raising emotional intensity regarding negative things. We don’t simply look “not great” today. We “look gross.”
We’re not “averse” to something – we quite literally “hate” it.
Can you see how these strong words could intensify our experiences? It makes our situation a whole lot worse.
Emotionally charged words change our state of mind, and they also change our lives.
It works the other way, too. Instead of saying we “want to do a bit better,” just imagine how empowering it would be if instead we were to say “we want to be unstoppable”!
To change your reality, all you need to do is change your habitual vocabulary.
In psychology, this is called transformational vocabulary. It means consciously using the right words that empower you and help you to create a better reality.
The words you use colours your experiences and perceptions. Let’s say you’ve had a bad day. A colleague really annoyed you because they deleted a video file you’d spent two hours exporting and uploading.
They didn’t seem to think it was such a big deal. All you need to do is export and upload it again, right?
You were seething because you know how long it took. You’ll be losing time by doing it all again, and you’ll fall behind with other projects.
When you get home, you tell your partner about how angry you were. What made matters worse is that you got soaked in the rain on the way back. You’re in a really bad mood and probably won’t calm down until the morning.
The words you chose to use are the words you always use when describing such an experience. As such, situations like this will always make you feel angry and annoyed.
But what if you purposely chose to use other words? What if you were miffed that your colleague had mishandled your video file? What if you were peeved that big fat blobs of rain decided to fall from the skies as soon as you left the office to go home?
Maybe you’ll laugh at your new choice of words – but that’s a good thing. Just notice how less intense words like miffed and peeved are compared to angry. They can effect your experiences, feelings and reality. All of a sudden, your experience and perception of the event that took place are totally different. You don’t feel as furious – you’re just a bit miffed!
You might think this isn’t true, and that mere words can’t change how you feel about a situation. But consider how you’d react if a person in the street were to suddenly insult you with a racial slur. Would it hurt you? Or would it elicit no reaction at all from you?
“Words form the threads from which we hang our experiences.”
– Aldous Huxley
The truth is that most of us habitually rely on the same words over and over again to describe our experiences and create our reality. We have a very limited vocabulary. As such, we either feel great, good, okay, or not bad.
We rarely feel invincible, explosive, on top of the world, over the moon, spectacular, fabulous, pensive, courageous, brave, prepared, ready, et cetera.
We always feel the same way.
And this can have a massive impact on our reality.
One of the things you can start doing is adopting someone else’s vocabulary. Choose someone you look up to and admire. It could be a celebrity, someone you follow on the Internet, or it could be a friend. But make sure you choose some successful and positive.
Listen to how they describe their experiences. Pay attention to their language.
Successful, positive people use different words to negative people, and it is these words that help to empower them and propel them to success.
By adopting their language, as well as their tone and delivery, you too can start to change your world for the better.