Your brain believes what you tell it—both consciously and unconsciously. Your thoughts and the words you speak stimulate a chemical reaction in your nervous system to respond to what you are thinking and saying.
For example, if you repeatedly tell yourself that a work project will not go well, your nervous system will produce stress hormones that correspond to your anxiety. If you express appreciation and optimism that things will go well, dopamine and oxytocin are released indicating a reward or success is around the corner. What you think and how you speak creates immediate physical body changes.
Therefore, it matters what you say to yourself and others. Your brain doesn’t know any better because it was designed to believe what you tell it. By closely listening to the words that come out of your mouth, you will get a clue about how you are relating to yourself and life.
The central role in TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic)® is Creator. This is the part of you that knows your true essence, your higher self, whether you are consciously aware of it or not. When you embrace your Creator essence, your speech taps into the natural flow of energy that is always working on your behalf.
The opposite from being a Creator is the disempowering Victim role—the central role in the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT). We all play these reactive roles from time-to-time. By closely observing your language, you will notice when you slip into the reactive DDT roles sooner, so you can transform them faster.
Here are a few common disempowering phrases to listen for:
“I have to… (fill in the blank)” or “I can’t do…”
By saying you have to, or you can’t, you are denying that you have a choice in the matter. Your choice maybe a narrow one, and yet, you always still have a choice.
Instead try this language:
“I choose to…” or “I want to…” or “I will.”
When you hear:
“I should do this, or that.”
Shift to Creator language:
“I could do …” or “I am doing…” or “It’s an opportunity…”
Similarly, what others hear you say also impacts what they are thinking. For example, if you say, “You did a nice job on that project, but I don’t like the way you (fill in the blank).” When you use the word “but” as a transition, you discount the first half of the sentence and likely become a Persecutor to another if you use critical language in the second half of the sentence. The human brain is more sensitive to negative comments, so the complaint sounds like it was shouted from a megaphone, while a compliment is barely a whisper.
Make a clear and authentic statement. “You did a nice job on that project.” If you have additional feedback, ask for their permission to share your feedback, then do so without diminishing the positive.
A few more examples of disempowering words are “just,” “actually,” and “maybe.” They are common words that come across as tentative and disempowering. These words soften your request and signals to others that you will settle for less than what you want.
Here are examples of emails using less-than language: “I am just wondering if you had a chance to follow up on that customer inquiry.” Or, “Actually, I don’t want to bother you, so maybe you could just get back to me when you have a chance.”
By noticing your language, you can develop a deeper awareness of the beliefs behind your words. When you use Creator language, you wake-up to your true and powerful self without diminishing others. In fact, you are inviting them to also step up to be their best Creator self!