The Power of Words and Positive Self-Talk

Do you ever stop to think about the words you use in everyday life?

As a hypnotherapist, I am very much aware of the language and words that I use in everyday life. For me, it is like an automatic correction facility I have ingrained in my mind. Knowing how the words that we use can affect the way we behave can be very enlightening — even life changing.

This has nothing to do with perceived intelligence or education — I am talking about simple, little words that are already a part of your vocabulary. These words have the power to create barriers within your life. Here are just a few examples of what clients often say to me, in addition to questions that can help them expand their world:

  • I can’t do that. (What’s stopping you? What would happen if you did?)
  • I mustn’t do that.(According to whom? How might it affect your life if you did?)
  • She/he makes me feel awful. (Do you usually allow people to affect your feelings? What would happen if you didn’t?)

It is quite amazing how such simple subtleties within our language can have such profound effects. An awareness of the words you use can help empower your life. You can change your life when you change your words, thereby creating  more ownership and responsibility for your future.

Positive self-talk

It is not just about the words you use externally. Of greater importance are the words you use internally. Self-talk creates images in our minds that motivate our behaviours, and it is important that you frame it in the positive, as much as possible. I do not expect you to be 100% positive all the time. After all — we are all human. Sometimes, we feel down and can be a bit negative. The key is, of course, to remember to say to yourself, “Wait a minute! What am I doing? Why would I want to hurt and sabotage myself with this negative stuff? Let’s stop doing this!”

Having an awareness of the vocabulary you use (internally and externally) and trying to keep it positive can be extremely helpful. For example, imagine I spend the day saying,“I have so much work to do. I’ll never be able to finish it all and I’ll be really worn out tonight.” What do you think is going to happen? Imagine instead that I say, “Well, I’m going to be busy today, and I’ll manage it all and I’m really looking forward to seeing my friends tonight”. There is a big difference in the outcome.

The power of positive suggestion

We are constantly giving ourselves suggestions. Our internal dialogue (that monotonous voice we sometimes hear criticising certain decisions we have made) is always giving us ideas about how to think, feel and behave, in any given situation. The more positive the suggestions we give ourselves, the more positive the reactions will be. It can be so easy to think we are saying or suggesting the correct things to ourselves and without realising, we create a very negative resulting pattern of the complete opposite of what we really desire.

What we say to ourselves can determine if we succeed or fail, because it also determines how we think and what we picture in our mind. Those pictures affect our behaviour and can either lead us to what we want, or what we do not want. We are constantly programming our minds and behaviours with our thoughts. I would much rather program myself to be successful, so I think of success and what I want to achieve. I therefore keep my vocabulary positive.

Within the framework of hypnotherapy, we use positive suggestions for the same effects. We also paint images in our minds of how good things can be if we were to change our behaviours. Those images become our subconscious motivation, where and when changes can begin to take place.

Breaking the habit of negative speaking and thinking does not happen overnight. However, once we realise what we are doing to ourselves by talking negatively, we are already taking the first step toward positive thinking. Even when bad things happen to us, we can learn to say to ourselves, “Well, this has been an awful time, but life goes on. There are still lots of good things in my life.”

It is important to remember that we do have choices. We have choices about what happens in our life. We have choices about the words we use.

Lastly, when clients come to see me for hypnotherapy, one word I ban, is the word “try.” Simple as it is, this little three lettered little word gives permission and space for failure, instead of getting on with it. I urge you too, to remove the word “try” from your vocabulary.