“Watch your thoughts, they become your words.
Watch your words, they become your actions.
Watch your actions, they become your habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”
Words are very powerful. They create your reality. If you consistently say negative things and complain about your life, you not only reinforce the negative thoughts and behaviors you already have, but you also create a victim mentality.
By complaining or using negative language, you are giving away your power and your responsibility for changing your own situation. When you give off a certain negative energy, that is what keeps coming back to you in your life. And then you cement your beliefs by saying “nothing good ever happens to me” or something similar.
I see this a lot with my coaching clients. They talk about situations in their life or themselves in a negative, self-critical way. I’m not saying that I don’t do it myself! Of course I do. But when I reflect back what they have just said about themselves, it can be really eye-opening, because many of them don’t even realize what they’re doing. And the more they focus on being aware of what they’re saying, the easier it is to change it and move to more positive language.
The powerful thing about watching your language is that if you change your words consistently, your beliefs will also change. So you can work backwards and by only speaking positively, your negative beliefs will fall away as well. This works because of neuroplasticy.
The old neural pathways connected to the negative words fall away if they’re not used frequently. You are also forced to be more mindful of what you say and that action alone helps you to choose your words carefully, bringing your behavior to the forefront. Check out the Complaint Free® challenge by Will Bowen if you want to start changing your language. You may be surprised to see what you find once you start monitoring yourself.
We humans also have an innate negativity bias. We’re wired to see mostly the negative things as a way to protect ourselves from danger. But this doesn’t help us to see the positives. So it takes effort to actually be grateful and reframe the way we see things.
Finally, if you don’t identify with the things above, what about the way you label yourself? Do you call yourself lazy or stupid or make other self-deprecating remarks? Even if you say something as a joke, the message you’re sending to yourself is still loud and clear. If you once identified yourself this way, it may be time to clean up your language (and potentially also your social media and online accounts) to move into a new frame of mind.