We have all experienced the power of words. Those kind words we needed on a bleak day. Those biting words that burst our bubble. Speeches that put us to sleep. Inspirational leaders that motivated us just by their presence.
The controversial work of Dr. Masaru Emoto showed water exposed to positive music, photos and sounds would create beautiful crystals. Water exposed to harsh music, negative words and imagery would create deformed crystals. This is demonstrated in the video below for those curios sorts.
Meditation, chanting and other spiritual practices are believed to contain healing energy. This has been an ancient practice for centuries in many cultures. Some American Indian tribes still practice healing rituals for cancer patients. These practices all believe in the power of healing a person; not their symptoms.
Louis Hayes in her book Heal Your Body, healed herself from vaginal cancer; which she believes was a reaction to being raped throughout her childhood.
A more commonly accepted concept is that of fight-or-flight response. A threat releases chemicals in the brain that produces a hyperarousal or acute stress response. Walter Bradford Cannon discovered this reaction was activated by the autonomic nervous system. Words like ‘kill’ could trigger this response.
These words tell our brain we are a victim. They let others know of our true intentions. These limit us, hold us back and keep us from fully committing ourselves.
I can’t: “There are those who think they can and those who think they can’t and they are both right.” – Henry Ford
This really means we won’t, we don’t want to, we don’t like this, this is beyond our comfort zone or we don’t have enough confidence.
I need to: This may mean we carry guilt. We think we should. We think it’s the right thing. We have no intention of doing it.
I have to: This may mean we are desperate. We know we have to do it, but we don’t want to. We are stuck between suffering and a lack of confidence to believe we have the power to stop something. This is most often seen with addictive behaviors. “I have to quit smoking. I have to leave them. I have to quit this job it’s killing me.”
I don’t want: Ever notice how much we struggle to say I want? Instead we say “I don’t want you to slam the door, I don’t want to be fat, I don’t want to fight”. This is a mixed message to our brain which only hears “I want to fight!”
I will try: This means we are placating the person. We just want them off our back. We don’t want to change. We don’t see what they’ve presented as a problem. We just want them to go away.
“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare. It is because we do not dare that they are difficult.” Seneca, a Roman philosopher and writer of tragedies.
Throughout the day listen for these words both in you and in others. In others it will be a clue. When your spouse says “I will try” ask them what that means. Ask them to be more specific. Ask them if they are fully committed. It may be they are not, and this was a clue of their true intent, which was to placate you. Maybe they do this because they love you and want you to be happy. They want to tell you what you want to hear. However, they may not really see the need to change.
Dictionary For Success:
I Can. I Will. I am Fully Committed. (Instead of I can’t)
“I can, I will, I am fully committed.” Then develop a plan. An intent without a plan, without the skills to execute the plan is only intent and will not produce results. “I can. I will and this is HOW.”
I Want To. I Desire This. I Want This. (Instead of I need to, I have to or I don’t want)
There is no Have to, need to, should do. This does not empower us to own our life. “I want this. I desire this. I want to.” These are powerful statements or declarations of will. They take ownership. They also dispense of that guilt. They send a clear message of what we want and what we intend. Some people are scared to say ‘I want’. This makes us feel vulnerable.
If we want to be positive we could say to our children “I want you to be calm”. Affirm the behavior we want, then give clear instructions. “I want you to be calm, could you please take 5 deep breaths to slow down and relax.” With our spouse we could say “I want you to stop what you are doing and comfort me. What I want is a hug right now.” This affirmation of what we want, followed up with clear instructions, leads to effective communication. No one has to ‘guess’. It is clear.
I will. (Instead of I will try)
Yoda says “Do or do not. There is no try.” What happens if we say we will and we fail?
“Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It’s OK to fail. If you’re not failing, you’re not growing.” H. Stanley Judd, “Think Rich”.
Take ownership of life. Declare those wants. Be bold. Create the life you’ve always imagined. Today is a good day to practice the mighty power of words. Let us know if you have any success stories or insights using these tools.