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The Words We Use

July 14, 2009

Recently, I’ve been reminded of something… how the words that we use, define who we are.  They define our spirit.  They define our perspective.  They define our nature.  And, I believe that we have the ability to change the words that we use, and thus, change who we are.

The words that we use informs the person listening to us of who we are, and, it informs us of who we are too.  It reinforces thought patterns that we have around our perception of ourselves.

Let me give a couple of examples that I’ve noticed recently.  A colleague of mine uses the term “committed” in conversation when he’s telling you what he is going to be doing over the next while.  I think that this is great for a number of reasons.  He is creating external commitment by telling other people like myself what he is going to be doing and accomplishing over the next short timeframe.  This is so important as those of you who have been to my programs know.  But, he is also reinforcing the external commitment by saying, “I am committed to doing……. ” out loud.  I respect this deeply as it defines who he is.

Another example is my own  mother.  She will often use the word “stretch”.  She will use it in the context of a phrase like, “Oh, that’s so good.  That will certainly stretch you.”  She likes to see when people are being stretched and sees the value in us being challenged.  Looking back on her career, much of what she did was being “stretched”.  The work that she did challenged her in many ways, but she felt it was important, important that she be “stretched” and that she know she could handle the challenge.  That defines part of who she is.

So, I plan on Observing [from The Performance Shift Model] the words that I use over the next while.  It will be interesting to see how I define myself.  I hope you will join me.  Let me know what you discover.

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