Clean Up Your Language

After my presentation at PCI Expo last Thursday, I walked around the Expo asking which of the 7 Dirty Words resonated or intrigued folks the most. I am curious about what catches people’s attention and which words they find the most important to shift.

The 3 most common words mentioned were Should, Try and Not. And the wrestler demonstration and analogy really hit home.

The words Should and Try belong to the group of Power Words, while Not belongs to the Vision Words.

The “dirty” Power Words have a pushing power while their opposites – the “clean” words – are empowering. The “clean” Vision Words are useful in enlisting the help of our brain to get more of what we would like to have.

Word CommunicationHow does it feel to have someone say these:

  • You should exercise every day.
  • You should’ve done it this way!
  • I’ll try to be at your party.
  • I’ll try to get that done.

When I hear “should” statements like those above, I feel criticized and judged. Neither of those feels good. I would much rather feel empowered with phrases like:

  • Exercising every day brings many benefits.
  • I recognize that there are several ways to do this task. Here’s the reason I would have done it this way, instead.
  • I know I would enjoy your party, and I am planning a quiet night at home. Thank you for inviting me.
  • I am sure I can figure out how to get this done. If I need any help with it, I can come to you, right?

The more empowering phrases have more truth, first of all. Then, when presented with benefits and reasons, I get to choose my path (be empowered) instead of being commanded without any understanding of why. Also, having someone tell me that they are going to do something besides come to my party helps me to be prepared and hear the truth. I may be disappointed that you are going to miss my party, and I appreciate that you had the inner strength to tell me. In the last example above, replacing the “try” phrase helps me to understand that you might be unsure and need to learn how to do what I’ve asked. Again, it is the truth and helps me to plan.

How helpful are the following “not” statements to getting more of what you desire:

  •  I don’t know how to do that.
  • Don’t tell me that!
  • I don’t like doing office work.

In each of those “not” statements, you only know what I “don’t want”. You might get what you’d like instead, when you begin to talk about what you would like!

Which of these 3 of the 7 Dirty Words is your personal favorite?

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  1. Loved your talk on this topic at the Expo! So easy to change our talk and thus, change our mindset and change our reality! I still find myself “should-ing” myself too much! Declaritive statements “I will” or “When I” or “I am”…they leave us with the mindset that it is already accomplished! And I believe your mind begins to believe it! Thanks!

    1. Keith, you nailed it! Glad you are noticing those “shoulds” and looking for ways to shift that. Words matter because of “mind over matter”, so yes, we have the power to shift our reality by choosing powerful words. Happy shifting!

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