As we deal with the ups and downs that last year has ushered in, I find myself thinking about my personal mindset and that of our team. How we communicate with ourselves can heavily influence how we communicate with the rest of the world.
In executive coach, Tommy Thompson’s, weekly blog, he wrote “Language has power. The words and phrases that we regularly repeat instruct us as to how we should feel and what we should think. Words are not harmless. Despite the saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me,” words regularly break bones and crush souls. Often, our own soul is the one that our own words crush. Words we speak, whether to others or to ourselves belie what is going on internally. Words communicate stress, such as “I am just worried that….” When I hear someone speak those words regularly, I am usually looking at a person who struggles with anxiety. Words communicate discontent, like “I wish that…”
Sometimes, just a subtle change in language to reframe how I communicate to myself can make a world of difference. For example, instead of constantly telling myself, “I can’t wait…” I try swapping the phrase with “I look forward to.”This small shift starts to internally communicate optimism instead of discontent.
This week, I am working on making subtle shifts to my internal dialog and I encourage you to do the same.
I am aiming to combat my own impatience and unhealthy mindset by following some of Thompson’s recommendations.
- Take a few moments; take several deep breaths and relax. It doesn’t take long to bring stress down one notch.
- Decide not to rush today. Get started slightly earlier and take it a little slower.
- Work to reframe that distasteful task I have or that difficult meeting by deciding to fully engage in it.
- Have the courage to leave behind negativity.
I have come to love the phrase “our lives move in the direction of our strongest thoughts.” What more can be true amidst another week full of meetings, presentations, and deadlines?
To read Thompson’s full blog and his other insightful posts, click here: https://tommythompson.org/reflections/