A month or two ago, I was surfing the Internet, bouncing from site to site as we all do. I stumbled up on a video from the U.K. regarding disabled people being denied the lifeline of social care. The video, entitled “Two Words Can Change the World,” urged Britannia around the world to show their support for the cause by submitting creative pictures or crafts with the words “I Care.”
The video, which puts me on the verge of tears just thinking about it, was beautifully shot and highlights the power words have to the voice of the talented Stephen Fry. To demonstrate the power of words, the video starts out with three different scenarios where it took only two words had the power to “rock our world” and hurt or install doubt, such as “Let’s talk.”, “I’m pregnant.” or “You’re ugly.” Then, it demonstrated how two words can change our lives with the same three situations, such as “Marry me.” “Hello, you!” (man saying it to his new son) and “That’s beautiful.”
While I am not a British citizen, I couldn’t help but be moved by this video and the concept, heart behind it. But it gave me pause to think about how I use two words. Or, to be more precise, how I can change how I use words.
“I can’t”, “I’ll try” or “I’m not . . . ” — this vague language and defeating words are repeat offenders in my daily speech. I think several of my ideas or endeavors aren’t good enough. I often think I’m not creative enough. My mind repeats these negative mantras over and over to the point that not only do these statements become fact in my head but they start to prove themselves in my daily life.
In the book “Train Your Brain for Success”, author Roger Seip highlights an interesting point on how the mind works. Basically, what you envision in your mind is what will result. Seip states that our brains are always working — either with or against us. He believes that our default gear is one that isn’t really helpful and is designed to keep us safe, but not in a position to get out of our current creative ruts.
Siep states that the language of our brain is images. Thus, by making such claims as “I’m not creative” or “I only do websites” — we are creating that image that our brains lock onto and file away as fact and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We, as programmers of our own mind, have the power to produce a positive snapshot that our mind will embrace and will actually push us forward. By stating a negative, you create that image in your mind and then your life.
For instance, my husband and I enjoying riding bikes around town — a town with a lot of steep hills. Even though I would take a pedaling start and hit the hill at high speed, my head start would soon peter out and I would have to rely on my leg power. Often times, I would get off the bike mid-hill and walk it the rest of the way.
I worked out at the gym and on my yoga mat in an effort to build up the muscle mass. But my climb to the top of the hills in which I could stay on my two-wheels was a slow one. Mostly, I needed to work on retraining my own thoughts on approaching the hill. Instead of thinking “Oh, no. Another hill. My legs are sore.” or “I won’t get off this bike”, I needed to rephrase my thought process. I started thinking “I can do anything for 45 seconds.” “I can climb this hill.”
Earl Nightingale once said that a person becomes what they think about. If you think you can’t do it, you’re not creative or there’s not enough time, that is the image your mind will model itself after. You have the power to shift your attitude, your thoughts, the mental snapshots . . . YOUR LIFE. Decide to focus on what you can do about a problem, situation, goal or event rather than what is lacking or can’t be done.
Instead of “I’ll try” think “I will”. Instead of “I can’t”, consider rephrasing it so that it it sounds more like “I am building strength and will one day make it to the top – on the bike.”
How are you talking to yourself? What changes to your verbiage can you make to enhance your life?
- The “Right Brain” Is Not the Only Source of Creativity (psychologytoday.com)
- The Corruption of Creativity (storytellergirlgrace.wordpress.com)
- “What’s Your Creative Philosophy?” – New York Edition (thenyegotist.com)
- The power of every thought (buildingkaleidoscopes.wordpress.com)