Personal power starts with language

Further develop personal responsibility through language.

Is your language positive and powerful? Is it opening doors? Is it developing the mind set you need to thrive? Most of our language is never verbally expressed, and our thoughts are language too. Hopefully your thoughts are positive and leading you in the direction of personal growth. In the book Talk Sense to Yourself – The Language of Personal Power, Chick Moorman provides several strategies for developing our thoughts and language patterns. His book is divided into eight chapters. Each title providing specifics into how to develop more positive, responsible and confident language. Moorman states that words develop minds, provide opportunity, possibility, acceptance and confidence.

Some examples of language that we use that represents that we believe we are not responsible are phrases that refer to the concept of luck, good fortune, chance, magic, and or coincidence. Luck is only one of several external sources that can be used to disown personal responsibility. Some examples phrases of how we give up personal responsibility are: “I got carried away,” “It just came over me,” “I don’t know what came over me,” “Time just got away from me,” “I got here at the right/wrong time,” “I didn’t have time to do that,” or “It was one of those things.”

Another form of reducing personal power is to use have to/got to/must language. This type of language is self-limiting that suggest you have no choice in a situation. This choice of language reinforces your belief that you have no options and leaves you feeling powerless and out of control. All of these phrases that eliminate personal power are known for causing anxiety. They increases anxiety because when you tell yourself you “have to” do something it increases a sense of time urgency.

The best practice in getting yourself to be more responsible is to notice the language you are using and to notice the feelings and emotions traveling through your head, heart and body. Slow down and be mindful of your internal and external senses. This practice of noticing is called mindfulness. Mindfulness is a meditation practice that can be done anywhere. It is simply the practice of noticing what is happening in the present moment with acceptance and without judgement.

Are you aware of your verbal and thought language? Is it positive and powerful? Are you using language that is empowering yourself and others? To learn more on this topic of personal power and Mindfulness contact your local Michigan State University Extension office or peruse their website to locate a Stress Less with Mindfulness series and/or a RELAX: Alternatives to Anger series that will provide strategies to manage stress and emotions.

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