Have you ever thought…I’m not a creative person?
Well, let me help you flip that sentiment on its rear.
Because language is a completely creative outlet. You’re creating all the time using language.
You run into a friend and say, “We should go to lunch next Friday.”
Your friend says, “Yes! I’d love to…how about noon?”
You say, “Perfect.”
And in three sentences, you created a commitment to go to lunch next Friday. That commitment wasn’t there before, and now it is. Creative!
But you do this by yourself all the time too. With phrases like:
- “I’m terrified to put myself out there.”
- “I can’t do that. I don’t know how.”
- “I’m a horrible person.”
When you claim statements like this as an identity, you’re creating your reality. It’s not necessarily true; it’s made up! You created it. And once created, it’s challenging to see other options.
Your language is so always creative.
I don’t know who made up the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” But it is some serious BS.
Because the words we use, especially when we’re talking about ourselves in a negative or limiting way, create our reality. And we can make up some pretty painful realities.
So try this on for size. Instead of saying, “I’m terrified of putting myself out there.” Which will lead to a ton of resistance when you try and talk to people about what you’re doing.
Try, “I’m uncomfortable doing this because I haven’t done it before, but I’m willing to try.”
Use your language to create the world you want to live in, not the one that is keeping you stuck.
I’m reading Brené Brown’s newest book, “Atlas of the Heart – Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience.”
In the introduction, she writes:
“Language is our portal to meaning-making, connection, healing, learning, and self-awareness. Having access to the right words can open up entire universes.”
The book then reviews over 80 different emotions and states to help clarify what they mean and how we can use them as descriptors for what we’re feeling.
Having more choices in our language beyond the big three of happy, mad, and sad gives us a richer experience of life. And as Harvard psychologist Susan David, says “Learning to label emotions with a more nuanced vocabulary can be absolutely transformative.”
I bet you can spot the connection between this book and what I wrote to you above.
Language doesn’t just report on our feelings; it can also help create them.