If you have ever hung out with me for very long you know what a stickler I am with words; the words we use to describe others, the words we use to describe ourselves, the words we use for what is possible in the world. Chalk it up to a variety of sources; my upbringing, my psychology degree, sales driven books but most notably my IntenSati training.
IntenSati means intentional mindfulness. Being aware of what we are thinking about and knowing that while we have thousands of thoughts a day we can only think on thought at a time….and you better make those thoughts count. The practice of IntenSati focuses on us becoming what we talk about and think about regularly, for instance if I repeatedly say, “I am strong” then I will consciously or subconsciously do things that prove I am strong. So when I hear a new client say, “I am so fat and weak” , you can bet your britches that I am going to rephrase that for them! (I am working on a strong, healthy body) or , “I am so lazy for not planning ahead my meals,” becomes ,”I am learning new habits and still working on my meal planning groove.” One last one….,”I am such a klutz.” REALLY!? Not on my time! “I am a well balanced, coordinated rock star!”
While these may seem like silly semantics I have 2 very real examples of how changing ones words will change your life.
The first is a gal who came to me, menopausal, fresh out of a 3rd long term relationship, overweight and a bit depressed. For me she was very tough to work with as I was spending much of our time together rewording everything she said (I am so weak, I am dumb, I don’t know anything, I am not good enough, I can’t) Uffda! She was a huge mental drain on me and honestly I was ready to fire her. But slowly and surely she started correcting herself, as soon as she heard an offending statement (or maybe it was my raised eyebrow; definitely was not the threat of burpees if I heard one more condescending remark) Guess what! She started changing! Getting stronger became easier, meal planning was now second hand! And when she quit lamenting about how depressed she was she became a much happier person! And I love to work with this vibrant, happy, strong, healthy woman now!
Takeaway here? What she said affected her and I alike, she is amazing and healthy and a completly different person then when I first met her and I love to be around her!
Second example, a young 40 something gentleman came in looking to recover from a broken joint, having had surgery and done his physical therapy he was ready to get stronger. He really had his head in a great place (dare I say, he stubbornly refused to believe he couldn’t do anything I told him to do) he just needed the guidance to get him stronger and maybe lose a little weight. Stronger was easy. He faithfully comes to his appointments, implements the food suggestions and even does some extra time on the treadmill at home.
This guy also has a high school age son who was more of a computer kid than a gym rat. Well, the side effect of his dad doing all the cooking meant his suppers for sure changed. And as his dad started losing the weight he took notice of what dad was doing….and he started spending some time on the treadmill. Changed his breakfast choices. Started lifting some weights too. And now dad has to hide his new running shoes because his son is “borrowing” them. This father/son team will be running in a race together early spring…..guess who is watching?
A little side note on this gentleman….having been working with me for a little more than a year now, today he came in to tell me about one of the gals in his office. Out of the blue this morning she said to him, “You suck.”
“Excuse me.” he said
“Since you started getting all healthy and losing weight, I went and joined a gym and my legs hurt today!”
Guess who is watching?
It’s these kinds of stories that really excite me….look at how this man is causing a change in his circle! Before long his office mate will affect someone too, and on and on……
So watch your words, they become you; and what you become is reflected in those closest to you; and they will in turn affect their own circles; and this is how we change the world!