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Forbidden Words – The Powerful Effect of Language

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By Kim Ades

RISMEDIA, Jan. 1, 2009-I never thought I would do it. I always regarded it as a restriction on freedom of speech. I always believed that people should be able to express themselves freely. Even swear words were not a huge deal in my books, as long as they did not insult or hurt anyone. “Speak your mind,” I always thought.

Well last night I reneged on that stand and I implemented a new rule in my house. This is what I heard myself spouting:

“There are two statements I never want to hear in this house ever again. In fact, I forbid you to use them.”

Me? Forbidding anyone from anything? That didn’t sound like me – I’m all about enabling and empowering – how could I ‘forbid’ anyone from self-expression?

I continued, “Here are the words I never want to hear: ‘It’s hard’ and ‘I can’t.’ Those words don’t serve you, and they don’t belong in your language. You are done with that.” I laid down the law and that was how it was going to be. It was a monologue following my son’s response to my asking him to do his homework.

Needless to say, homework can be a tumultuous experience for a 12-year-old boy who is dealing with  increasingly higher academic demands. I was adamant about my request but stopped short of implementing a consequence where he would have to pay a 25 cent fee each time one of those phrases slipped through his lips.

Language has a powerful effect on people. Language is not just composed of words. We attach meaning to the words and the meaning impacts our perspective on everything in our lives. The words represent our beliefs. If my son believes his homework is hard and that he can’t do it, he will find evidence to support it – and he does. The language we use cements our thoughts into place, and sometimes those thoughts stand in the way of great success. In my world, there is no room for such language – the cost is far too high.

The good news is that the language we use can also help to propel us to higher and higher levels of success. While things are much harder if we believe them to be so, the contrary is also true. If we believe things are easy, there is a much greater likelihood that things will happen with greater ease. Choosing to use different words in our speech makes us conscious of the decisions we make about our beliefs. Are there words that you would be better off eliminating from your language? Are there words you use that only slow you down?

Are there other words you could trade them in for that would serve you better?

It’s very important to take a look at our language and understand the outcome that it has on our lives. Writing in a journal is the best way to discover which words you want to trade in. Working with an online coach through this process can be tremendously helpful. When an online coach reads your journal entries, they are able to help you to pinpoint the patterns of language and thought in your life that are not moving you in the direction of success. An online coach can offer suggestions for how to change your thinking and adapt the kind of language you use, offering thoughts and words to support your dreams and goals and make a significant impact on your desired results.

Kim Ades, MBA President of Frame of Mind Coaching, and her team of experts have created an online coaching program called FOM52. You are guided about what to write about weekly and an experienced coach reviews your work and makes comments and suggestions to help you make significant changes in your life.

For more information, visit www.fom52.com or you can contact Kim at kim@fom52.com.

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