Darleen Barnard is Board Certified Health Coach and Personal Trainer who specializes in weight loss by using the power of the mind.
Why Words Matter
“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me!” How many times did we say this as kids and now we find that this statement is 100% wrong? Words matter. Our self-talk matters. We may not even realize consciously what we are saying but our subconscious mind is always listening!
When we try to achieve a goal, whether it is weight loss or anything else, we need to make sure that our subconscious mind and our conscious mind are working together to achieve that goal. If our conscious mind wants to lose weight, but our subconscious mind has been programmed to believe it isn't possible, it is not going to happen. If our conscious mind wants to earn $1 million a year, but our subconscious mind has been programmed to believe it isn't possible, it is not going to happen.
Our subconscious mind makes up 88% of our mind and our conscious mind makes up 12% of our mind. If our subconscious mind and our conscious mind disagree on what is possible, the subconscious mind will win . . . every single time.
So why do the words and the self-talk we use on a daily basis matter? Simple. Every time we have a thought that our conscious mind accepts (“I will never be able to do this” or “I can’t figure this out”), it is passed to our subconscious mind and planted as a seed in the subconscious. As those seeds accumulate and your conscious mind continues to find evidence to support those self-limiting beliefs, the seeds germinate and grow. Soon you have a thriving garden in your subconscious mind full of self-limiting beliefs that will choke out anything that your conscious mind decides it wants to do that contradicts those beliefs.
As a Certified Health Coach and Weight Loss Coach, one of my jobs is to help my clients identify negative self-talk and stop it in its tracks. Sometimes we use negative self-talk that we don’t even realize we are using until I point it out. Here are a few examples of things that people say all the time that are really dangerous to achieving weight loss goals.
“I Will Try to Eat Better Today”
Here's the thing about the word "try." You are giving yourself an option of NOT doing something. You are not committing. You are giving yourself a way out. And if seeds have been planted in your subconscious mind that eating healthy food is not enjoyable and/or not possible, guess what is going to happen? You can “try” all you want and your conscious mind may really want to eat healthy, but your subconscious mind doesn’t believe it is possible and the words you used just gave you permission to not eat healthy.
Alternative: Instead, drop the word "try" and say "I will eat better today." Make a commitment and do it.
“I Will” vs. “I Am”
Even better than "will" (from the first example) is I "am." “Will” implies future tense where “am” implies present state. Although "will" is better than "try," "am" is even better yet! “Will” does increase commitment, but if you have a tendency to procrastinate, it also keeps the door open to push things off. When we use the word "am," you are presently committed. You are currently doing something. Remember, we don't get results by procrastinating.
Alternative: “I am eating better today” is even more powerful because it puts us in the present state of mind and we are doing something, right now! We are taking action and the universe rewards action!
“I Have Only Achieved My Weight Loss Goals Twice in My Life”
The word "only" makes this a negative statement. However, by dropping the word "only," we reframe it and make it a positive statement. And if we add an exclamation point at the end, now we are adding some energy and feeling into it! Statements that give us a feeling of accomplishment, excitement and positive energy inspire us to take action!
Alternative: When we drop the word “only,” now we have “I have achieved my weight loss goals twice in my life!” and we feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. And if we’ve done something twice already, we can certainly do it again!
Words Drive Action and Results
Fascinating, isn't it? Making small changes to the words we use is powerful! The words we use can either move us to take action to achieve our goals or they can convince us that there is no hope and we should just give up.
Our subconscious mind is way more powerful than our conscious mind and it is highly suggestible! If you say you are going to "try" or you have "only" done something twice, your subconscious mind goes into action, or inaction, depending on the suggestion that you give it.
Our subconscious mind is quite literal and every word we use and truly believe gets planted in our subconscious mind. The accumulations of these words form the soil in our mind in which the seeds of all these suggestions are planted.
When our conscious mind later decides that we need to lose weight and we attempt to plant a seed of weight loss into the soil of our subconscious mind that has been busy growing other types of plants, we need to not only plant additional seeds of weight loss, but we also need to start weeding the garden of all of those self-limiting beliefs. Both of these objectives can be achieved with patience, deliberate action, and repetition.
Changing the words we use on a consistent basis, changes the way we feel about certain things and inspires us to take action, which will ultimately determine our success. Choose your words wisely!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Darleen Barnard