When we accept the concept that every feeling that we have; every action we take and the results created by them - even the beliefs we hold; all start with or are driven by our thoughts, we realise that the words we think in are vital. They are the currency of our mind.
It follows that the quality of the words we think in, determines the value of our thoughts and the nature of the actions and outcomes that follow. And with this recognition the importance of carefully selecting, employing and auditing our words becomes abundantly clear.
However, there may well be a part of you (a voice in your head perhaps) that tells you that while certain thoughts and decisions we make in life are important, our every-day thoughts ARE NOT and cannot be life-changing. A part of you that doubts, how powerful can a few words be. I mean research tells us we use between 7000 and 30,000 words a day (and that's just the ones we speak aloud). Research further tells us that women use 2-3 times as many words as men do each day (and that's just the ones spoken aloud, who knows how much faster and how much more we women think!).
I remember discussing this with a friend one day - the idea that (from his perspective) women talk ‘too much'; or conversely (from my own perspective, playing the devil's advocate) that perhaps men don't communicate enough! Being a person who has the gift of the gab, discussing this issue with my friend who is far more frugal with his words, he was excited to find an article on the web that said "Men use about 15,000 words per day, but women use 30,000". ‘See', he said, clutching at this factoid as proof he was right, ‘you women talk too much!'Too much? I replied! Hardly, we speak twice as much because we have to repeat everything we say to you men."
Stunned by how women talking to much suddenly became ‘men's fault', a confused look spread across his face. "What?" he responded... We had a good laugh together at the irony here.
My point is that if we all use thousands of words every day aloud; imagine how many we bombard ourselves with in our thoughts! And each one of those shapes how we feel and act. Each one of them is important; even though there are many. In the same way that just because a sperm is competing against of thousands of others, does not make him less important than his competitors.
With words too, it's not how many there are that matters, it's which ones get through. And the thing about our unconscious mind is that it believes everything we tell it - so they all get through! They all impregnate our minds with their meaning... for better, or worse.
So, the power of just a couple of words is what I want to explore with you now. Today's question for you to ponder is this:
"What are the two most powerful words in the English language - for better, or worse?"
That is, words that can be either empowering or immobilising depending on how you use them? Given the power behind your thinking, I wanted to get lots of people's thoughts on this, and I hope you contact me with your ideas and thoughts too. I'd like to share some of the ideas already submitted and explore the reason they hold such power.
Here are some strong contenders, for' the two most powerful words'
- ‘I am' is a powerful phrase. It allows you to create or affirm who you are, to determine your identity, establish your mood or state or list your defining attributes.
- ‘I believe' is equally powerful. These words recognise your ability to change the world based on your perception - it and draws attention to the fact that how something is, is up to you.
- ‘I choose' similarly focuses on what you can do in any give situation and that there are always options, so it affirms your sense of control and accountability - something we could all benefit by doing more of, especially in times of conflict and change.
- ‘I can' often follows from this - and puts you in a positive ‘able' mind set - removing stress. Now that's powerful!
- ‘I will' is a commitment to action, and is far more positive and powerful than its ugly cousin ‘I'll try'. ‘I'll try' while it sounds positive actually sends a message doubt to your unconscious (and sometimes conscious mind too).
So, some useful 2 word phrases worth adopting and pondering. Each of these concepts has merit and in a given context could be more or less powerful, however, in my opinion, we can go one better. In my opinion the two most powerful word phrase is:
‘What if' - as in, what if we did this? What if this happens, what if I could?
- What matters with ‘what if' is not so much the context or situation, but the attitude and beliefs that they are bound with...
- ‘What if' to me is all about possibility. When said with a positive, curious mindset, what if will open your world in ways you did not previously imagine. The words ‘what if' are like the gate way to your potential, to expand your horizons, explore new outcomes and discover new experiences.
- When said in fear, ‘what if' is equally as powerful, and it will serve the opposite purpose - to maintain the status quo, ensuring your world stays in stasis, stunting your growth, allowing your actions to be dictated by fear and insecurities.
- So while ‘what if' is not necessarily the most positive of phrases, it is, in my opinion the most powerful - for better, or worse - it's up to you.
The key thing with any of these 2 word statements is that any of them can be positive or negative, its not actually how or where you start that matters, but how you choose to finish that determines the outcome.
In summary I challenge you to remember, it is not the thought that counts, but rather EACH thought that counts. Remember too that no matter how many thoughts you have, they always get through, so the nature and quality of your thoughts is important. You can work to consciously improve the quality of your thoughts by using affirmations daily or as needed, and by challenging any negative or limiting assumptions that leave you feeling stuck, down or unable.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts (literally) or questions on this topic - the 2 most powerful words for you. You can email me at [email protected] and I promise to respond to your email.
In the mean time, have a positive, powerful and pro active week.