Jonathan Chandler Webb
Why do you say that?

We all need to change our vocabulary. We need to move away from so much negative talk and really focus on the words we use on a daily basis. This is sometimes referred to as transformational vocabulary. Transformational vocabulary sounds like a new age phrase or some fancy term to describe a word. Its not. Its the idea that you can change the words you use, you can turn around how you talk to yourself.

On most days, we interact with people as often through electronics as we do through personal conversation. When this occurs, it usually leaves us being alone with ourselves and our thoughts quite a bit. And you know as well as I do what happens in those cases. If you are like me it becomes a lot of second-guessing myself, a lot of wondering if I’m doing the right thing, and on and on the list goes.

Do me a quick favor as you are reading this. Spend a few minutes writing down as many negative words as you can that you catch yourself saying on a daily basis. Don’t overthink it and don’t try and categorize them, just start writing. For example, some of mine are: can’t, unable to, not qualified, problem, worried, missed. These words are used in multiple settings and in multiple ways throughout the day.

Now, the way we work to remove those words is by not just trying to stop saying them. We need to replace those words with more positive ones. I’ll give you an example. Instead of saying ‘this is hard’, say ‘this is challenging.’ Challenging implies there is a reward at the end while hard is a brick wall. This may be difficult for you as you may not even realize the words you are using on a daily basis. So please take your time and come back to this later if it isn’t working for you today. No worries on that!

The idea here is to capture how you talk to yourself, how you really view yourself when no one is around. We beat ourselves up all the time and most of the time we don’t even realize it is happening! Let me give you another example from me.

I went all the way through high school, undergraduate, and graduate school telling myself I was a procrastinator. Well guess what would happen any time a project was due? That’s right, I’d put it off until the last minute. I’m a procrastinator so why would I do it early? The problem with that is I am not a procrastinator. I was believing something about myself that simply wasn’t true.

My true personality traits, my true self is actually a very organized and detailed person. I hate being late. In fact, I’m usually 10 minutes early to everything. By beating myself up with false words I was not living out of my true identity and being myself.

Its not easy but it is necessary. I challenge you to take this to heart and see the impact the words you are using are having on your daily life. Changing that vocabulary will be powerful for you and those around you. Give it a try!