Have you ever learned another language? My parents made us take a foreign language course in school likely because their parents made them. My dad grew up in an Italian family with relatives who did not speak English so he was exposed to another language and culture his entire life. He was still required, however, to take Latin — uhg! My mom took French in high school and does a great job speaking it today when they travel. My brother took German has maintained his ability to speak fluently. I took Spanish in school and am now teaching myself Italian. It all reminds me of my favorite comedian, Steve Martin, who quipped, “It’s like they have a different word for everything!” While you may not be inspired to learn another language, you may be surprised to find out just how powerful your own words can be when it comes to your health, fitness, motivation and success.
What’s In a Name
Shakespeare had it right when he wrote “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” A bunch of letters jumbled together doesn’t mean anything until a meaning is attached to it. Words have power when they are given an association. The same is true when words are attached to emotion. In business, I often say that I need to “exploit this opportunity.” It’s interesting that people associate the word “exploit” with a negative connotation. In reality, it means to “make full use of and derive benefit from (a resource).” Go a step further and you’ll find that the noun, “exploit”, is defined as a “bold or daring feat.” I love the idea that I am bold and daring in my desire to make full use of the resources I possess!
Is it any accident that Muhammad Ali became the heavyweight champion of the world? Remember his affirmation — “I am the greatest of all time!” That worked. How about President Kennedy affirming that we would land Americans on the moon within a decade? He affirmed to the world that “We choose to go to the moon.” Are you beginning to see the power of your words?
Have you ever said things like “I never win, I can’t catch a break, I’m always late, I’ll never lose weight, I can’t get into shape no matter what I do, I’m always broke, I’m so tired, I’m stressed out…” If you find yourself uttering these or other negative phrases, you may be surprised to find out that your words may be the exact reason you’re not getting the results you truly desire. Henry Ford said it best when he stated, “If you think you can do a thing, or you think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” Here are some simple steps (ref: ExpectSuccessCoaching.net) you can take right now to reprogram your words and create the life you really want:
- Delete negative self-talk — It takes 6–7 positive thoughts to neutralize just one negative thought. So, stop talking yourself down and start lifting yourself up with positive statements and phrases. When you replace doubt, worry and fear with hope, anticipation and joy, there’s no more room in your brain for the bad stuff to creep back in.
- Use positive affirmations — an affirmation is a statement affirming something is true. When you affirm what you want instead of what you may be at this moment, you can begin to change your future.
- Put some power behind it — whenever you attach emotions to your words they have more power. Get a mental image of something you really desire and feel the feeling of achieving it. Watch any olympic athlete and you’ll see them use the power of mental visualization to practice their routines over and over in their minds. Not only can they see themselves performing, they can hear the roar of the crowd and the feel the heft of the gold medal around their neck.
- Shout it out — did you know that a certain area of your brain is only activated by your voice? When you speak your affirmations out loud you boost your brain and your willpower!
- Practice it — it takes 21 days to develop a new habit. The same is true when you are developing the habit of positive affirmations. Take one critical area of your life that you would like to improve and repeat your affirmation for the next 21 days in a row and you will be locking in your new attitude for life.
Just Do It, Seriously!
Nike figured it out when they came up with their iconic swoosh and tag line “Just Do It.” It’s a catch phrase that makes us get out there and, well, do it! Here is a simple formula (ref: ExpectSuccessCoaching.net) to develop and implement your affirmations:
- Keep it simple and specific — If you want to get into better shape how about affirming “Every day I am excited to complete my workouts and achieve my ideal weight of ____.” If you want to wake up earlier and get more done, try this “Every day I wake up energized and refreshed and I have fun accomplishing everything on my to-do list.”
- Keep it positive and in the present tense — rather than saying “I want to lose weight” (which is a future statement with a negative connotation of losing) say “I am reducing my bodyfat and feeling fabulous!”
- See it and say it daily — I have my affirmation written out and posted all over my house so I see it everywhere I go. It’s also important to write it out and speak your affirmation 10–15 times per day. Believe it or not…actually, just believe it when I tell you it only takes about 10 or 15 minutes to do this. If you sincerely want to change your beliefs, it is time well invested.
- One at a time — if you’re like me you may be tempted to want to improve everything at once. It is actually better to anchor one improvement at a time. Pick the thing you are fretting about the most in your life right now and get ready to go big with your daily affirmations for the next 21 days. If you skip a day, restart your 21 day cycle to make sure you lock in your success before moving on to the next affirmation adventure.
Before you hit the gym, the trail, the office or the books, retool your words so they work their magic and help you achieve your dreams. Oh, and let me know how you’re doing. I would love to know how your affirmations have transformed your life and I’ll keep you posted on mine!
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“ It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.” Muhammad Ali
Copyright © 2013 by Christine A.Toriello, all rights reserved.