If you follow me on social media or receive my coaching monthly email, you may have seen that I presented a challenge to my audience at the end of September. The challenge itself is seemingly simple, switch one word of your inner dialog from negative to positive for 30 days.
It’s a challenge because we are so societally trained to berate and bully ourselves, as if it will make us better, that we likely have been talking to ourselves negatively for most if not all of our lives. We’ve been hardwiring paths in our brains to treat us poorly no matter the circumstances, and like rivers those paths cannot be re-routed easily, the valleys have already been etched.
The science coming out on this is unanimous as is my own life experience and that of my clients and friends. Our brains work with our bodies to make what we tell ourselves real. This does not mean not acknowledging the truth and doing something about it, but it does mean not bullying yourself in the process. How do you feel when you bully yourself? Ready to get up and try again? Doubtful. How do you feel when you tell yourself you did the best job you could, let’s try again tomorrow? Likely, ready to take on more after much needed rest.
One recent example from my own life occurred when my business coach and friend from college called me out on my use of the word “putz.” I was having a hard time consistently showing up creatively for my own business, and kept saying things like, “I’ll just putz with a new blog format” or “I’ve been putzing with my parents’ tomato juice recipe.” He simply asked if I knew the meaning. I said I thought it meant to experiment. Wrong. Off to Google we both went. There is some slang that I won’t mention here, but the meaning that hit me was “engage in inconsequential or unproductive activity.”
Knowing me, he said, “Nicole, you never engage in unproductive activity, your brain is always on learning, absorbing, sensing how you can make an impact. None of what you’re doing is ever putzing. It’s like you’re subconsciously sabotaging yourself in one word.” All of this is true. We agreed that the word was banned from my vocabulary.
Shortly thereafter, my productivity and output skyrocketed. All because I changed one word.
I’m lobbing this challenge to any reader here that is ready to shift their life in some way. Where do you beat yourself up with your inner dialog? What’s one word you can shift to make it positive? Let me know, I’d love to support you and learn your results.
Email Nicole Beaudin at firstname.lastname@example.org.