"I hate you, you're stupid, just leave me alone." How many times have words like these escaped from your mouth and you literally wish you could reach out, grab them and pull them back? We can all think of occasions when this has happened and it is at times like these that we become acutely aware of the importance of our words. What about those times when we are not really paying attention to what we are saying? What effect might that have on our lives?
Your thoughts and words are more powerful than you know. Most of the time we do not pay much attention our thoughts and to the words we choose to use. Often this means our choices are being made either by habit or by fear, particularly when it comes to what we say and do in our relationships. When habit and fear lead the way, we often find ourselves stuck in situations we would really rather not be in. But, if we learn to face whatever fears are underlying our thoughts and words, we will be able to make conscious choices, the fear will fade away and be replaced by a whole new world of opportunity. We will be able to empower ourselves to make smarter choices and most of the relationships in our lives will become filled with joy and satisfaction.
The simple fact is that you can alter any situation by changing your thoughts and words because doing this not only shifts your perceptions, it shifts your behavior as well. The message you are communicating changes and you will be able to open new doors leading to infinite new possibilities. Here's an example of this process at work.
Recently, I have been coaching a woman about her relationships. She came to me stuck in a place where she was wavering back and forth about whether she wanted to be in a relationship or not. If so, who would this person be and where would she find him? If not, why not? If it were because she is just not ready, what would it take for her to become ready?
As you can imagine, there is a lot of material to cover and work to be done to find the right answers to these questions. We started the coaching process and took a look at what beliefs she currently had about finding a relationship. She said she was not sure that she was ready for a relationship right now. Then she revealed that she had recently been contemplating getting back together with a man with whom she'd had a rocky, long-term relationship. The relationship had ended quite painfully several months earlier.
Through the coaching process, she worked out that she was operating under the very limiting belief that her only options at this point in her life were to either get back together with this man or to meet someone new on the one particular dating website she was familiar with. Her experience with the dating website had been a disappointing and draining one. Therefore, she found herself moving towards choosing to be with this ex-boyfriend. Together, we established that her current beliefs about her options were not working for her. We began to explore the possibility of finding a way to change her thoughts about her options in a way that might work better for her.
You might be thinking that it is obvious that she has many more options available to her than the ones she is seeing. It is always much easier to see the bigger picture in someone else's life than it is to see it in our own. If you have ever found yourself stuck in a rut, then you know how frustrating it is when you just can't figure how to solve your problem and move forward. That is precisely where this woman was when we began the coaching sessions.
Ultimately, what she figured out was that this ex-boyfriend represented a lesson in her life that she had been missing. He was a big compromise. She, like many of us, was afraid of being alone, afraid that she was not worthy of having a healthy, loving relationship, and afraid of the unknown. We all feel like this at one time or another. The main issue for her was that she hadn't faced these fears yet so they were continuing to haunt her. She was able to address each one in different ways during our sessions together. Most importantly, she was aware that fear had taken over her thoughts, words and actions. That awareness gave her the clarity, strength and freedom to make new choices in her life.
She realized that she deeply wanted a healthy and loving relationship with a man, but she just couldn't envision one. It was something unknown to her. Since it was unknown to her, she was afraid of it and her way of coping with that fear was to be confused about whether or not she wanted it. It is very common for us to be scared and cover it up with a mask of confusion or to hide behind other excuses like "I'm too busy to think about this right now."
With the support of coaching, she agreed to shift her thoughts and words from "I'm not sure if I'm ready" to " I am ready and open to meeting an amazing man." In addition to changing her thoughts and words she added a visualization to make it even more powerful. She envisioned herself stepping into the ring of uncertainty and embracing the fact that she does not know exactly what this new relationship will look like, but she does know it will happen.
By shifting her perspective and recognizing that by having had the thought that she wasn't sure if she wanted a relationship, her words, and the energy she projected matched that thought. Consequently, in her every day behavior she gave off signals of being closed off and guarded. It was no longer a surprise to her that she was getting such frustrating results when it came to dating.
Courageously, she took on the task of opening up to the excitement and mystery of the possibility of meeting new people everywhere she went every day. She saw the endless opportunities for not only meeting a potential intimate partner, but also for finding new business relationships, and friendships as well.
One afternoon after one of our morning coaching sessions, she called to tell me that she had conversations several with perfect strangers and she had made all of them smile. She knew that she was able to have a positive impact on other people's day. This really excited her. Then, a few days later, she was at the gym and noticed that there was a man there that she had known about 20 years before, but they had lost touch. They struck up a conversation and really hit it off and agreed to meet up later for a drink. Now her outlook on everything is refreshed and rejuvenated. She will never again forget how important her thoughts and her words are, and how she has the power to control those thoughts and words, rather than letting them control her.