All It takes is to change one word; from can’t to can or won’t to will. One word and the entire meaning and focus changes entirely. Slow to balanced, useless to growing, stupid to learning. Just one word.
Changing our mindset is a journey that starts with language; the language we use when we talk to ourselves is key. Our language will set the tone for our day, our interactions with others and our results. If you really want to silence the Imposter Mindset™, your language is going to change everything.
Start with just one word.
The one word you use about yourself that is harsh and unkind. If there is a list of words springing to mind, then write them down and pick the one that you use the most. Now take a look at that list again. Imagine taking out one of these words, every week. Deciding to remove that word from your daily vocabulary. How does that feel?
I do hope it feels a little uncomfortable. Change never occurs when we’re comfortable, so being aware of how that feels is important. You have the power to change that. One word at a time.
Take the ten-day ‘Talk to yourself in a new tone’ challenge
1. Choose the one word you’re going to remove from your self-talk from today.
2. Write it down on a piece of paper and put it into a jar.
3. Every time you say this word to yourself, and notice, write it on another piece of paper and put that into the jar.
4. For each day you go a whole day without using the word, reward yourself. You can choose how to do this; something that makes you feel good about your effort and progress.
5. Find new words, each day, to replace the word you’re letting go of. Add these new words to your vocabulary and notice how you feel when you use them.
6. Create a word cloud of all the positive words you’re adding to your regular head-talk. Put it somewhere you can see it (see the image below for some of my favourite words I’ve added over the years).
7. Tell someone who loves you, that you’re speaking to yourself in a new way. Let them know how it feels and ask for their encouragement or support. (Yes, I know you’re cringing at the thought of this. Go and do it anyway).
8. Tell yourself one of your new, positive words, every day in the mirror. When you do this does not matter but doing it does.
9. Find an opportunity, every day, to tell someone who matters to you, something positive about them. Write a testimonial, post on their blog or share a photo of you with them and share why you love and value time with them.
10. Write this amazing statement from Brene Brown on a large piece of paper and put it somewhere you will see it, often. ‘Talk to yourself, like you’re talking to someone you love.’
Be real about this challenge to your set way of talking.
You’ve spent most of your life learning this language. Give yourself time to learn a new one and accept that there are going to be mistakes and lessons along the way. It can be an exciting ride if you’re up for some self-reflection and allowing yourself to explore new ways.
That’s key here. Exploring a new way. Deciding that you can change and want to change and deserve to change. That’s the first step to supporting your new language. If you’re already telling yourself why this isn’t going to work, perhaps you have to challenge why you’re happy to stay stuck. What are you getting out of staying small?
When you’re ready to choose to stop repeating the same thing and expecting different results, you can make massive change. One word at a time. What word will you start with?