not to Fail or to Win…
I’ve been through some pretty traumatic situations in my youth and young adulthood. I recall a therapist asking me what made me keep trying, not giving up on life. I couldn’t answer, I didn’t know, all I knew is that I was determined not to fail. That kept me waking up every day and going to work. She was actually speechless. She didn’t know where to go from there but that question created some deeper work that I embarked upon on my own. I wanted to know what was really keeping me going. This curiosity led me to doing a lot of work on understanding how our thoughts and words affect how we feel and how we feel about ourselves. I’ve gained some great insight but wasn’t quite sure how to share it in such a way to help others until one evening while I was reflective journaling. As I was writing, “Determined vs Determined” came to mind.
To illustrate where I’m going with this topic, I have a short 2-part exercise for you.
First, say “I’m determined not to fail” and notice how you feel in your body and mind. What words come to mind immediately? How does your chest feel? How does your throat feel?
Okay, now say “I’m determined to win” and notice how that feels in your body, mind, chest, and throat.
Which feels more powerful and in control of your own destiny? The overarching point here is that words truly do matter. They matter in all areas of your life, however, one of the most influential times is when you’re speaking about yourself in your mind or even to someone else.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do the words I think and speak create a sense of growth, life, and positive transformation?
- Do they give me energy and encourage me to appreciate who I am while continuing down the path of becoming who I’m choosing to become?
That’s not to say we won’t have down times. Some times our thoughts and words may complete the circle of FML. The main thing is to not stay there too long or have less of those moments.
If you practice speaking growth, life, and positive transformation on a regular basis, you’ll have less self pity times, you’ll have greater emotional stability, you’ll spend shorter time in the dumps (if at all). You’ll be more resilient, and have more patience, love and self compassion. Who wouldn’t prefer that?
I say this to my clients and will say it to you now. If you’re going to expend energy either way, why not do it in such a way that brings you joy, peace, and love towards yourself?
My challenge to you is, for the next 2 weeks, notice the language and words you use when you talk to and about yourself. Even when you feel like you’re being positive, pay attention to how you feel in your body. The body doesn’t lie. If you don’t like what you find, step into the power you have to change it.
Also, I’d love for you to share your insights from the exercise above. I know everyone is different and processes things differently. My goal is to give a different perspective for those searching to find what works for them.