Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Trigger Words

What you tell yourself internally determines how you experience the external world. You can unknowingly create limiting beliefs based on just your choice of words. I've developed a list of "trigger" words (phrases) over a period of time. I review the list every so often so whenever I hear it, it immediately signals my brain to perk up and correct the issue. If it is myself I correct it immediately. If it is a friend, I'll politely point it out to them.

My personal Trigger Words list

Phrase: "It doesn't make any sense" / "what he is doing doesn't make any sense"
Meaning: Actually it does make sense. Everything in the universe makes sense. Even humans.
Use Instead: If you hear this you can immediately tack on ", to me." to the sentence: "It doesn't make any sense, to me." When I hear this I'm encouraged to seek more clarifications or think about alternate possibilities as to why that person is doing something that "doesn't make sense"

Phrase: "I'm too busy" / "I don't have time"
Meaning:  Its not a priority
Use Instead:  Use "its not a priority". You will never have more time, you only get the 24 hours a day. If you really wanted to do the thing you are too busy for then you really need to reexamine your true priorities. But stop lying to yourself that you are to busy.

Phrase: "I should....."
Meaning: I should (but I probably won't)
Use Instead:  It's also not a priority if it was you wouldn't be using this language and procrastinating. People intend to do something will say "I will.." instead

Phrase: "You always..... You never.."
Meaning: These are examples of absolutes, often they are not true.
Use Instead:  Be careful about using absolutes. If you use them on other people it can be offensive. Instead try to say "when you do x, ... it makes me feel sad"

Phrase: "Only/just" as in "It's JUST a job." / "I'm ONLY going to have one cigarette."
Meaning:  "Only/just" is a way of making the what you are describing less significant.
Use Instead:  You need to catch yourself when you use these words and figure out why you used those choice of words. "It's JUST a job" might mean that you don't regard it as significant (and in my opinion means you should fine a job that you do care about). "I'm ONLY going to have one cigarette." is trying to justify a habit you know is bad by making it seem less significant.

Phrase: "I am  .... (a procrastinator/forgetful etc.)"
Meaning:  You are not a procrastinator, you have a habit of procrastination.
Use Instead: if it is negative, avoid taking on the identity because you want to build a mindset of change. Use "I have a habit of..." instead.

Phrase: "I don't feel like...."
Meaning:  It's true, you don't feel like it. But it shouldn't matter.
Use Instead: But, whether you feel like it or not is not the point. Successful people do what they need to do regardless of how they feel. And then once they get going, get some momentum... magically they start feeling like it.

Phrase: "Diet" / "I'm on a diet"
Meaning: People who make real change do not use "diet". A "diet" usually signals a temporary change, and then once its done the unhealthy eating continues.
Use Instead: I'm someone on a lifetime commitment to health. I never say "diet". I can see it used externally to get out of eating something unhealthy if it is offered but be careful if you are on a "diet" to lose weight.

Phrase: "That's interesting"
Meaning:  I'm bored out of my mind.
Use Instead: If I hear someone say "That's interesting", I change the topic right away. No they are not interested in what I am saying. They are just being polite. People who are really interested will never say "That's interesting" without some sort of followup. Even if I am bored, I avoid using the "That's interesting" phrase completely. There are so many adjectives, can we use something other than "interesting" which doesn't have any real meaning?

Meaning:  I'm probably not going to
Use Instead: If you say "I'm going to do X..." as in "I'm going to lose the weight." or "I'm going to start that startup." or "I'm going to talk to that girl", you probably will not do X because you are giving yourself an out. You are delaying. If you were really going to do X you would just do it. If you can't just do it then maybe commit to less.