We don't normally pay much attention to the words we use. We tend to believe that we choose them at random, as required by the circumstances, but in reality it has been shown that everyone has a unique way of speaking, as if it were a "verbal trace".
In fact, a study conducted at VU University in Amsterdam found that extroverts choose words that are very different from introverts. Introverts prefer to speak in more concrete and specific terms using a more cautious language, full of "maybe" and "probably", while extroverts choose more vague and abstract words in everyday language, but are more direct in expressing the their wishes.
Without a doubt, words have a strong impact because they not only serve to describe the world but also end up creating ours. In George Orwell's famous novel "1984", the writer refers to the enormous power of language to shape our reality. Indeed, the Newspeak that should have implanted itself in his dystopian world should have been "an articulate language that emerged from the larynx without involving the brain centers." In another chapter he says: "Each year there will be fewer words, so the range of action of consciousness will be smaller and smaller."
Neuro-Linguistic Programming addresses the importance of words in the construction of our models of the world. The dialogue we maintain with ourselves ends up becoming our truth, so it is important not to abandon it to social stereotypes or to the canons that were instilled in us in childhood.
1. Guilt. We often say that we feel guilty, but we are not fully aware of the repercussions of this word. Feeling guilty implies assuming that there is something wrong with us, that some of our characteristics as people are not adequate, which generates profound existential anguish. Instead, we should use much more precise words, such as “I'm sorry for what I did,” which means that our behavior was not correct, but that there is not something terribly wrong with us.
2. Bankruptcy. Henry Ford said that "failure is a great opportunity to start over with more intelligence". In reality, failure does not exist, there are only life experiences that lead us in one direction or another. Thinking in terms of failure means taking the yardstick of society and adapting to its models of success, so that if we don't adapt, we assume that we have failed. Therefore, instead of speaking in terms of failure, we should speak in terms of life experiences.
3. Duty. The word duty is one of the strongest bonds that bind us, invented by society to generate in us the sense of guilt when we do not want to do something, when our impulses and desires push us in the opposite direction and we do not see any profit in that act. . Many people have ruined their lives because they have always used "I must" instead of "I want". The problem with "duty" is that it makes us function like robots, pushing us to do something we don't want. The solution lies in finding the meaning and getting the "must" to convert into "want". We should pay more attention to these verses by Dulce María Loynaz: “of the dreams I have had I have been able to live up to now; of the diamonds offered reluctantly I could not live a single day ”. This means that you should seek out what you are passionate about and let the people around you do the same.
4. Impossible. It is not a question of assuming naive positivism, it is important to be realistic. However, we use the word "impossible" far more than it would be advisable. So much so that it often takes the place of the word "improbable". In our minds, we turn the improbable into the impossible, thus precluding ourselves from a world of opportunities that, however small, could grow with determination. In any case, it is better to think in terms of probability than to assume lapidary words like "never" or "impossible". Confucius gives us an idea to face this challenge: “when the goal seems impossible to you, don't change the goal; look for a new way to get there ”.
5. I hate Hate is one of the most perverse emotions that exist because it ends up causing enormous damage, especially in those who experience it. It is obvious that hate exists, we cannot eliminate it, but we should make sure that we are much more specific when we catalog our emotions. It is likely that what we label as hate is actually resentment, frustration, or anger, but labeling it as hate will make it grow and truly become that emotion that robs us of our peace.
6. Always. The problem with this word is that it usually comes out of our mouth when we try to scold someone: "you always behave like this", or when we try to defend something: "we always did it this way". However, "always" is synonymous with stillness, so it is a word that does not fit reality, simply because things are constantly changing. This word often hides resistance to change, the desire to cling to the past and the denial of evolution. Therefore, it is important to use this word very carefully.
7. Never. Like the word always, also never is an immobile word that does not faithfully reflect reality, which is constantly evolving. This word is the reflection of a rigid vision that precludes us the opportunities or new paths that may open up before us. Staying open to change is essential because it will allow us to adapt, thinking that something can never happen can cause us a great disappointment.
8. Problem. The word "problem" has very negative implications because we associate it with obstacles and difficulties. When we include it in our internal dialogue, our brain reacts immediately by blowing up all alarms and generating a state of stress and anxiety. We can resize it, imagining that it is actually an opportunity, or we can choose a simpler path and replace it directly with the word "challenge". All problems, after all, are just challenges that imply that we change something. We can choose whether to focus on its negative aspect or highlight the possibility of change.
9. Sooner or later. Milton Erickson said that "a goal without a date is just a dream". If you are one of those people who always say to themselves: “sooner or later I will do it”, then it is likely that you have put your life plans on hold. These words usually hide the fear of failure, of leaving the comfort zone or a lack of confidence in one's abilities. If we really want something, we need to get involved and come up with an action plan. Otherwise, "sooner or later" will become "never".
10. Provo. Do it or don't, but don't try. To say that we will try to do something often means that we are not confident enough, that we are not compromised enough and / or that we are not capable enough. Either way, it means starting on the wrong foot. It is true that things do not always go as planned and we cannot always achieve the goals we have set ourselves, but we must start with a positive attitude.