It's been a few weeks since my last Motivational Monday. I wanted to support and be conscious of the incredibly important Black Lives Matter movement. To stop, reflect, self-educate and listen with my eyes, ears and heart fully open. To let your space be filled instead by the voices and words of those who needed it most and whom we haven't always listened at closely to. I'm committed to continuing to live on this forward path.
In my last Motivational Monday note I discussed the emotions surrounding my decision to close my Charleston store - my fear of failure and identifying when we are playing it safe rather than making difficult decisions that may be the best for us long term.
I originally wrote of my personal experience closing our Charleston The Skinny Dip location (which I later edited out):
“Underneath some of my persistence, is me trying to outrun failure so I don’t have to address what I believed failure meant. Which was that if I failed, then I would always be a failure, that failure would be my character - my truth. I would never recover, it would mean that I was always going to be bad at business or in relationships, that I would never be successful.”
Re-read my prior paragraph and count how many times I used the word “failure” - I’ll help you out, 5 times within two sentences.
Here’s the problem: The words we attach to our experience become our experience.
The words we use create meanings and meanings create emotions…and our emotions ultimately control all of our decisions and reactions to life. Calling myself a failure over and over again in my head, creates an association within myself that I am a failure - regardless if there are any facts to justify this.
The more I said it to myself, the more I felt that I am a failure. How does a failure carry themselves? They slump, the gaze down, heavy eyelids, low energy. And how does a failure act? With self doubt, sadness, insecurities and low confidence.
When in your life have you ever made a good decision or done exceptional work when your confidence is low? Never. So thus, it becomes a spiral as your reactions/decisions perpetuate the belief in your mind that you are that word.
How many times have you done this? Have you told yourself you’re not beautiful, not thin enough, etc - and then when you looked in the mirror all you can see are your flaws or the curves on your body? Or have you ever been in a situation that has made you angry and the more you talk about how angry you are, or the rage you feel - the angrier and angrier you become?
However you represent the world in your head, your emotions and body take it as truth and react accordingly. What you see and how you’re reacting are all a result of the beliefs we have about ourselves that are largely formed by how we speak to ourselves.
None of your reactions are actually based in reality - we are moment by moment writing our own character story. And with that power comes the power to write or rewrite our story. The power to choose what happens next.
And so if we are creating our “reality” by how we speak to ourselves, shouldn’t we then speak to ourselves in the best, most positive, uplifting way possible?
Tony Robbin’s calls this idea “Transformational Vocabulary” and I challenge you this week to practice it. Throughout the week pay attention to the words you repeatedly use to describe yourself or your situation. Identify and write down those repeat offenders. At the end of the week for every negative word or phrase, write down a positive counter phrase.
For example, you may realize you repeatedly say to yourself “I’m never going to find a partner, I’ll be alone forever” and your counter may be “The right person will come into my life at the exact moment they are meant to.” You may say to yourself “I’m not thin enough, I’m not pretty enough,” and your counter may be “I’m sexy AF and I love my body!” Find whatever word or phrase that sparks confidence and joy!
Just shifting your vocabulary isn’t enough in itself to transform your life, you have to take action to transform your life. But as we discussed, words create emotions which create experiences or action. So as you start to control your dialogue you will find yourself naturally taking/wanting to take action.
Realizing that our entire reality has been shaped not by the external, but the internal can be a shocking yet freeing truth - once you accept that you alone are responsible for your beliefs and circumstances, you also understand that you have the power to have any belief or circumstance you choose.
So how will you use this power?