Language of choice

Consider how often you say: I shouldn't, I can't, and I have to. It's likely a frequent part of your daily dialogue. These phrases can make us feel weak or without control. A study highlighted this by dividing individuals aiming for dietary improvements into two groups. Group A would say, I don't eat unhealthy snacks, while Group B said, I can't eat unhealthy snacks.

Here, "I don't" is an expression of personal preference, while "I can't" suggests a restriction imposed from the outside. The more successful group? Group A. Those who framed their choice as "I don't" found it easier to stick to healthier eating habits.

Termed 'empowered refusal,' this strategy underlines the act of making a conscious decision, thereby instilling a sense of control and empowerment in our actions and goals. Saying 'I can't' tends to heighten emotional stress, which can hinder progress towards achieving our aims.

Instead of phrases like 'I shouldn't,' 'I have to,' or 'I can't,' try adopting expressions such as 'I'm going to,' 'I'm not going to,' 'I will,' or 'I have decided to.' This approach doesn't just clarify your stance to others; it affirms to yourself the control you wield over your decisions, highlighting that they are active choices rather than unconscious reactions.

Consider this: You might not enjoy every aspect of your job, such as dealing with a flood of emails. This is entirely normal. Yet, reflect on the fact that accepting your current role—perhaps following a promotion that came with a desirable salary increase—was a decision you made. This decision, likely motivated by the prospect of financial independence, entails accepting the accompanying workload, including those emails. What was the appeal of financial independence? Perhaps it was the promise of a more relaxed lifestyle or the freedom to travel.

It's easy to overlook how our current situations are the result of choices we've made. As you navigate your day, remember to adopt language that empowers you, guiding you closer to your goals and the life you envision for yourself.

Written and filmed by Melanie Whitney, for Drowsy Sleep Co. 2022

Instagram @melaniewhitney_

See the rest of the series here:

1. How To Manifest the Life You Want to live

2. The Language of Choice

3. How to Overcome Limiting Beliefs

4. Creating Your "To Be" List

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