Give Up the “Justs, Buts, and Maybes”—Speak with Empowered Language
Words carry energy. By listening to your language, you can increase your awareness of unconscious speech patterns that may keep you trapped in old and limiting stories about yourself.
It matters what you say to yourself and others. Your brain doesn’t know any better because it was designed to believe what you tell it. By closely listening to the words that come out of your mouth, you will get a clue about how you are relating to yourself and life. Once you hear your speech patterns and hold them lightly with compassion and reflection, you can choose language that evokes an empowering relationship with yourself and life.
Start with the word “just”. You may say, “I just want to make one point” or “I just want to say one thing.” Repeat those sentences out loud to yourself. Do you feel the limitation that “just” adds to the point you wish to make? It is a subtle signal to others that what you want to share just isn’t very important.
When you use the word “but” in a sentence, you discount the first half of the sentence. If you say, “You did a nice job on that project, but I don’t like the way you (fill in the blank),” the person hears the complaint in the second half of the sentence and not the compliment in the first half. When you drop “but,” you make a clear point, delivered with clarity and power. “You did a nice job on that project.” Ask for their permission to share additional feedback if you have more to say, then do so without diminishing the positive.
Repeatedly inserting “actually,” and “maybe” are two more common words that come across as tentative and disempowering. These words soften your request and signals to others that you will settle for less than what you want. Here is an example of an email with these words: “Actually, I don’t want to bother you, so maybe you could just get back to me when you have a chance.”
There are other phrases that represent a feeling of being trapped or powerless, aligned with the Victim role, the central role in the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT). Common phrases are: “I have to… I can’t… or, I should…” When you notice you use these phrases, reflect upon what you are saying to yourself. Are there limiting stories that may be underneath the words you are saying? You may not like your choice in the situation, and, (not but!) you always have a choice! Examples of more empowering phrases are: “I want to… I will… or, I choose to…”
Speech patterns include words you say as well as the energy with which they are stated. If feeling nervous or uncertain about your position, another disempowering pattern of speech is to ask several questions in a row and not wait for others to respond. This keeps the focus on you and signals to the other person you are not serious about hearing what they have to say. Your energy may come across as frenzied and unable to deeply listen.
By noticing your language, you can develop a deeper awareness of the beliefs behind your words. When you use Creator language, the central role in TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic)®, you signal that you believe in your empowered self. This is the part of you that knows your true essence, your higher self. When you embrace your Creator essence, your speech taps into the natural flow of energy that is working on your behalf.