Changing Language, Changing Perspective

The way we talk about something, be it a task ahead, a chore we have to do, or just anything or anyone in life we have to deal with, actually has an astounding effect on our perspective of the thing in question.


Let me tell you a story of how this blog post came about.

I sat at my laptop, reading/replying to the comments on my last two blogs, Cracks in the Porcelain & How to Define Progress…, and thinking about how proud I was to have written, scheduled, and posted three blogs in a row. Of course, this is nothing compared to my old highscores of at least one, sometimes two, posts a week for months, but after a few impromptu hiatus’ recently I’ve been getting back into the swing of things. Problem is, all those posts are now posted, and now I need a post for the next Monday, or, from your perspective, I need a post for today.

I have nothing to write about” I told myself, frustratingly watching the cursor blink against the blank page. I knew that if I missed this one, I’d end up missing another months worth. I knew that I couldn’t let this slip, but I also kept telling myself I simply had nothing to say. I normally write about something I’ve been thinking about, something that’s been playing on my mind, or some wisdom I’ve learnt. Prior to writing this, though, I had nothing. Or so I thought.

I realised my language was off. I was defining my own story by saying “I have nothing to write about” and, by saying that, I convinced myself of it. So, I changed my language and changed my perspective.

I do have something to say“, or “I will think of something“, or simply “I can do this“, which works for so many scenarios.

And here we are, with me having something to write about. It’s not just that little story either, because it reminded me that I’ve recently been learning about the way our language alters our perspective. When we tell ourselves we don’t want to do something, a task looks so much worse. We do it without even thinking about it, we dread a task and, the more we dread it, the worse we believe it’ll be. By altering the way we talk about things, we can also alter our attitudes; it works surprisingly well!

I try to do this with all things. I’m obviously not in fallible as today has shown, and when I’m at my lowest everything seems a struggle, but it’s worth it for the successes it can bring. Chores don’t seem half as bad when you tell yourself you’re ‘choosing‘ to do something. Sure, you ‘needed‘ to clean the kitchen but you’re ‘choosing‘ to do it now. It helps me feel less bitter about the task. It’s almost like when you’re a kid, when being told to clean your room was the worst thing in the world, but if you chose to do it yourself you felt quite accomplished (not that I ever actually did that… I don’t think…)

It’s the same with work and writing, tasks that can seem really daunting, where I instinctively tell myself I “can’t“. The more we tell ourselves we “can’t” the less we can. By changing my language, I’m able change my perspective. By saying “I can do this!” I prove to myself that I can. Sometimes it just takes that little push to get the ball rolling; it takes that momentary change of perspective to overcome that initial fear.

Over to you!
Do you notice your language affects your perspective?
Do you ever try to purposely change the way you talk about something?
Let me know in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “Changing Language, Changing Perspective

  1. Pingback: Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda – Clockwork Clouds

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