Are you aware of your language?

What do you catch yourself saying? To others? To yourself?

What we say matters, and it all begins with what we say to ourselves – starting with our thoughts.

I’ve heard variations of the following quote over the years, and feel like this version underscores the importance and significance of today’s message:

“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” – Frank Outlaw

So are you watching your language – both internally and externally? Do you know how it’s affecting the actions you take or the relationships with the people around you?

And how is it affecting your ability to create the impact you want to have in your life?

Today’s post will be short because I want maintain focus on the first step towards truly watching your language – awareness.

Above I posed the question – are you watching your language?

So are you?

Are you being intentional about what you say and how you say it? Are you aware of how your words are impacting others? Are you cognizant of the stories you tell yourself and whether they are creating opportunity or limiting your beliefs around what is possible?

I want to challenge you to increase your awareness of what you are communicating on a daily basis to your family, friends, teams and organizations… and please don’t forget the awareness of what you are telling yourself!

As you begin to build your awareness, I urge you to start focusing on these 3 areas:

1) Get clear on whether you are building yourself up or tearing yourself down with what you say to yourself. The language we use towards ourselves internally or out loud can be the largest blocker of progress and growth, or the most impactful accelerant to becoming the best version of ourselves.

2) Get clear on how you are being perceived based on the language you use – is what you say creating the image you want to portray? Is it representing the authentic you? Are you doing what you are saying? Are you keeping your promises to yourself and others? The language we use and the actions we take (or don’t take) define our character and build our reputation – make sure your words are shaping the character and reputation that you want and will be proud of.

3) Invest the time to identify what you are all aboutand then be all about it. What does this mean? It means being crystal clear about your personal philosophy and vision so that you can become more aware of whether your language supports them.

And #3 has been my latest self-challenge – getting clear on what I’m all about.

To that end, I’m fortunate to be spending about 8 weeks taking the Compete to Create course from Dr. Michael Gervais and Coach Pete Carroll. One of the first things I was challenged to do in the course was create clarity around my personal philosophy. So for the sake of example, here’s mine:

Live authentically, pursue significance, and always compete with the you of yesterday.

Since setting that philosophy, I’ve started checking myself dailyare my words, language, thoughts and actions indicative of me living my philosophy?

Am I being authentic in what I’m saying and then doing? Am I being congruent?

Am I going after significance – meaningful and impactful relationships and results – or am I just going through the motions and scratching the surface because I’m too afraid to go deep into what might be uncomfortable.

Am I competing with myself to become better than I was yesterday, or am I being complacent?

Sometimes the answer is ‘yes’ to these questions, but certainly not always. This is the work we all have to do.

So if you are willing to take my challenge, then start checking yourself on your language and make sure it’s aligned with your personal philosophy and vision for the future.

To get you started in creating more awareness around the language you’re using, here are some questions you can start asking yourself:

Is my language conveying:

  • Confidence or Doubt
  • A Growth Mindset or Fixed Mindset
  • Support or Discouragement
  • Grit or Playing Timid
  • Ambition or Apathy
  • An Exciting Vision for the Future or Complacency
  • Love or Hate
  • Possibility or a Dead End
  • An Internal Fire or Being Submissive
  • Your Authentic Self or… Someone Else

Let’s rise to the challenge this week and be more mindful of the language we use. Use your language to build up others and yourself in order to create better actions, habits, character and ultimately your destiny and legacy.

Watch Your Language… and as always, Get After It!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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