Are Your Words Attracting What You DON'T Want?

July 20, 2015

When you are dealing with communication in general and public speaking in particular, words are an important tool. The ones you choose to use carry weight and power. Yet in many ways, perhaps because words seem so transitory, people often are careless with expressing thoughts to support what they want to have happen. Perhaps because we utter so many words every day, we lose sight of how important and impactful any one of them can be.

 

Words have great power, and the thoughts they attract to our minds have the ability to affect not just our outlook, but also the conditions and circumstances that come into our lives. So rather than take a cavalier attitude toward the way we use words, a greater degree of attention can reap benefits.

 

One of the things that I frequently hear, both in speeches and conversations, is the tendency to phrase a statement in the negative. What I mean by that is that people often say what they don't want, as if that will get them what they do want. For example, it's not unusual for someone to say "I don't want to get the flu" rather than "I will stay healthy." A speaker may start off part of a speech saying something to the effect of "I don't want you to lose focus of the next point" rather than "This next point is extremely important." By bringing in the words that have negative energy attached to them, negative energy is being introduced into the mind, no matter how much the speaker's motive may be otherwise.

 

The "no" or "not" gets lost as the mind processes the sentence, so the meaning actually slips toward the opposite of what the speaker intended. This means that the effect on the listener actually becomes diferent than what was originally intended.

 

Sometimes speakers get even sloppier in the words and sentences they bring to discussions and speeches. In an effort to be brief, sometimes people drop words and assume the meaning is understood. An example would

be a speaker stating "I am doing this to raise money for breast cancer." That person may presume the listener understands the money is being raised for research against breast cancer, and maybe on a conscious level after processing the thought that's what the listener takes away. But the listener's mind (and the speaker's as well) is hearing a message altogether different. The actual words used bring support to the idea of breast cancer, which is certainly not what a speaker intends (nor listeners as well).

 

To be effective not just in speaking but more importantly in the results you get from people taking action, it's vital to use your words most effectively. Don't simply start speaking as if the idea can be conveyed in any random way, but choose your words with purpose.

 

Aim toward stating the goals you want rather than the absence of what you don't. Focus on what people can achieve and less on what they need to overcome.

 

The quality of your words impact the energy of you and your listener, and have an effect that can impact people not just on a mental level but on an emotional and physical one as well. Your chance of achieving success and inspiring others to do so will increase the more you can phrase things in that success, rather than in not having the failure.

 

To improve this area, keep a part of your hearing attention in place to see how often you might slip into the kind of negative phrasing. Work to catch yourself as you're doing it and quickly ask yourself how the issue could be framed positively. Any time you feel yourself about to say "I don't want..." or "I wish I didn't..." take a moment to think what it is you do want or wish, and say it that way. Once you begin doing this, even in casual conversation, it will ripple into your whole use of language and into the speeches you present. That positive power will serve your audiences better.

 

To gain an objective look at the issue and get support in turning the dial toward the positive, consider working with a public speaking coach or a communication expert.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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