This post is taken from today’s (13 January 2021) edition of “The Insight“.
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Words are powerful… Use them wisely!
Did you see our Monday Meme this week?
It’s a little insight that I share quite often…
“Words are powerful… Use them wisely!”
I was chatting with a client during a coaching session a few weeks ago. He said…
“How the hell am I going to do that?”.
As you might imagine from his response, he was facing a pretty daunting challenge.
He felt like he’d been asked to scale Mt Everest. Here he was, standing at the foot of the mountain, having never climbed before, wearing a pair of flip flops and shorts, staring up towards the peak.
He had no idea how to do it… no idea where to even start. He felt completely unprepared. He didn’t have the skills. He felt like he wasn’t equipped.
As he asked, “How the hell am I going to do that?”, I saw his body language change. His head dropped. There was an audible sigh. I could almost read the thought bubble…
“This is impossible. I’ll never do this. What’s the point?”
I’m pretty sure you can relate to this feeling.
So, I asked him, “What would happen if you asked a slightly different question? What happens if we simply remove the words “the hell” from the sentence?”
He looked at me a little quizzically.
“You mean… If I just asked, ‘How am I going to do that?’”
“Yes”, I replied, “How differently are you feeling and thinking when you tweak the question?”.
He started nodding. He straightened up… no longer staring at the floor… and a smile crossed his face.
“Yeah. It’s much different”, he said.
“What if we tweaked the question very slightly again. What if you started by asking ‘How could I do it?’ or ‘Where could I start?’”.
He thought for a moment and then said, “I can start to see possibilities”.
The truth is, we often use words without really understanding the full impact they have.
Our brain is brilliant at solving problems.
The questions we ask tend to dictate the answers we get. They can also have a massive impact on the way we feel… and therefore what we do!
If we ask, “How the hell am I going to do that?”, the answer could be, “I don’t ****** know!!”. If that’s the case, we’re likely to be stuck… paralysed by the enormity of the challenge.
But, if we ask, “What could I do?” or “Where could I start?”, our mind can get to work and begin solving the problem.
Over the years I’ve noticed that world class performers think differently. They ask different questions and therefore find different answers.
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Have a great day!