Speaking of Behavior

How do you speak about yourself?

We manipulate our world by the words we choose to describe it.  Two ways we do this is by talking about ourselves as a state of being (“I am depressed.”) and using words that avoid responsibility (“I have to”). Both of these make us powerless.  Taking responsibility for who we are and what we are doing or not doing, makes us powerful.

One way to change our world is to change the way we talk about it.

Here are some examples to get you started.

Powerless words Taking Responsibility
I am in a bad mood I have decided to be in a bad mood
I am depressed I am depressing my emotions to avoid feeling (fill in the blank)
I am nervous (anxious, scared) I am scaring myself about (fill in the blank) to avoid (fill in the blank)
I can’t I chose not to or I won’t
Life is hard Sometimes I make life hard
I have to (fill in the blank) I choose to (fill in the blank) because the alternative is (fill in the blank)
I should (shouldn’t) Of the options I have, choice A is better because it will benefit me in the following ways.

These are just a few examples of changing our language to be more in charge of ourselves and our lives.  Notice that the left side words give control to something other than ourselves while the right side takes control back inside of us.

Meditation on my choice of words:

I am deciding today to express myself to myself and others in a powerful and self-responsible way.  I am in control of how I perceive my world.



About almondhead

I am a mental health counselor in private practice. One of the focuses of my practice is helping people with fear, anxiety and their ugly stepsister, depression. I became a counselor after a long career in the technology world, so naturally, I think of the brain as an engineering problem. It can help to understand something about how the brain works. I decided to start this blog as a way to help other people learn about fear, anxiety and relationship. (All our problems are really about relationships.) You can also find me at: www.virtuallyfearless.com www.PsychologyToday.com www.theravive.com http://www.marriagefriendlytherapists.com/
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