Positive Language

The bandshell is one my favorite places, I listen to music there, eat there and have taught yoga there.  The picture is the first time I had seen it from the frozen water of Lake Harriet.  Many years ago I started looking at language from a new view.

I believe our language influences our actions and also success in life.  By reframing the way we talk and think about things we can accomplish much more.  This lesson was brought home to me by a fellow yoga teacher.  The teacher said she offered a handstand workshop.  The first person entered staying I can’t do a handstand, can you teach me how?   Student two said I am on my way to learning how to do a great handstand, can you help me?  She thought both students had about the same physical potential for a handstand.  The second one progressed much faster.  Some other examples include I am sick vs. I am on my way to wellness.  I am unorganized vs I am becoming more efficient.

NLP was created by Bandler and Grinder  in the 1970’s.  It claims there is a connection between neurological processes (neuro), language (linguistic) and behavioral patterns learned through experience (programming), and that these can be changed to achieve specific goals in life.  The linguistic part is about how we influence others and our selves through the language we use.  One of the other examples that stuck with me was the dry feet example.  Tell a five year old now don’t step in any puddles.  He or she will think about puddles and most likely want to stomp around in them.  If you tell the five year old if we keep our feet dry we can have ice cream, then the adherence to dry feet is usually much better.

When I am coaching I say what we resist persists. I also personally say I am going eat healthier rather than I will give up sugar or try to eat healthier. You might want to take the Yoda approach. “Do, or do not. There is no try.” Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back. The next time you have a goal consider thinking about the language you use to your achieve results. Next month more on the modeling part of NLP.