The Influence of Words in Transforming Reality

A person sitting at a laptop computer


A person sitting at a laptop computer
The Influence of Words in Transforming Reality

The potency of words in metamorphosing our world is truly astounding.  Our language serves as a vehicle that transports our thoughts, contours our perspectives, and ultimately, steers our actions.  By taking a mindful approach in selecting our words, we have the power to rewrite the stories we tell ourselves and others.  We can flip the script, converting missteps into valuable learning experiences, obstacles into prospects, and tests into avenues for personal advancement.

Application in Coaching

Consider the following is an excerpt where Rachel challenges Brendan on their word choice:

As Brendan began shifting to thinking about what he wanted and how to make it happen, he said things to his coach that she challenged.  For example, when he said he should do something, she asked if he wanted to do it.  Brendan pushed back and asked, “What difference does it make?”  Rachael invited Brendan to say the same thing several different ways and then reflect on the difference for himself.  For example:

  • I should be more positive with customers.
  • I want to be more positive with customers.
  • I choose to be more positive with customers.
  • I plan to be more positive with customers.
  • I will be more positive with customers.

Rachael asked Brendan to express his buy-in to being positive with customers for each of the different ways of saying it. Brendan realized that saying he wanted to feel like he had control and was more engaged.  Saying he should feel like someone else was pushing him and he resisted it.  Saying he will be a commitment and it meant it was time to figure out how to do it.  Brendan discovered that his words made a difference in his thinking, his feeling, and his doing.

Often cited extra benefits of coaching are that it upgrades communication and it builds confidence.  The word choice is what is behind both these benefits.

The influence of our words extends beyond simple communication – words are instrumental in shaping our reality, painting our world in hues of our choosing.  By choosing our words wisely, we instigate a ripple effect, subtly transforming our realities and those of our listeners.  Our words, then, are more than expressions, words are transformative agents of change.

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