The power of language became evident as my mastermind group helped one of its members set a direction for her business. We began by exploring her tagline which defined the result her customers get.
One of our members said “I like the word gain.” Immediately the rest of us became animated and we quickly came up with a new tagline that not only excited our colleague, but felt to her like it fit her natural style perfectly.
Power of gain
This experience reminded me of the importance of NLP, neurolinguistic programming, a science that studies the impact of language on behavior. One of the keys in NLP is speaking the language of gain.
We human beings seem to be wired to think the language of avoidance and loss. We want to avoid confrontation and other uncomfortable situations. We want to lose weight instead of gaining health. We think in terms of stopping bad habits instead of gaining new ones.
This natural tendency is one of the great limiters of our success. Thoughts of avoidance and loss drain our energy because these tasks feel burdensome. They’re not fun. They neither excite nor encourage us. Not to mention the fact that any time we fail in these efforts, we feel less confident, less capable.
Here’s a simple daily exercise that will help you train your brain to think the language of gain instead of the language of avoidance and loss. Shortly after you rise in the morning, remind yourself that you’re going to use the language of gain. When you catch yourself using the less desirable language of avoidance and loss, quickly restate what you said in the form of the language of gain.
At the end of the day, find 5 minutes of quiet time to reflect on your success during the day. Remember that new neural pathways are created when you train your brain to think differently. These pathways are like muscles. The more you use the new way of thinking the stronger the pathways become. At the same time, the pathways associated with your old way of thinking atrophy. That’s why I encourage you to continue these daily exercises for a minimum of 7 days.
Of course, the longer you continue the exercises, the stronger the new pathways become and the more automatic this new way of thinking becomes.
For our kids
You’ll also strengthen your new pathways when you notice that you children are using negative language and you guide them to the language of gain.
Kids are more open and consequently learn more quickly than we adults. When you help them become consciously aware of the difference in energy between the language of gain and that of loss, you not only help them develop a confident, productive mindset, you strengthen your belief in the power the language of gain affords.
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