Watch Your Mouth: How Changing My Language Is Changing My Life

One of the the more transformative lessons I’ve learned is the impact my day-to-day language has on my mood. Seemingly insignificant words have had the power to either carry me into a championship-winning week or hurl me into a whirlpool of “woe is me.” And that word-power produces real consequences when it comes to my art, work, and relationships.

In light of this knowledge, I now consciously make an effort to edit my mental script when things are looking dark. Here are two “easy” word swaps I’ve made to instantly create a more positively charged outlook:

  1. To Me vs. For Me
    Instead of seeing any particular situation (e.g. a career setback, emotional letdown, or personal failure) as an all-out attack that is happening to me, I reframe it as an opportunity for me. An opportunity for me to practice this new mindset I’ve been wanting to have. An opportunity for me to learn and to lead. An opportunity for me to grow.

  2. I Have To vs. I Get To
    If you were to describe this week’s to-do list to a friend, how would you do it? Pay attention to how this feels:

    “I have to wake up at 6AM tomorrow.”
    ”I have to go to the studio and work on this project.”
    ”I have to make a post about ______ to promote my upcoming _______.”
    ”I have to figure out what I’m going to do about _______.”
    ”I need to get my sh*t together.”

    This was me - constantly looking ahead at a pile of tasks that I have to or need to get to, rather than something I’m lucky to be doing. I found that gratitude is the only way to flip the switch, and it’s as easy as replacing the phrase “have to” with “get to.”

    I get to wake up at 6AM tomorrow.”
    ”I get to make a post about _______ to promote my upcoming ______.”
    ”I get to get my shit together!”

    (Bonus: turn “get to” into “choose to” and you’ll be activating an even more powerful starting position.)

What other language makeovers could you see yourself initiating this week?