The power of words and the language we speak is much more impactful than we think. Words create worlds and conversations affect our immune systems. Language, the universal form of communication, is the first program the brain learns. It is the way we humans connect, share information, knowledge, persuade, and express what’s going on inside us.
Words are energetic symbols and the representations we use to connect and to process our own reality. Words and conversations are alive, dynamic, interactive and impactful. They allow us to shape reality, mind-sets, outcomes and to experience a shared reality.
Words allow us to build trust or break it, divide and conquer, bring us together, or tear us apart. It only takes a few seconds to utter one word that can profoundly positively or negatively impact us and others for the rest of our lives.
Not only do words carry energy, the tone with which they are delivered has a specific energetic signature. The heart reads this information and communicates it to the brain well before the brain begins to cognitively assimilate. This sets the stage for whether we will connect or protect.
Thanks to neurological and cognitive research, conversations have proven to be so much more than information sharing. Words are so powerful they affect our brains and our neurochemistry. Every conversation has a neurochemical element which stimulates the production of hormones and neurotransmitters, body systems and nerve pathways. It affects our cells and can change our DNA.
When words and conversations trigger fear, the neocortex shuts down and we go into the limbic brain where we experience fight, flight, freeze or appease states. Hurtful words and verbal abuse register in the brain the same as a physical blow.
When we trust, we have complete access to the neocortex, and the heart-brain, which allows us to create a level III conversation, connect, collaborate, innovate and co-create a shared experience.
Pay attention to your own language programs and the words you choose with self and others, not only in life, in your business and your marketing. You can rebrand words yet bare in mind some have old history and energy.
A great example of this, for me, is the recent rebranding of the word ‘hustle’ as a positive business goal and mindset. It carries old, heavy, negative energy. The original meaning is “to crowd or push roughly,” “to obtain money by fraud or deception,” “swindled, scammed, conned,” “to sell something to or obtain something from (someone) by energetic and especially underhanded activity.”
I have noticed a lot of people on social media cross the word ‘Hustle’ out and put in ‘flow’. Energetically when we push too hard we block the flow of energy. See how tricky this can be. Words are very powerful and trigger emotional reactions. Words have the power to shift relationships, organizations and transforms our reality.
If you’re not having level III conversations you’re going to miss the mark. Words can create a gap between intention and impact. Stop using disempowering words that give you the illusion you have no accountability, or words that intentionally disempower, overpower or manipulate. Hit the pause button before you speak. Reaction is unconscious, and often fear-based, while responsiveness is fully engaging the prefrontal cortex.
Even though words are unique to our cultural, societal, and familial programming, never assume that because you speak the same language words mean the same thing to anybody. Just like reality, we all see through the lens of our own memory. Get curious and check in to see if you’re on the same page to bridge any reality gaps. In my coaching relationships, I often ask “what does that word mean to you?” so that I don’t assume.