Control Your Words — Control Your Destiny


Mike had run into a stubborn little glitch with his affirmations. “When I say the word ‘productive,’ he told me, “I get a little spike of self-doubt.”

Each time Mike affirmed that he was productive, it stirred up in him a deep feeling of mis-match — what psychologists call cognitive dissonance. This basically means he was trying to believe two things that contradict each other. At the gut level, Mike “knew” that he was UN-productive, so strong doubts came welling up within him.

Elizabeth’s mis-match, on the other hand, was connected with the word “young.” She had no problem with “youthful,” but her mind kicked up uneasy feelings any time she tried to inject “young” into her self image.

“After all,” she explained, “at age 71 I’m NOT young. And I wouldn’t want to go back to my younger days for anything in the world. They were unsettled times… it took me years to gain the peace and knowledge I have now.”

Mike and Elizabeth are typical. Almost everyone who tries to introduce contradictory new ideas into their self image will stir up inner conflict. And yet, we are usually surprised when this dissonance arises.

The Process of Change Involves Conflict

As part of our socialization process, most of us are trained to avoid conflict wherever possible. But when conflict does happen, we’re taught by example to try and dominate the strange new idea and chase it away, rather than welcoming it. In other words, we tend to argue rather than to negotiate and find common ground.

Take any two people. Inevitably, differences of viewpoint arise between them, and when this happens, doesn’t each one usually insist that their idea is right while the other’s is flawed? How often do both partners listen respectfully and try to work out a way for both of them to be right? We do see peaceful relationships, but they’re few — certainly not in the high percentages.

And just as each party usually insists that the other is wrong, so does your mind: “What I believe is not a belief… it’s RIGHT.” This leads us to skip right over any opportunity to examine our established ideas. After all, they don’t NEED examining… we already know they’re bedrock truths.

It’s this unconscious, unquestioning arrogance about the infallibility of our own beliefs that keeps us stuck in one spot, not moving forward, not knowing why.

Your Feelings Are Telling You Something

But is it a good idea to ignore your feelings? When your gut tells you something is wrong, it might be good to pay closer attention, not shove it back out of sight.

In most societies, we’re taught to huddle around our positive feelings while steering clear of our negative ones. So what happens when we begin suggesting to ourselves that we’re productive, young, rich, or slender, and this brings out a cognitive dissonance? This feeling of mis-match between our suggestion and our reality makes us uncomfortable.

That feeling is disagreeable, so instead of allowing the two ideas time to face off and settle things between themselves, we yank the trouble-making newcomer out of the way. We stop the affirmation. This restores the quiet within ourselves, but at what cost?

Mis-Matched Feelings Are Your “This-Needs-Work” Sensor

How many times have you been affirming something like “I am rich” or maybe “I am growing in abundance and prosperity,” only to have your mind balk?

Over and over I’ve heard clients protest, “I feel like I’m lying to myself,” and then they want to dump the “untrue” affirmations. “It’s no use,” They tell me, “I can’t kid my mind into believing stuff that’s not true.”

Perhaps you’ve had the same experience. If you have — and if you ended up quitting — then you were throwing away some of the best feedback your mind will ever bring you.

Your mind isn’t telling you that you’re lying. And it’s not telling you to stop. It’s telling you that this is an area of extra sensitivity; that it’s going to need extra patience, time and help from you. It’s saying, “I don’t know what I’m doing here… yet. And I don’t know how to make this shift… yet. So please don’t judge me too harshly if I can’t make this change immediately.” It’s saying there are feelings of insecurity and maybe a little defensiveness.

It’s asking, as an inexperienced lover would, “Please be gentle with me.”

This means you may want to rid yourself of the idea that “negative” feelings are always negative. More often they’re requests for patience, understanding and soft-handed persistence.

The Real Meaning of those Mis-Matches

Your mind is not telling you to back off or to quit. Instead, it’s pointing out exactly what you should be working on.

This is priceless information, because once you know where your sensitive spots or “problems” are located, you’ll know exactly where to apply your energies.

You’re no longer on a hit-or-miss basis. In other words, once you know the location of a block, it becomes much easier to ease your way through it

First rule: Don’t be timid. Test lots of ideas, suggestions and affirmations. The ones that cause you discomfort and make you feel like a liar… those are usually your “quick-win” zones.

But don’t use force… just let your suggestions and affirmations flow in, steadily and gently. Use a light touch. You’re not “making” anything happen. You’re just giving two seemingly opposing ideas the chance to work out the best compromise between themselves. All resolving will be done at your subconscious level.

Techniques You Can Use

If you’re familiar with NLP, you may want to use anchoring, reframing or the swish pattern. And if you’ve never heard of these before, do a quick Google search. You’ll find reams of information on the subject.

Another excellent technique that I’ve used extensively is EFT. This involves tapping on certain acupressure points. You’ll find information on EFT at YouTube as well as many independent websites.

There is also the Sedona Method, which gives you a safe, organized way to examine and change long-held beliefs.

My own personal preference is hypnosis. For many years, I’ve used it for myself and for many of my friends and family.

As with anything, your results will depend on your willingness to meet and deal honestly with your thoughts and feelings.

So if your mind is filled with words and concepts that carry heavy associations of hopelessness or negativity, now you know what to do with them. First, celebrate because you’ve just found something that’s ripe for change. And you can begin changing them immediately. Once you’ve learned to change the emotions attached to common ordinary words, you’ve learned how to select your own personal character traits.

Indeed, when you can control your words — both internal and external — you’ll control your very destiny.