What things do you say to yourself?

I recently saw a tee shirt with the words chase your dream printed on it.  When I first read it, I thought it said choose your dream and my immediate thought was this is a great suggestion!  My mind started generating pictures of things I want to do. Then I read it again and realized it said, chase your dream. Chase it as in never catch it? Ugh!

A variation of the phrase chase your dream is follow your dream. Being a very visual person, when I hear either one of the phrases, I see a dream cloud emoji moving and a person just chasing after it, trying to catch it, but never really achieving it.

Thinking about this saying reminded me of the importance of the words we use, especially the ones we say to ourselves. 

Photo by  rawpixel  on  Unsplash

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Choosing your dream feels so much better for me suggesting that one has options. Or pursuing your dream implying that one is taking steps to achieve it.

The language we use can limit us. Or create the very feelings in our body that we do not want.

I work with a lot of people who are suffering with anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias.  When I ask them how they would like to be different, they usually answer by telling me what they don’t want to be feeling.

For example, I don’t want to be afraid when I am driving, I don’t want to feel stressed at work, or I don’t want to feel anxious when I am in a social situation. 

It is important to know that the unconscious mind does not easily process the negative. It does not “hear” the not in the statement. 

Many times these thoughts are accompanied by pictures of these things that they do not want to happen.  So while these statements sound like positive changes people want to make, what they actually do is help create negative feelings in the body.

Photo by  Japheth Mast  on  Unsplash

It also works with positive feelings.  So take a few moments and think of a positive situation that you experienced. Notice the details; where you were, who you were with, whether you were inside or outside, what you were wearing. Maybe you were having a good laugh with friends, attending a concert, watching a beautiful sunset or recalling a proud moment. Since the mind does not know the difference between a real or imagined event, just thinking about an event can create the same feelings as if you are actually experiencing it.

Take time to notice the words you use to speak to yourself. Are they helpful or useful to you?

Our thoughts are powerful. They can limit us or propel us. 

In my next blog, I will tell you some ways that you can increase the chances of achieving your dreams.