How many times as a child did you hear or experience a parent, teacher, coach, or any adult say “watch your mouth” when something slipped out that wasn’t “acceptable” to them.
In some situations, like the scene from “A Christmas Story,” the young boy utters something forbidden and the scene jumps to him sitting in the bathroom with a bar of soap in his mouth.
While things have changed and we’ve found alternative methods for correcting behavior, it is still a struggle for many to “watch your mouth.”
Now, I may have been leading you to jump ahead and assume this post is about what “others” say and how to correct “others” behavior or use of inappropriate language and words.
This post is about the words and language we tell ourselves and the impact that it has on our own self-agency, self-esteem, and self-confidence.
Similar to the young man that uttered the forbidden word, during some or many stages of our own life path, we’ve encountered external sources that have taught us, modeled for us, or directed words, language, and behavior towards us that have found a place in our memory database. It lives in us…
As a natural process we will then try to make sense of that information and begin to use it at a later time as we come to believe it should be used - regardless if we truly understand the impact the words, language, and behavior have on our self, others, or the situation.
Whatever the results yield - what’s important to grasp is that words, language, and behavior DO matter. To the people we interact with and the situations we navigate. Most importantly, it especially matters to us, as individuals.
Three areas to notice how our words effect our thoughts, feelings, and behavior include:
A belief that we can have an impact on the events taking place in our life.
A belief grounded in our personal self-worth. A belief that we are deserving of self-love and love from others.
Incorporates both a belief based on past performance/experience and a belief in our personal ability to do whatever the activity may be.
The first step in this process is to Watch Your Mouth and notice what you are saying to others and especially to yourself. Once you have gathered enough evidence – you may be surprised what you are saying and how it is impacting your overall thoughts, feelings, and behavior.
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