Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Your Turn Challenge: Day 3 - Poorly Worded

Your Turn Challenge: Day 3

I try to be careful with my words.

As a teacher, what I say to each student has great power. In fact, this year our staff read a book called "Choice Words." We spew out thousands of words each day to sometimes more than 100 students - and yet later on we'll pick apart that one word we used. Brutal, but necessary. Each word is powerful.

I'm also cautious with the words I say about myself. My best friend has kept me accountable with this, and recently commented that he's noticed a difference in my language.

For example, now I rarely say "I can't."

I can't go to your party. Or even, I'm not able to go.

I have to decline your invitation.

The truth is, I can go. I am perfectly able to attend. I'm just choosing not to.

It sounds harsh! But it's the truth.

Sometimes I'll say "I won't be going."
"I won't be making it this time."

That's an objective statement. It's just a fact.

It's a small difference, but to me it's important.

"I can't" - gives up our power. It moves the center of control to some outside force. It makes us appear helpless. The victims.

That's why I'm tempted to say it - I want the other person to believe I would go! But it's not up to me. Something else is keeping me from going. It's not my fault.

But that's not accurate. It's a facade. Because the truth, most of the time, is that I can. I do have the power.

That's why it takes courage to say the truth.

I can go, but I'm making a choice. I'm deciding to do something else.

Blame me if you choose to. Be mad at me. I won't like it, but I'll accept the consequences of my choices.

It's very grown up, isn't it?

I could also point out the word "should." I've been cringing at this one lately.

You should do you homework. You shouldn't spend so much money on shoes. I should have known better.

Really? Who the hell says so?

It kind of pisses me off. I think it should piss you off, too.

Ha! I just did it.

Who am I to tell you what you ought to do?

I mean, even if you WANTED me to tell you what to do, do you know what I would say?

Sorry, I can't. :-/

PS. What words or phrases do YOU pay attention to? What language do you want to eliminate from your (or others') vocabulary?

#YourTurn #YourTurnChallenge #Day3

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