As we prepare to approach a new year, I decided to discuss something that I don't believe I've ever touched on before. But, I believe it is imperative that on our growth journey we become intentional about the words that we choose to share with others.
Now to quickly address why I used blank pages as a cover image, I feel it properly illustrates the limitlessness of our growth potential when we leave ourselves open to write, re-write, construct, re-construct, compose, re-compose, etc. (you get the drift), our habits, expectations and perceptions. As we gain better understanding of our true power, we don't feel so confined by perceptions of hypocrisy. We understand the learning curve by fully embracing the lessons. Specifically for those of us who may not be privy to frequent exposure of such a lesson. Thus, while I could write for days about several words that impair our abilities to grow, I will focus only on the word "never" for this blog post.
Yes, I know it's just one word. One common word, used to frequently explain who we are, or are not, what we do or will not do. Problem with frequent use of the word "never" is that it stunts our growth!
Literally, constantly saying what you will never be, do, say, etc. keeps your from ever being, doing or saying those things. And while I am not here to argue that there are indeed things that we shouldn't do, be or say, frankly, we learn lessons from those very things. Lessons that for many of us would have no meaning, without the consequences that surround them...
So, how do you get into a habit of "never saying never"?
First, we have to understand the general impact that word use has on our psyche, in order to make a conscious choice and effort to change for the better. We've seen the best examples of this during the pandemic, with how inflamed Asian racism has become all because someone decided to refer to COVID-19 as a "Chinese disease". Or how the media perpetuates myths as truth regularly, especially regarding the pandemic.
If you decide to pay attention, you'll notice how often we tend to believe easily things that feel true, or that we want to believe are true, versus seeking the truth. This mentality, prompts our buy-in to illusion, creating distance between what we identify as real, and the actual truth of our reality. Sounds familiar right? That's because it is often put into practice on social media. Regardless to that, however, this choice and behavior has great negative impact on our psyche.
From a psychological perspective, operating in this manner establishes patterns of dissociative behavior, in which one would distance his/herself from unpleasant realities, activities, experiences, etc. Unfortunately, however, frequent dissociative behavior can contribute to development of dissociative disorders, so don't say I didn't warn you...
Second, we need to understand that use of the word "never" leaves no room for error. For instance, if I say "I'll never eat broccoli" for 6 years, but then one day broccoli doesn't seem so bad, fundamentally, I've internalized a habit of "never eating broccoli". So, even though one day I may want to try it, I won't. For many of us that want or desire to try broccoli doesn't outweigh the burden of using "never" for so long that you don't want to appear a hypocrite. So then, your decision becomes a matter of "image", inevitably hindering your ability to try something new and or potentially life changing!
Now I know that was a basic example, but it illustrates the same point. Using the word "never" puts limitations on our ability, and willingness to explore. Therefore, by choosing NOT to use the word "never" you grant yourself grace, and room for error. You allow yourself the ability to not feel bad or restrict yourself from trying and exploring new things.
Now think about that for a second. Think about all the other words and phrases you recite so definitively, that you ultimately become a prisoner to them...
Third, we need to also understand the benefits. We always need an incentive right? Thus, it is important to understand the positive impact changing negative behavior has in order to increase buy-in. Therefore, besides potentially negating mental and emotional instability, you grant yourself grace, to bounce back from errors, increases the probability of learning and exploring new things, all of which ultimately prompt you to embrace a life free of common limitations.
So, remember, this post is to help guide you on your personal growth journey, with hopes that you seek to become your best self. Becoming your best self, requires commitment and work. It requires intention and decisiveness. Therefore, don't read this post to add it to your list of things you now know, but do please give yourself the opportunity to be better by applying the information in your own life.
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