Change Your Words If You Want More Freedom

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When you accept the reality of freedom, you experience a profound change for the better in your relationships. Freedom is critical for leadership and any other relationship, so here is a simple tool.

Change the words you are saying or thinking about the person.

Your new freedom starts when you pay attention to how often you use "should, ought, and must" or the negative versions "shouldn't, ought not, and must not."

Change Your Words If You Want More Freedom

Our Natural Tendency

For example, suppose a person curses at you. If that happens, your natural tendency is to defend yourself. Unfortunately, that reacts and responds to their lousy values. Additionally, your thinking typically has some form of complaint about their behavior like, "what a jerk" or "that's unacceptable."

Any statements like those, or if you curse back at them, is a "should not, ought not, or must not" statement about them or their behavior. Obviously, you may use different words, but "should, ought, or must" is still what you think about them or what is in your mind!

So, pay attention to your reaction or defensiveness in those situations, and you will gain valuable insight into yourself. More importantly, you increase your self-governance. Most of those times, you are in the Left Circle, which means you are defensive. You are upset that others are doing something that they "should" do better or "should" control. In other words, "They have no right to say that to me! They shouldn't be acting that way!"

Actually, They Are Free to Act That Way

Often, it is difficult to accept reality, especially when someone curses at you or mistreats you. It's tough not to react to them because you want to correct their bad behavior. But the reality is - they are free to be a jerk, whether you like it or not.

And, of course, you are free to defend yourself, especially in physical situations. But there is a difference between defensive and defending. You are free to tell or ask them to stop cursing at you. If you react to them and are defensive, then their behavior now controls you. If you can tell or ask them to stop and, at the same time, accept that they are free to continue, you are not controlled by them.

Time to adopt better thinking and accept reality! Stop using "They shouldn't curse at me!" and start using different thinking and words.

Be Deliberate and Change Your Words

Start now and watch how often you use "should, ought, or must" thinking. Consider a simple situation like when a person cuts you off in traffic. That typically creates "should, ought, or must" reactions. Now, think about the same situation and change your words.

  • "It would be nice if they wouldn't do that, but they did."
  • "I would prefer they didn't act that way, but they did."
  • "Reality is they are free to act that way, and I am free not to be controlled by them!"

It may sound silly to say it that way, but notice the different emotions you create when you say those words versus, "What a jerk!"

When you change your words, you think differently. And it changes or influences your emotions. Words are formed from what you think, so changing the structure of your thinking to use "It would be nice..." changes your speaking and emotions.

This will help you be more self-governing because you are now PRE-DECIDING!

Could you try this simple tool? It works!


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