Watch your language…

The way we communicate with people has a significant effect on their opinions of us. It’s not just about what we say but about how we say it. Becoming better communicators can heal relationships, lead to better job opportunities and enable us to reach wider audiences with whatever messages we want to share.
Language influences the way we see things. It has long been known that using different labels for the same thing will promote different behaviors. For our purposes it is important to understand what we do to ourselves with our own choice of words and use of language. Once we are aware of our usage, we can adjust our language to be more in keeping with our true intentions and the existential situations we are describing.
Have to/Want to
On the list of words to be used as little as possible is the phrase “I have to.” The true situation is usually best described instead by “I want to.” To get the flavour of this, change have into want in your mind the next few times you say “I have to.” Do this silently, simply repeating to yourself the sentence that you just said out loud, with just the one word changed. This exercise is very effective in getting people to realize that what they do in their lives — even the things they find unpleasant — is in fact what they have chosen.
Next let’s look at “I can’t” and test it against “I won’t.” A good way to make the test is to use the same procedure as in the previous exercise. So, for example, if you said out loud, “I can’t stop breathing,” you would then say to yourself, “I won’t stop breathing.” The simple change of can’t to won’t is often empowering. Can’t implies helplessness; won’t signifies volition and choice.