NOTE: It is not my job to judge, or point fingers, or ridicule. Nor is it my right to impose my beliefs on others. This is my opinion, and not at all meant to set myself up as “better than,” or above anyone. I approach this task with great humility, and truly pray, I offend no one.
I am a life coach, actually, a Personal Response-Ability Coach. And as such, I have been asked by some of my clients why I do not swear. I thought it would be helpful to write my thoughts on paper, giving a comprehensive presentation, but, truthfully, this has been a very difficult task.
Let’s begin by saying the objective at New View Concepts is to IGNITE and TRANSFORM. We do this, in part, with NLP.
As Webster defines it:
Neu·ro·lin·guis·tic pro·gram·ming (NLP)
a system of alternative therapy intended to educate people in self-awareness and effective communication, and to model and change their patterns of mental and emotional behavior.
A couple of years ago, as part of our on-going education for our business, Jesse and I attended a 2-week certification training. We were the oldest people in the class, of course, but delighted to see so many up-and-coming leaders in the life coaching industry.
As the seminar got under way, we were shocked that the presenters chose the “F” word as a common expression to punctuate points made. To us (the antiquitous relics that we are), it was not only distracting, but uncomfortable. Was it just us? two very old geezers with values that were carved from fossil? Truly odd, we thought—especially--given the certification we were there to obtain: Neurolinguistic Programming.
We pondered what we teach our coaches--and how we coach our clients. If the choice of words really mattered, why would it be important for us to teach our clients the value of speaking graciously? So, I did a little research.
Please excuse the frankness of this elucidation, but the following is the definition of the “F” word taken from Webster. Notice 2.2, and the “exclamation” at the end of this word description. (BTW, there are 2 letters missing in the spelling of that word below, just so you know.)
f_ _ k
have sex with (someone).
ruin or damage (something).
an act or instance of having sex.
used alone or as a noun or verb in various phrases to express annoyance, contempt, impatience.
Later, Jesse and I pondered the value of the NLP Certificate we just received and how important it is to select words that ignite and transform lives. As we teach our clients to live in the 3rd Paradigm Mind (the love/caring level), taught in the GO Broken to Beautiful/Badass Course, clients learn to become aware of what we say, how we say it, and what kind of impact our words have on others. Clients learn to reverence relationships, to live lives of gratitude, and to be accountable to their God.
As I visualize being in church, I think about the words the preacher chooses to uplift and inspire--especially in God’s House. But we don’t have to be especially IN God’s house to believe God is in our midst—(and His people are always listening).
Words have power and energy. When we speak out loud, soundwaves carry on and on and on. When people say unkind things to each other, or scream and yell, those sound waves bounce off walls, permeate rooms (and hearts!), and create an atmosphere that is dark and foreboding. But we don’t have to scream and yell to create the same feelings in the room… it can be done simply by the words we choose to use.
Words are representations of our thoughts. And thoughts also have energy. Thoughts literally are quantum packets of light. Debasing language dims the light, and hence, sets a stage of darkness. Hardly could words used to express “annoyance,” “contempt,” or “impatience” (as expounded by Webster, above), invite light. Nor can a word used as a verb (as he says) promote peace and joy when it’s very meaning is to “ruin or damage” (something).
I wondered if using such profane language was just a case of learned colloquialism and maybe we were just too prudish! The “F” word, I have been told, is now accepted as part of everyday communication: it’s “not a big deal; it’s just what we say nowadays; just how we describe and punctuate our thoughts; an adjective that seems to say more to get a weighty point across.”
In my awareness of language, I have heard even more disgusting words that bring shame to humankind, demoralize people around me (especially women), and demonstrate a brutal lack of respect. How long will it be before we accept these other, very disgusting words as commonplace, and “not a big deal,” and used as everyday language?
The words we use can actually help re-program a hurting heart and head. Degrading words don’t heal trauma. Degrading words don’t alleviate pain. Swearing oftentimes reinforces a negative response to shame and guilt, feelings of inadequacy, or fear, anxiety, hate, and anger. As coaches, we choose words that build people from the inside out to feel confident, competent, and worthy.
Sadly, many of these dark, very painful words were used to seriously verbally, emotionally, and mentally attack and abuse our clients… building anger and resentment, and very loud whispers that could (without intervention), echo for a lifetime. Through that abuse and trauma, clients learned to disrespect not only their perpetrators, but themselves.
Words matter. Words have power. Words tell others who we are. Words can also tell others who they are. Words tell what we stand for, what we won’t stand for. And using that one “F” word, can speak volumes about our value system (or lack of).
Recently, Jesse and I attended another training. The presenters were young entrepreneurs who have become iconic figures in business. These young people have reached unparalleled 8-9 figure incomes. Their success is mind-boggling—especially since most of these people are less than 35 years old!
We were privileged to sit in on a group interview for various positions on their company team. Not once did these leaders use offensive language; not so of some of the young applicants being interviewed. Interesting. The culture of the business was quite evident. As was that of the young applicants. (I wonder whom they chose for those jobs?)
I was curious what God says about words. So, I went to the Bible. There were several quotes about swearing throughout. Here is one about our conversations one-to-another:
But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation…
- 1 Peter 1:15 KJV
It’s up to each of us to decide what “manner of conversation” we want to use. I want to emulate in every way, in the short time I have with my client, my respect and love for her—recognizing always, that God is in the room with us. It is my prayer, that as she puts her trust in me as her coach, as I strive to help her reach her goals to become her best self… I hope to become mine.
Finally, with all the ah-ha moments that come through the experience of the GO Broken to Beautiful/Badass “awakening,” clients can let go of trauma, turn away from the degrading labels used to abuse, damage, and label them, finally believing in themselves, and saying out loud very graciously, “I am a beautiful Child of God, and I am worthy.”
5 THINGS TO DO TO SPEAK GRACIOUSLY
THINK IN THE 3RD PARADIGM MIND. This is the love/caring level--the Victor Mentality taught in the GO Broken to Beautiful/Badass Course. (See the Free Chart included below.) It all comes down to choices: what we think; how we react; what we say; how we say it; how we love; how we are loved; how we forgive; and how we choose to be forgiven.
As we learn to live there (in that 3rd Paradigm Mind), it’s no longer a decision about picking our battles; we learn there is really no reason to battle. There is so much in life that just doesn’t matter. What matters are our relationships. Protect our relationships… and we find joy.
BECOME AWARE OF YOUR THOUGHTS. If a negative thought pops in, immediately change it to a positive thought. Notice your reactions to life. Notice the words you use in your head chatter to describe the events of the day. Notice the words you choose—especially when you (choose to be) angry, when you speak with your spouse or significant other—or your children.
Remember, it all comes down to thought. When you learn to manage your thought processes, you not only manage your life, but you can actually direct your life on purpose—with purpose.
IMPROVE YOUR VOCABULARY. Learn one new word a week and incorporate it into your everyday conversions, expressions, presentations, and writings. Stimulate your brain to use adjectives (especially), that uplift and nourish. Find new words to express anger, and frustration; new expletives that you can use to calm a situation, if tested.
JOURNAL. When you get into the habit of journaling daily, you become more aware of how you fit into the universe. I address my journal writing like this: Dear Heavenly Father. That way, I am having a conversation, not just writing a narrative. I am more focused on my thoughts, reactions, and actions during the day, when I know I will be checking in with Him.
FOCUS ON THE GOOD. Don’t worry about focusing on getting rid of the bad habits. If you concentrate on doing all the above, learning to speak graciously will automatically happen.
If you are true to your values and behave in such a way that your example is congruent with your beliefs… I’ll just bet that choosing your words graciously will be yet another way to please our God—IN or OUT of church!
PEASE NOTE: I have re-written this over and over to make the words come out just so… so that no one is offended; so that no one feels rejected; so that no one feels less than. What I want is for everyone to feel joy. To find joy--I KNOW, without a doubt--is to live in that 3rd Paradigm Mind.
Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
--Colossians 4:6 KJV
Because being better is better than simply feeling better.
God bless you to rise above the ordinary…..