Have you ever said that? “I literally cannot.” I have. Plenty of times, actually. It’s become quite a bit of a catch phrase when people do things that are ridiculously hard to believe or imagine. Or when a situation arises that I just can’t deal with at the moment (or ever, for that matter). I literally cannot. As if to say this is beyond all comprehension and I just can not spend another moment on it.
Well in those settings, I think the statement works. It’s more of an expression than a true declaration. However, in others it may be more of an issue than you would think. How so? Well, what we tell ourselves is usually what we in fact do. And when you speak to yourself negatively (silently or out loud, who am I to judge lol), you could in fact be self-sabotaging your efforts. There are have been scientific studies that suggest our language actually shapes the way we think, and that our sub conscience really does follow the things that we say. Therefore, it’s reasonable to conclude that our words really do carry a certain amount of weight. They have power. Actual, factual power. Tell yourself you’re smart and find a way to figure it out. Tell yourself you’re stupid and chances are…
All jokes aside, though. This is serious business. By this line of reasoning, we really have the ability (and responsibility) to tell ourselves wonderful, beautiful things. In a world where there are literally thousands upon thousands of things that we have absolutely no control over, this is not one of those things. We can absolutely control what we tell ourselves each and every single day. And in that moment, we determine how things are going to be.
Ever heard the expression “the words you speak will be the house you live in”? Well apparently it’s true. And when responding to the question of “What would make you happy?” WebMD says “A new wardrobe, a faster car, moving to a different city? People often think these things are the key to feeling good, but experts say only about 10% of a person’s happiness is related to them. Much more happiness — 90% — has to do with your general outlook on life. You can learn a lot about your own worldview by paying attention to “self-talk” — the conversation you have in your head about yourself and the world around you. Even more important, changing how you talk to yourself can actually help shift your perspective, too.”
But is a shift in perspective merely just looking at life through rose-colored glasses? Is it a lie to yourself method that just makes everything seem better when it really isn’t? Critics say no. The effects are real and not just some placebo pill to sugarcoat the awfulness. In fact, Psychology Today makes this interesting analysis:
Positive self-talk is not self-deception. It is not mentally looking at circumstances with eyes that see only what you want to see. Rather, positive self-talk is about recognizing the truth, in situations and in yourself. One of the fundamental truths is that you will make mistakes. To expect perfection in yourself or anyone else is unrealistic. To expect no difficulties in life, whether through your own actions or sheer circumstances, is also unrealistic.
When negative events or mistakes happen, positive self-talk seeks to bring the positive out of the negative to help you do better, go further, or just keep moving forward. The practice of positive self-talk is often the process that allows you to discover the obscured optimism, hope, and joy in any given situation.
– Psychology Today
Optimism, hope, and joy. What a powerful combination. You know, in the opening pic I was really going for a super fly extended stretch on my tippy toes. Didn’t quite make it, but it was a fun attempt. I laugh now, because the shirt I was wearing at the time says “I literally cannot.” And I’m pretty sure that’s what I was thinking – there’s no way I can do this. Now I wonder if that had anything to do with my failed attempt to get the perfect shot. Considering my balance and the way my equilibrium is set up, probably not. But still… it gives me pause.
So then, what’s the conclusion of the matter? All things being considered at the end of the day? Stop talking down to yourself. Stop being so negative. Yes, things go wrong and yes, we make mistakes. Yes, Mondays are Mondays and sometimes it rains. And yes close friends hurt our hearts and we lose people in death. But the choice is always the same, regardless of the situation – what shall we say to ourselves in the early morning when we just awake? How you answer that question can truly can be the difference between a good day, and a bad day. And with the way this world is currently set up, we can use all the good days we can get.