Facing a Bump In the Road? Choose Your Words Wisely

If I asked you what your favorite color is, what would you say? It’s a simple question, but I’m sure it conjures a perception, an emotion, or a memory.

Maybe it’s blue or green, which causes you to think about the ocean or recall a vacation. Mine is orange. It was purple at one time, and before that, pink. Just look around the website, and you’ll see all my favorites play out on each page.

What if I asked you about your perceptions of a more substantive topic? Maybe your truth is very different from mine. And that’s okay; we need more acceptance of each other’s different beliefs while still appreciating the people who hold them dear.

It was really important that I explored my perceptions during my walk through cancer because there was no way around it other than through it. I was faced with something that, initially, I thought was going to be very bad, but because I decided that I had a choice in at least my perceptions, my journey was more positive than I expected.

My altered state of mind started when I had lunch with my girlfriend Wendy. I said, “Wendy, I have cancer,” and she said, “No you don’t,” and chuckled a bit. Then we joked back and forth about having it and not having it. Well, it turned out she was correct—literally—and here’s why:

She challenged me that day to stop owning it with my words. If I were to say, “I have cancer,” that conveyed ownership—something that I accepted was part of me. Wendy insisted that I was walking through it or experiencing it. There’s a difference!

Words have power. Research tells us that our words can cause specific areas of the brain to activate and can affect a person’s subjective experience of pain and that positive words can uplift, motivate, and inspire.

Sure, walking through cancer didn’t diminish the significance of it, but it did allow me to look at it from a completely different perspective. And because the words changed my perspective of cancer, I felt empowered to challenge it.

Have you ever driven through one of those big and longish bumps in an unfamiliar neighborhood and thought, “Wow, that jarred me a bit; next time I’d better take a different approach or slow down.” Or maybe you thought, “That was flat and easy; maybe we can just go a little bit faster in the future to get where we want to go.” The words you choose dictate how you mentally handle the bumps.

Cancer was my speed bump in the road, and finding the right words helped me plow right over it at whatever pace successfully took me to the other side. (There’s a chicken joke somewhere in there.)

Choosing the right words had a profound effect on my journey. What’s going on in your life where you could use the power of words to manage your emotions, fear, or expectations?

What would you name it so that your perceptions become your truth and your truth motivates and inspires you?

Be positively altered,

Dr. Cindy

P.S. If you want to learn how to be positively altered by your words, your perceptions, or your demeanor—by things you can actually control—hire me for your next event. I’d love to talk to your audience and unleash what’s possible rather than get mired in the impossible. Learn more here.

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