The language that clients use, which I notice and which I know is unhelpful, either makes light of their achievements or makes it appear that what they intend is going to be harder than it needs to be.
Let me illustrate.
Firstly, use of the word “chat” to describe our calls.
Sometimes they may be chatty and conversational but that makes light of the work we have done together, the thinking we have brought to your business, the achievements you have made and the time you have set aside to work on your business instead of in it.
I think this talking yourself down and diminishing your work and your achievements is all too easy to do with a slip of the digital pen, or tongue. And if I think it points to you being serially and inappropriately modest, then I will say so.
Just because we have got on like a house on fire doesn’t mean we were “chatting”. In amongst all that talk were sparks of ideas which you have implemented to improve your world considerably. I am impressed by you and if you take some time to look back, you will be too. We take for granted and assimilate our successes in the blink of an eye.
And I know that this lightness of word underestimates you in every way.
The other, much more serious one I notice is when clients say “what I (still) struggle with is…”. That’s them reporting to me habitual behaviours they observe about themselves, ruts they have got into and cannot find a way out of alone. To me it demonstrates choice. OK, the thing you think you struggle with might have defined you all your life but you can let it go in an instant. I’ll show you how. Observation alone begins the process of dissolving it.
The choice of the S word points to you being focussed on what’s still wrong. And that IS a good use of our time together. However, I will oblige you to go into that sense of struggle and explore whether you are wedded to it and confined by it way more than you need.
We all have struggles, and there have been times in my life where the periods of struggle were long and hard. Those times brought me the greatest growth opportunities but I don’t relish them or invite them. I’d much rather have an easy life!
My father taught me when I first went to work in 1972 not to expect life to be fair. He had a darker worldview than my own, I pretty much always expect things to go well and am a bit surprised when they don’t.
I don’t choose struggle. I am not addicted to struggle. And it isn’t in my everyday vocab. You can re-frame it as a challenge or opportunity, as we do on the podcast. Challenge isn’t really in my reality either. I just shrug off the manky stuff, and crack on.
No doubt these cycles of difficulty come into our lives for a reason, to teach us valuable life and business lessons but never invite them with the language you use and never stay in a place of struggle because that’s all you believe you are entitled to, or because that’s all there is. That is something we may have inherited from older generations for whom life was hard or harder. And although many around us now in 2016 are struggling for sure, are you really? Am I?
Please, Gentle Reader, don’t choose struggle. Don’t call our really important life and business-changing conversations “chats”. Check the language you use. Don’t let anything define you except what you really, really want. You have infinite capacity for change and growth and whatever success you choose. And it can be easy. Struggle is a choice and a habitual pattern of behaviour that together we can end. And, once the grip of struggle is broken, you will see that you can do that anytime you need or want with any aspect of your life.
If you really feel you ARE struggling with something, do not hide this from me just because I have written these words today. Bring it to our calls and let’s find strategies to turn that around and end it for you. I have been known in the past to say to clients “Stop it immediately” but only if you are robust and have a GSOH. If this really feels sticky and struggly, then we have some work to do. But I bet anything it will be easier than you could possibly imagine once we start to unpick it and disown the struggle.
Meanwhile, do try to notice and examine your own use of language or have someone keep you accountable to deliberately choosing words which accurately reflect the thoughts and intentions and actions which are going to bring you the 2017 you desire and deserve.