Have you ever stopped to consider how our vocabulary can dramatically shift our feelings and perception of situations?
For example, close your eyes and think about being “completely outraged”. What would that look like? Think about a situation you’ve been in recently that you might describe as being “completely outraged”. Get a very clear picture in your head of what that might look like.
Now take that same situation but instead of labeling it as “completely outraged”, how would it look if you were “a little bit peeved” instead? Would you react any differently if you were “a little bit peeved” instead of “completely outraged”?
I’m guessing your reaction to that same situation would be slightly different.
This is what Tony Robbins calls “Transformational Vocabulary” and he uses it to help people shift their emotional state instantly.
The questions we ask ourselves and the words we use to describe how we’re feeling can have a profound impact on our emotional state in any given situation.
I was recently having a conversation with a client about how she was feeling a lot of anxiety about a dance performance she had coming up. She was having a some trouble getting the steps down. She was concerned she as going to go into a full panic attack on the day of the performance.
When she was describing this to me, I reminded her that “anxiety” and “excitement” are actually the exact same feeling, it’s just how we label and perceive those feelings that are different. A simple word change, but a very different perception of the same situation.
Take a second and consider how you might handle situations differently if instead of feeling “infuriated” you were simply “a little cranky”. Or instead of having “pretty intense arguments” with your partner, you had “spirited debates”?
Effectively using this kind of vocabulary can transform our emotional experience. It can help us break patterns, make us smile and produce completely different feelings around situations we find ourselves in.