A couple of months ago, I was talking to Rick about something with my dad. Dad’s getting a little older, and, of course, I want to make sure that he’s as healthy as he can be. I caught myself saying the following:
“I’m really stressed about dad.”
And then I stopped myself and I thought. Wait a minute. Is that true?
Am I really stressed about dad’s health? No.
Then I tried various statements to try to see which one rang true. Here are some of the statements I tried on:
Am I worried about dad’s health? No.
Do I have some concern about dad’s health? That felt like it was getting a little closer, but concern still implied more than I felt.
And then I landed on this: it’s something that I care about and I want to make sure I’m giving it attention.
Or maybe even: I have a wish for him to enjoy the best health that he can, and I want to support that as best as I can.
Since that time, I’ve been hyper aware of how many times I use words like stressed, worried or concern when really what I mean is that something needs my attention.
Why does this matter?
Because our words create our reality.
If I tell myself that I’m stressed or anxious or worried, I’m creating more of that. I’m literally telling my brain to feel stress or worry. The next time you catch yourself saying that you are worried, stressed, anxious or concerned about something, stop and ask yourself: is that true? If not, pick a more accurate word.