Words and thoughts have the power to change the way we feel. From a single word or thought a whole avalanche can tumble.

Breaking the momentum calls for alertness; noticing words and thoughts, the effect they have and how they gather and build like snowballs rolling downhill.

Single words can present potential traps. A single word has the potential to become a label; if you fail at something, failing once does not mean you are a failure full stop. Failing is part of learning; or, new word coming up “Failearning”. If you see the word fail, imagine the “L” as a learner’s plate – a reminder that failure isn’t final.

A single word can act as a signpost taking you down a road you may not need to travel.

Once you become aware of the words and thoughts you use it helps you identify potential thinking traps. The word “but” serves as a great example; often when you use the word “but” it practically wipes out all you have said so far! (I learnt this tip from the book “The Impact Code” by Nigel Risner)

“Should” leaves little room where “could” provides options and possibilities and “always” is rarely always.

I have used the phrase “Tools not rules” in the mind map as a reminder that language has limitations.

The potential trap words mind map contains examples; yet the main principle is to question your thinking question the words you use and see where potential traps might emerge.

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