In a piece for the Guardian, Gary John Bishop has explained how our speech about ourselves defines our reality and how we think about ourselves.
Bishop writes that “…studies show we have 50,000 thoughts per day. While we have little or no say in those automatic and reactionary thoughts, we have a massive say in which of those thoughts we attach significance to.
“Your emotional state, your moods, your ways of being and acting are in a dance with your internal dialogue. Your experience of yourself, of being you, is intricately woven into existence in the way that you speak to yourself and others.”
This line of analysis which he explores fully in his new book – Unf*ck Yourself – carries similarities with the Dr. Jordan Peterson notion of healing your reality by speaking the truth.
There seems to be a long spiritual tradition centering around the importance of the spoken word in defining reality, a tradition that comes right up to AA’s famous ‘my name is x and I am an alcoholic’.
Bishop goes so far to say that it isn’t our thoughts that impact our speech as much as it is vice versa.
Bishop concluded: “Most people believe that they have certain feelings first, followed by a thought to themselves about how they feel. Not quite.
“The language you use has a direct and powerful in-the-moment impact on your feelings. \
“The German philosopher, Martin Heidegger, said: ‘Language is the house of being,’ while his compatriot, Hans-Georg Gadamer, insisted: ‘Without language nothing exists.'”
In essence, the trick is to redefine your limiting beliefs by altering the speech you utter from fatalistic statements to open, positive messages.
For example, ‘it’s impossible’ becomes ‘I haven’t worked it out yet’.