Words TRIGGER your state for better or worse, consciously or subconsciously. The words you use affect how you and those around you see the world. They will program your perspective for HOW you will see future challenges. Sometimes we don’t notice how often we say the same things to ourselves over and over. You can use words to express how you see the world, but what truly empowers you is to use your words to change how you see the world.
What’s really powerful is learning to ask the right QUESTIONS, to yourself and to others. Questions will create your state, and cause your brain to hunt for evidence to the answers ‘out there’ in your universe. If you ask a question like ‘why am I so bad at this?’ your brain will give you the only answer it can: ‘because you suck!’, and then look for evidence to support this new story. (‘My parents weren’t any good at this either, I have bad drumming genes, etc etc…’) A better question to ask would be ‘how can I take action in a small way to change my strategy?’ You’ve now transformed your state to being curious and determined! You will now subconsciously start scanning your world for new ways to implement this and make it real. Your new STORY is now that of a person that will persevere and adapt through challenges.
Using the language of empowerment in the outer world is an art to consistently work on, but also essential is the self talk of your INNER DIALOGUE. What are the stories you are telling yourself? I see my students unnecessarily beat themselves up all the time. These questions and stories from the words we use in both our inner and outer worlds are coming from either a FIXED mindset, or a GROWTH mindset. (Check out Carol Dweck’s outstanding book ‘Mindset’ to go deeper on this concept.)
The meaning of Mantra: In Sanskrit, ‘Man’ means MIND and ‘Tra’ means FREEING, so a mantra is a phrase which is designed to free the mind, not cage it in or to set limitations. The word mantra sometimes has some baggage making you think of the chanting of a cult, but it simply means words you repeat to yourself for a certain aim, and as we know from the original meaning of the word, the goal is inner strength and freedom. What words do you use every day?
One great word is YET, which opens the doors of all possibilities to you. YET is the magic word! It is one of the most powerful words in the human language. CAN’T is the opposite. ‘Can’t’ is arrogant, because it is FINAL, closing the doors on all possibilities. To open your potential, always ask ‘WHAT IF?’ Think of all the greats from history that asked this question and changed the world. ‘What if’ was the guiding force of Edison, Mozart, and so many others. About 100 years ago, someone asked ‘what if someone could play drums with their feet AND their hands at the same time?’ This spurred the invention of the first foot pedal, and the drumset was born! We take this as a normal instrument now, but at the time it took a big ‘what if’ to make that happen. Do you know Futureman? He is the drummer from the Grammy winning band Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, and brother of Victor Wooten. He invented an instrument that is the same shape as a guitar, but instead of strings his fingers play the drum sounds on the neck. He looked at both a drumset and a guitar, and asked ‘what if they were combined?’ Use language that TAKES AWAY limits, not language that constricts you.
Your words have great power on yourself and others. Below are words and phrases to use that will GIVE you energy, and words and phrases to avoid which DRAIN your energy. Be patient, this is a process not an event!
LTR POWER WORDS Use more of these! The more you repeat them you are tapping into the power of repetition, which shapes your subconscious mind slowly over time.
* ‘I’ve got this’ This has helped me through so many of my challenges. Tell it to yourself out loud, and you will start to believe it. If you don’t believe in yourself, who will?
* ‘I don’t know this YET’ Yet is the magic word at the end of the sentence that OPENS up possibilities for your future to unfold.
* ‘I ROCK!’ You really do. Celebrate the win!
* ‘YES’ Saying yes with conviction is electrical. Notice the feeling in your gut change between when you say no and yes. Saying YES like you mean it is fantastically energizing!
* ‘Every day, I am getting better, stronger, and healthier’ Using the phrase I AM is very powerful on your subconscious and overall state. You can change ‘every day, I am getting…’ to whatever you need that day.
* ‘Thank you’ Tap into the massive power of gratitude to propel you forward on the path. Give thanks to your instrument, your money, your tools, your food, and everything and everyone that helps you on the path.
* ‘Let’s try it’ Be a possibilitarian! Always be open to new possibilities to grow your untapped potential. Sometimes you don’t really know until you take action and experience it for yourself.
WEAKENING WORDS Stay away from these at all costs! Literally delete them from your vocabulary.
* ‘That’s a problem’ Always replace the word problem with challenge! Notice how the words make you FEEL completely different when you say that’s a problem (energy draining) to that’s a challenge. We always RISE to the challenge!
* ‘I’ll try’ We can learn from the saying of the great drummer known as Yoda for this one: ‘Try not! DO or DO NOT, there is no try.’
* ‘I can’t’ Can’t is PERMANENT, and locks you into a fixed mindset. Can’t is also arrogant… who are you to say it can’t be done? Many people said ‘can’t’ about space travel, electricity, cell phones, and many other things that are now a part of our everyday lives.
* ‘I should’ Never should all over yourself! Just do your best in the moment, or learn from the past action. Saying should will weaken you.
* ‘I’m sorry’ Apologizing is good, but never say ‘I’m sorry’ for making a mistake when you are giving your best.
* ‘This won’t be very good, but…’ Never set yourself up to fail before it’s even happened!
* ‘I’m tired’ Yes, you may actually be tired, but saying this out loud, you’ve just made yourself 10X more tired and locked yourself in this state by making it REAL and permanent.
* ‘I hate that’ Hate is one of the most destructive words in any language, and can actually damage your health. Avoid at all costs! This also helps you keep a non-judgemental mindset as well, by replacing with the phrase ‘I’m not a fan of that’.
Watch the entire podcast with Mark Bowden HERE: http://bit.ly/TheBodyLanguageOfDrumming