How words define who you are

In a closed system (assuming away the influence of others), words define who you are.

  • Words define thoughts
  • Thoughts define beliefs
  • Beliefs define actions
  • Actions define habits
  • Habits define who you are

Of course, it’s not that simple. But yes, it helps to feel it like this.

Why? Because most people want to put thoughts or beliefs first, as though thoughts or beliefs define words. Perhaps they do sometimes.

But please try this. If you change your words, your thoughts will follow. It’s much more difficult to change your thoughts while keeping the same words.

Here’s a specific example I learned from Anthony Robbins (yes, the hyper motivational guy – stay with me). Never get “angry” again. Get “peeved.”

You’ll find simply by switching to the word “peeved,” you won’t be able to get angry. Peeved is too ridiculous of a word. It’s not powerful enough for anger. So you’ll automatically change your thoughts, your beliefs, your actions, your habits. Finally, you’ll change who you are.

And you can do a similar exercise for the rest of your vocabulary. That’s why words matter.