Of course by ‘clean language’, I’m not talking about the kind of words that would have your grandmother chasing you with a bar of soap. By clean language I mean using the kind of language that creates positive images both in ourselves and in those we are communicating with.

For starters, we have all heard of affirmations and we know that repeating them continuously over time has the positive effect of making us believe they are true. If this were the case then wouldn’t our everyday language patterns have a similar effect on us?

Let’s think for a minute about how affirmations work. When we learn something new like driving, it’s a very conscious affair. We are very conscious of watching the road, watching the speedometer and watching the rear and side view mirrors. We are very conscious of putting the correct (hopefully) gear in and simultaneously releasing the clutch as we apply pressure to the accelerator. This is conscious learning and it feels awkward for all of us.

Then one fine sunny day, it all starts to happen automatically and smoothly. What happened? The whole process became unconscious, or in other words, our conscious mind stopped being aware of each of the sub steps in the process called driving and let our unconscious mind take over, which when given a choice is the better of the two minds for the task.

This is the case with everything that we learn. With repetition, it stops being something we are consciously aware of, and not quite sure we can do or deserve, and starts being something that is apart of our reality.

This holds true for affirmations and the language we use in general. With repetition, affirmations stop sounding so silly and foreign and start to sound pretty real. This is because with repetition, we stop thinking about them consciously, and they start to become part of our unconscious reality.

The same holds true for the language patterns we use everyday. Statements like “It’s difficult”, “I can’t do that”, “There is no point trying” or any other statement that somehow limits you or the people you speak to, or pre-frames the inability to succeed will eventually become part of your reality and limit you or others from taking action altogether. As Richard Bandler once said:

If you say to yourself ’It’s difficult to get up in the morning’, ’It’s hard to cease smoking’, then you are already using hypnotic suggestions on yourself.

This is as important when we speak to others, be it family, friends, colleagues or subordinates; as it is when we speak to ourselves. It is also very true when we speak to children, especially those under seven years old, as they process all information very unconsciously with little critical conscious consideration for what they are told.

Think about how the negative language patterns you may be using could be limiting you or those around you in some way.