We’d like to share a quote by Desmond Tutu: “Language is very powerful. Language does not just describe reality. Language creates the reality it describes.” It got us thinking about how language guides our focus and impacts our reality. Some examples:
“I’ll never get out of debt.”
“My parents (or children) are a burden.”
“I guess I’ll work until I’m 150.”
“I don’t have the body of an athlete.”
Each statement above paints a not-so-pretty picture. In fact, speaking these things out loud (and believing them) can lead you to act in ways that confirm your statements. But there’s power in reframing what we say to ourselves and others.
“I plan to be debt-free in 3 years.”
“It’s a privilege to be there for my parents.”
“I’m going to figure out what I need to have in place to retire by 2028.”
“I’m looking forward to walking (or jogging or weight lifting) for 15 minutes each evening this week.”
So, we challenge you to pay attention to the language you use when talking about retirement, finances, or other goals related to the life you want to live. Our positive or negative connotations will feed upon themselves and the steps we take to achieve our goals.
Take a moment to reflect on how your words might be shaping your financial reality. Consider whether there are any negative or limiting beliefs you could adjust in a more proactive and positive light. We’re not encouraging you to be delusional or to put a positive “spin” on everything. Rather, we’re simply encouraging you to take notice of language.
Remember, by changing the language we use, we can change the reality we create.