Have you ever noticed that when you’re feeling a bit insecure, or cranky, you’re more prone to speaking negatively? I certainly do. A bad nights sleep, or feeling flustered about a project that is sliding sideways, and I find things falling out of my mouth that I then cringe over. The cure – enhanced self awareness and discipline in how we communicate.
I know we are all a bit stressed at the moment, there’s a lot going on in the world and a lot to take in. Speaking negatively though, from that place of stress, is only adding to this negative weight. We can each be better leaders in our own lives by ensuring we speak not necessarily always ‘positively’ but introduce staying neutral or simply quiet, in moments.
Speaking the truth is also necessary. Can we speak the truth sweetly is the question, that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi used to request of his students. We want to avoid spiritual bypassing and the like where we ‘avoid speaking negatively’ even if something needs to be communicated. The art lies in not remaining silent to injustice or inappropriate behaviour, but learning the speak with grace around these topics.
I like to pause and ask, is this helpful? Or, will this add value? Or my favourite, if the person in discussion were here, would I say that in front of them? It’s particularly easy to speak hurtfully about someone we don’t know and never will, like a politician or a movie star. However, they are still people at the end of the day. And we are in effect still training our minds and brains on what to say, whether we know them intimately or not. So blanket rules can help when it comes to our words, and as Thich Nhat Hahn says, let’s use words that inspire self confidence, joy and hope. Especially at this moment in time.
Sent with kindness,