Trapped by our own words

open-bird-cageWords can trap us or release us.

Many practiced phrases and responses fall out of our mouths easily. How we respond to small talk and beyond says quite a bit about where we are headed in life.

We use standard phrases because they have predictable responses in the conversation. They are simple, easy, vanilla, safe. They don’t require anything of the person across the table, in the elevator, at an event, even at a family gathering. The other person simply nods, agrees or moves on to the next thought.

I’m fine.

Whatcha gonna do. (as a statement)

I can’t…

I’m not…

We can’t afford…

I don’t have time to…

What I have found is that we can fill a day, a week, months, even years with these responses. We look back a year or years later and our lives haven’t changed. More than that, we’ve missed an opportunity to connect, build a relationship, build community and add value to the person next to us.

The truth is…

I can.

I am.

I have time.

I can build up the income to afford ____ or to give more.

We are uniquely and wonderfully made to bring something valuable to those around us. Whether in a quiet or colorful way, you have value to those in your life.

Avoid the rehearsed phrases that keep you stagnant. Catch yourself in those moments and say something unexpected and brighter. Bring something new to conversations. You might be surprised how something so small can make your day brighter and add a smile to those around you.