Motivation through language

Paid partnership

In these articles, personal coach and trainer Peter Koijen explains how internationals in Amsterdam can "Live their lives and do it their way."

Motivation can be improved by language. Words are powerful tools for motivating yourself. The language you use on a daily basis determines your state in moving towards positive outcomes.

When I ask my clients what they want, they sometimes reply with what they don’t want. For example "I don’t want to be stressed at work," "I don’t want this irritating feeling towards my manager" or "I don’t want to feel down anymore."

Every time you say that you don’t want something, you focus your mind on that thing. This is a classic form of the so-called "away-from" motivation. A focus on what you don’t want - on the negative; the thing you want to get away from.

The downside of this way of thinking is that it won't help you move you towards what you want!

It is important to become consciously aware of the language you use as you express the goals or intentions you have when you want to improve an aspect of your life.

The language you use determines how you program your mind on a daily basis. This is one of the many aspects of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). We consciously program our unconscious every day because the unconscious is like a sponge.

The famous example is when people say NOT to think about something (e.g. a pink elephant). Think about it! Can you really resist thinking about that pink elephant? And even though this is something that many people are aware of, most fail to apply it on a daily basis.

So what can you do? How can you improve your motivation through language?

There are three important changes that will allow you to improve motivation.

 Stop using "away-from" motivations, and start using "towards" ones. Instead of saying "I don’t want to be irritated by my manager," say "I want to feel relaxed around my manager."

How to change your language? Start writing down what is bothering you, and see how much is directed towards what you don’t want. Then ask yourself, "What do I want?" And write down the proper way to say it, the proper words.

 Be aware of meaning. Meaning is important because your unconscious mind programs itself based on the meaning you give to words.

One example is the difference in meaning between saying "looking for a job" and "finding a job." When you say you are looking for a job, you have just one part of the process rather than the end goal in mind.

So, you must change "looking" with "finding." Your chances of actually getting a job will improve if you change your language to match your final goal.

 Pay attention to the difference between tenses, verbs and nouns. There is a difference between using "searching" and "search," "finding" or "find." Do you sense the difference? You must always have the end goal in mind. Change your language from something that sounds like a process into something that includes a goal.

Again, by changing your language you will feel better and more motivated because your brain is processing with the end result in mind.

Finally, remember that the power of language is strong even if English is not your native language!

The power of words is taught in the international NLP training from in2motivation. Feel free to:
Send an email at info[at]in2motivation[dot]com 
› Call +31(0)20-7370312 

Peter Koijen


Peter Koijen

owner of in2motivation

Read more



Leave a comment