The Importance Of Clean Language

by Mike Blissett - Date: 2007-04-24 - Word Count: 910 Share This!

Clean language, saying exactly what you mean is so important in all areas of life. How many times have you heard yourself telling someone, or even yourself in the self-talk you use what you don't want to happen? 'I don't want to buy another pack of cigarettes', 'I don't want to be short of money at the end of the month anymore', etc. Do either or something similar sound familiar?

Clean language accepts the belief that we get what we ask for. However, since it's commonly known after years of research that the unconscious mind doesn't process negatives, what we'd get from the two examples just used would be, 'I do want to be short of money at the end of the month', and 'I do want to buy another pack of cigarettes! Not the desired result, I know!

Known as a 'waking hypnosis', NLP is the study of communication; the words and representations we use both internally (that inner voice) or externally. I mention the word 'representations' since 'it's not what you say, but how you say it' that can make such a huge difference to your life and the results you have.

Imagine someone saying 'I love you' whilst looking into your eyes, soft voice, candles shimmering over a beautiful table in the most romantic restaurant. Fabulous, right? Then imagine how it might feel for someone having been beaten, cowering in fear, with their tormentor screaming with anger that they only do it because they love them. Same words. Two completely different worlds.

So, the words we use are important, as are the tonality and context they're said in. The third and final area of communication is in our physiology, our body, how we look, stand, or carry ourselves. Think back to some of Think about other often used top tips for creating and attracting success; 'look the part/dress to impress/act 'as if'/be aware of who your peer group are', then ask yourself how you could improve the communication you have with yourself and those around you.

What matters most in communication - words, how we say them, or what we look like? You might be surprised:

Physiology = 55%
Tonality = 38%
Words = 7%

In essence, words are vitality important and so is the way you say it, and how you carry yourself physically when you say it.

Say what you mean
So, clean language is saying what you mean. Think how you talk to and about yourself? Are you supportive, complementary, or your worst critic, first in line to doubt any bright idea? Hear are a few examples of what clean language might look like as opposed to the disempowering messages we sometimes opt for.

- I really believe I'd be great at this. (clean).
- I'm not sure, but I think if all goes well and I don't run out of money first I might be good. (disempowering!!!!).
- I will take these steps because they will lead me forward. (clean).
- I'll try, and if I don't fail who knows where they'll take me. (disempowering!!!!!)
- What I really want to do is this. (clean).
- I don't know what I want. I did want to do this, but I worry I won't get support and I'll look a fool and I won't be any good. (Disempowering!!!!!)

Of course, I accentuated the disempowering phrase or when you think about it, have you ever heard anyone come up with phrases similar to those above?

Find a model
The ultimate aim would be to decide once and for all to only ever use clean language from this moment on. If you did, who might you be able to model as a guiding light of how the positive effects of using clean language could be?

Role models can be people we know, get to know, work with, study with, read about in books, and admire from movies and DVDs, etc. for example, Richard Branson is a role model to many entrepreneurs throughout the world, yet how many actually know him as a friend? Sometimes it's enough to read their book or study what characteristics made them who they are in some way.

Top tips
1. Listen and become aware of how many times you belittle or reduce your light in the world. We all do it sometimes, and just imagine if we did it less how we might then shine more?

2. Make a list of negatives you use. 'Can't, won't, don't, shouldn't' etc. Thing is, the unconscious mind doesn't process negatives; so 'I don't want to be a smoker' really becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, 'I do want to be a smoker'. Ouch! Not nice. Make a list every time you say anything negative. Write it down.

3. Look at your plan and see if it can be written in a more positive, enthusiastic, fun, strong, and loving way. In fact, do it anyway! Plans tend to happen more rapidly when we work 'on' them and 'in' them, meaning they need developing and growing just as surely as you grow and develop.

4. Tonality - even when you're in a new place in your life, make it sound fabulous and confidant. Sounding confident and self-assured about your project will increase your effectiveness, and you will find yourself believing it too, sooner than you think. Practice to a mirror, to a friend, your coach, the world do it!

5. Physiology. 55%. This is the most instant way to feel better, and for other people to see the difference; walk taller (in every way). Look the part, walk the part, play the part, and finally you will become the part.

Related Tags: coaching, personal development, career, hypnotherapy, nlp, language, hypnosis, life coaching, self talk

Mike Blissett is a Peak Performance Coach, NLP Trainer, and Sport & Fitness Hypnotherapist based in Harley Street, London, working with people and organisations to help them achieve better results. To get your FREE 'Life Evaluator' assessment visit

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