The way you use language — whether you’re speaking with others or to yourself — goes quite a distance toward shaping your experiences. It also reveals a lot about the way you believe, feel, and function.

With or without your awareness, your word choices program your beliefs — and broadcast them. They can support or betray your intentions. 

So this month, we’re talking about the art of using language more consciously, as well as in the service of your highest goals. In the surprising power of key words and declarations towards the value of saying more of that which you mean and less of what you don’t, we explore the methods language defines your experience and just how it shapes your connections with others.

We also offer some experiments that will help you develop a more empowered approach to language in your own life. 

Sloppy Speech

  • Our culture trains us to speak a lot ­— and often without reflection. Throughout our daily lives, we speak most of our sentences automatically and reactively. We rarely pause to think about the meaning and intention (or lack thereof) embedded in each utterance.
  • Neurological and linguistic research demonstrates that, as humans, we are hardwired to respond to words in subtle and robust ways — often at a subconscious level. To a significant extent, we are programmed by the words we speak and listen to. 
  • The study of Conscious Language is definitely an exploration of how we can leverage this trait to our advantage through thoughtful speech patterns and empowering word choices. It strives to increase our awareness of how vague, negative, and self-limiting language works against us.

Powerful Declarations

  • In exactly the same that physical postures and “power poses” have shown to influence our capacity and outcomes, our utilization of language can influence our mental–emotional states. It can also determine the responses we receive from others.
  • One of the simplest ways to begin leveraging Conscious Language would be to first notice, and then thoughtfully adjust, your use of any words or phrases following the word “I” — especially “I'm.” 
  • Conscious Language experts suggest that within the neurocircuitry of our body–mind, the words “I am” be the declaration, predisposing us to produce the realities we are speaking. 
  • Our subconscious self has a tendency to process language literally, meaning that phrases like “I’m busy” or “I’m confused” may perpetuate those states than to relieve them.
  • With this in mind, you might consider swapping disempowering phrases like “I’m exhausted” or “I’m stressed out” with increased empowering (yet still honest) statements, like “I’m ready for many rest and relaxation.” 
  • Note that this differs from repeating affirmations that you don’t perceive to be real (a strategy that can backfire, creating cognitive dissonance). 

Reclaiming Your Words

  • When you first begin reformulating your word choices, it can scramble your brain a bit. At first, saying exactly and only what you mean can make it hard to say anything at all. So it helps to consider this effort a continuing exploration.
  • As you begin to speak more consciously, you’ll discover that you’re not the only one who benefits. By expressing yourself with increased accuracy, specificity, and awareness, you’ll enjoy more honest conversations and much more productive collaborations. You might even inspire colleagues and friends to follow suit.


Pilar suggests: Review your language for a limiting word or phrase that you use regularly, and consider eliminating it from your vocabulary or replacing it having a more consciously chosen option. Acquire some ideas from the  linked articles within this episode’s notes or pay attention to the “Conscious Language 2” episode for additional counsel. 

Dallas suggests: Ditch  rhetorical conversation starters like “How's it going?” And unless you really want to engage someone in conversation, don’t. When you do choose to chat, avoid predictable small talk, and instead think about a more open-ended, curious inquiry, like “What exactly are you feeling most hopeful about these days?” 

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