Remember, words cannot be unsaid. There’s a lot of things in life that you can undo, you can take back and no one will ever know. Words aren’t one of those things. Yes, if you say something, you can go back and correct the situation, apologize and take ownership, and you should each and every time. Right? Words themselves cannot be unsaid. If you say something mean, vulgar or hurtful to somebody, they can’t be taken back. The person may forgive you, but you can never take those words back.
Something I recommend you do. If you’re in a heated situation, take a breath and count to 10. Now, count backward, 10, nine, and I take a couple deep breaths as I’m doing this. Now, what happens is a multitude of things. One is I calm down, so my triggers or anything else that maybe I want to say as a knee-jerk reaction doesn’t come out. I come from a family that is extremely sarcastic and very biting on the tongue. That’s the way I grew up, so to me, that was the norm. Right? In fact, gosh, it was sixth grade I think it was. I thought I was just communicating and the woman across from me at the table, the desk we were sitting at school, turned around and just slapped me across the face, and she had tears in her eyes, and she was so upset at what I had said. I remember thinking, wow, this is just normal communication in my household. I’m like, I didn’t think anything of it. Yeah, it was mean, but to me, that’s just the way people talked.
I’ve had to unlearn that communication style for a long, long time. It’s not that my parents wanted me to have that. It’s just the way that people talked in my house. It was three boys and my dad, my mom, and I had stepparents too. That’s kind of the way you did. In retrospect, it was mean, and so words can’t be unsaid. There are so many times in my life, in my young life especially. It took me a long time to get rid of that, and I’ve made a lot of conscious decisions. I could tell you another story, which is unfortunate, but I was playing basketball and I thought … I was a young man. I was again, I think it was seventh grade. I was starting to discover that not everybody talks this way that I was taught in my house like my brothers’ banter and the trash talk.
During the game, I chose to trash talk to another player. Right? He was older than me, twice my size. Huge guy, muscular, the whole nine. I thought to really push it. Right? I thought, wow, I have this gift where I can see people’s weaknesses and push their buttons. I was really good at it. I’m not bragging about it now, but at the time I was like okay … As a young man, I’m experimenting. During the game, I kept going and just jarring at him as we’re playing. Half-way through the game, he just collapsed on the court crying, sobbing. He walked off eventually and I felt horrible. Right? Again, I’m telling you, words cannot be taken back. I tried so hard to apologize afterward. I still feel bad just recounting that story, how bad I was. This young man just trying to figure life out and experiment and say, is this a gift or a curse or what is it?
Now, I still have that ability to look at people and see what they don’t see within inside themselves or see them really clear, clearly. I just use it for good. I use it for coaching to help them get past hurdles, so it’s a great gift. It just how you harness those gifts. Right? I also learned at that time that I couldn’t repair that. I couldn’t take that back for him. Right? He may have forgotten that. I hope he has, but he may still be living with that. What I want to tell you is again, whatever you’re saying or when you’re in a situation, especially with a loved one, words can’t be taken back. Try this technique again and just take a calm, deep breath for 10 seconds.
It’s going to reduce your triggers as I said earlier, but it’s also going to calm them down because they’re going to feel heard. Right? After those 10 seconds, you can say whatever you want. Right? My guess is if you’re like myself or like many of the people that I coach, you’re going to decide to say something much nicer than you may have wanted to initially as that knee-jerk reaction came out. This is going to allow you to have more control over your verbal communication, but also with the way it lands on somebody because again, you can’t take it back. You may decide to say, “Hey look, you know what? This is getting a little too hot. I’m going to step away and come back to this conversation.” Now, it’s also important you always tell the person you’re going to come back to the conversation if you respect them so they know that you’re not just leaving and vanishing and running away from the conversation. That’s something for another daily growth hack.
At this point, what I want you to realize and think about, and I’m really speaking to the younger version of myself especially. Gosh, I wish somebody would have taught me and told me this at an early age, is you can’t take back words. It’s one of the few things in the world that you just can’t take back. What’s said has been said. Now again, people can forgive you, but in my experience coaching people all over the world, oftentimes a lot of the deep things they’re going through internally are things that people have said to them in the past. I encourage you to be a light in the world, a shining light and really pay attention to what you’re saying. What I’d like you to do or invite you to do is grab your journal and look at some of those things. Look at some of those common things that you are saying to people.
How often do you … Do you often comment on your friends or loved one’s weight? Do you often comment on how in your household that you have one sibling who’s stupid or not smart? We did that in my house, and it was a joke. That’s not a funny joke when you look at it in retrospect. Now that I’m older, I would never say that to my son. Some of the things I used to say to my close friends as jokes, I just would never say, and things that were said to me. There were all kinds of things said to me that was 10 times worse. That’s what I want you do to. What would you want to communicate to somebody if you are given a chance that you’d want them to remember you by? What would be lasting? Again, if you’re in a heated situation or something along those lines, an argument, something that triggers you from your past, take that 10-second break. If you still need time, just let them know, “Hey, I just need a little break. I will be back to this conversation in a little bit.” Let yourself cool down.
Then, if you’re still in there, I highly recommend Doing the Work. Right? Doing the Work by Byron Katie. There’s also a Release the Rage version of that. Doing the Work by Byron Katie is a great way to reset yourself and come back to that communication style. That’s it for me today. As always, share this with at least three people that you think would enjoy this or somebody, three people that you would like to have a conversation that matters to grow your tribe. Of course, go over to authorofyourownstory.com. Get on the newsletter. You can then unsubscribe at any time. We all know how to do that by now if you’re not finding value.
I think you’re going to find a lot of value to the newsletter as it continues to grow because we’re releasing more and more courses that we have. We have three new ones. They’re all free for our newsletter subscribers, and I think you’re going to get a lot out of them. Also, remember just go out, be yourself, inspire someone by being the author of your own story. You are a beacon in the world, and I want you to shine. All right. I’ll see you tomorrow. Have a fantastic day.
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