The language we use can have a deep and lasting impact on our lives. Marisa Peer, British nutritionist, hypnotherapist, and author, talks to host Lewis Howes on The School of Greatness podcast about the power of words to create both positive and negative change. Choose the right words to express a thought, and the entire thought can change. We can use these thoughts to create a positive environment in our minds. When we stop telling ourselves we are flawed and inadequate, we learn to accept ourselves. And when we do that, we begin the positive change in our lives.
Read this if…
- You want to get to know yourself better
- You want to move on from your childhood trauma
- You have been navigating insecurities
Marisa Peer is a motivational speaker, therapist, and author who pioneered Rapid Transformational Therapy® (RTT®), a therapy based on neuroscience that combines the most effective techniques from NLP, CBT, hypnotherapy, and psychotherapy. She was named Britain's Best Therapist by Men's Health. Marisa has spent over three decades treating A-list clients, including international superstars, CEOs, royalty and Olympic athletes.
the distilld lessons (extended)
The language we use can have a deep and lasting impact on our lives. When we dwell on the negativity of our situation, our actions and responses can reflect this negativity. On the other hand, if we change our thinking to a more positive mindset, we can shift our perspectives on our situation and respond better.
Marisa Peer, British nutritionist, hypnotherapist, and author, talks to host Lewis Howes on The School of Greatness podcast about the power of words, her concept of “Four Play,” changing thoughts through hypnotherapy, and telling yourself that “I am enough.”
Here are the distilld lessons inspired by Episode #949 of The School of Greatness podcast.
1. Take control of your thoughts to take control of your body.
Our thoughts are how we speak to ourselves. What we think dictates how our body reacts, because our minds are built to keep us alive. In times of stress, the body has three primal reactions – to fight, to take flight, or to freeze.
Negative language tells our brains (and by extension, our bodies) to go into fight, flight, or freeze mode when under stress. But Marisa says we can use our thoughts to override these reactions.
We can use positive language instead to produce the exact opposite result. We acknowledge our distress. We tell ourselves there is a way to move past this. Then, the mind and the body choose a fourth reaction: to flow.
2. Understand how you think and act.
For us to be able to flow, we need to first understand the way we think and act.
Sometimes, when we think in a negative way, it begins to show as negative physical issues in our bodies. It’s the body’s way of either protecting us, punishing us, or to get us attention from others. Take a moment to be introspective. Which of these three purposes is your body trying to meet?
3. Figure out what the role you’ve been playing in life is.
Our formative years are a major factor in shaping our minds. Marisa talks about a concept she calls “Four Play”, coping mechanisms children may turn to when their needs are unmet.
The role we play in life depends on which of these needs went unmet when we were young. There are four roles under Four Play: to be constantly sick, brilliant, overly caring, or rebellious.
Each of these four roles shows how we deal with these unfulfilled needs from our childhood. Being sick makes a child feel that they are loved and cared for. Being brilliant allows a child to feel validated when their parents and the people around them praise their achievements. Being overly caring is when a child becomes a “carer.” Finally, being rebellious usually occurs when all the other roles have already been taken by other members of the family.
4. Acknowledge that role, then leave it behind.
Part of changing our mindsets is to recognize the role that we have been playing. We must acknowledge those needs we had that went unmet when we were young. This is because the way you think and act affects not only yourself, but also the people around you.
When we discover what role we play, only then can we leave that role behind. Marisa says, we must say to ourselves that we are not the roles that we play. We are much more than those roles. We must move past them to live our own lives to the fullest.
5. When you change your thoughts, you change your feelings.
Everything comes back to our thoughts. Thoughts are our personal language. They are how we communicate with ourselves. Feelings, meanwhile, are the body’s response to these very thoughts. To change our feelings, we must first change our thoughts.
To do this, we must speak to ourselves with positive words. What is the result of a lifetime of speaking to ourselves negatively? We convince ourselves that we are inadequate and flawed, and that is a lie that we need to overcome.
6. Accept your imperfections.
Marisa’s I Am Enough movement hinges on the idea that our imperfections do not mean we are inadequate. Instead, we simply need to accept ourselves as we are. We are enough, just the way we are. “Perfect” is nothing but an illusion.
Overcoming this idea of “perfection” can be difficult, especially if we have told ourselves all our lives that we are inadequate. Marisa has a simple strategy: lie, cheat, and steal. Lie to your mind, cheat fear, steal back the phenomenal confidence you were born with.
To overcome our sense of inadequacy, we should tell ourselves better lies. Positive words of self-acceptance and self-affirmation will help you to regain confidence in yourself and remove the pain caused by our negative thoughts.
Nobody is perfect, after all. Perfection is an unattainable construct. By telling ourselves we are enough, we are giving ourselves the freedom to live our own truth, flaws and all.
For a shorter conversation, the distilld lessons summary are here.