Words Matter!

When I was in the 8th grade, I learned something I have hung on to a bit. Through a research study, I learned that people who procrastinate when studying or doing school projects get better grades on tests and assignments. I can tell you my 8th-grade self loved learning this because it helped me "justify" my procrastination, especially when it came to school.

After a quick search of how procrastination can be useful, I found several articles with varying subjects but mostly agreeing that procrastination can be good. I was journaling about my own procrastination when I noticed a message in my mind about me being lazy.

I've blogged about laziness before. I avoid that word. I don't like hearing my friends or clients call themselves lazy. Lazy is a value judgment. In this context, calling myself lazy is an attempt to motivate my own behavior. It has an underlying tone of shame. Even earlier in this blog, I used the word justify as though my procrastination is something unjust. Again, the shame is just lurking around.

I am big on words. Some might think I split hairs about the language that we use. Nonetheless, I will regularly write down the words used by clients to make sure I get their words exactly as they said them. There are clues into the inner workings of our psyche through our language.

It is good to notice our own thoughts and the words we use, with curiosity and not criticism. Small tweaking of the language can make a huge difference. Notice the words you use, write them out, and look at them. Become the detective catching the clues of our inner world, an inner world that may be causing us unnecessary pain and suffering.

Maybe procrastination isn't bad. Perhaps so-called laziness is our body's way of looking for some balance or rest if we are dealing with a great deal of stress! Let's be gentle and kind, with ourselves and with others.