Powerful Language Versus Victim Language
Written by Nuno Costa

Working in the fitness industry isn’t just about lifting weights, setting PRs and eating correctly; its also about having a mindset that is going to support your goals. A big part of creating our success in the gym is as heavily influenced by what comes out of our mouth as what we put into it. As one of my clients likes to say, there’s a lot of pop psychology that goes into it as well.

Our words create our reality, our perception of what happens to us, and what we are capable of achieving. When we choose powerful language it allows us to make choices with confidence and empowers us to take risks and go for things that we might not have thought were possible.

Examples of Powerful Language include:

  • I am….
  • I can…
  • I feel…
  • I create…
  • I choose to, or not to….

Our life is up to us. Our path is determined by what we are willing to create and how much we are willing to put ourselves out there, and that begins with what we say. Ultimately we are solely responsible for what happens to us. It’s easy to get into a slippery slope of victim language such as:

  • I can’t…
  • I need….
  • I should…
  • I have to…
  • I couldn’t…
  • I shouldn’t….
  • I had no choice…
  • If only you, they….
  • You make me feel….
  • They, you, made me…
  • It’s too late, far, expensive…
  • I’m too old, young, uneducated, out of shape…

Listen carefully to what you say for an entire day, and note whether you use more powerful or victim language to communicate. Henry Ford said it best, “Whether you think that you can or you can’t, you’re usually right.”

As the Slim for the Chimney Challenge ends and you determine how you will maintain the progress made, it’s a great time to practice powerful language about what you want to create, and to walk into the possibilities of your choices. Regardless if you are where you think you should be or not, don’t give up – really dedicate these next several weeks to yourself and using powerful language.

I realize the time we chose for this Challenge may not have been ideal for your diet plans or holiday parties, but part of what we hoped to instill is the habits to help you succeed and make lifestyle choices that are going to continue to help you redefine what’s possible in your life. May this be the starting point for your new habits.

Hopefully you’ve made some adjustments in what you eat, drink, how many times you are working out each week and how hard you are pushing yourself. Hopefully you are also becoming more aware of how you communicate to others. Are you feeling sorry for yourself and catching yourself complaining a lot, or are you grateful for the various things in your life – such as health, a roof over your head, being able to put food on the table, etc…. I challenge you to make Powerful language a part of your everyday life going forward.

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July 11, 2023 4:55 am

The language barrier between athletes is a serious problem. In sports competitions and team events, communication plays an important role in coordinating strategies, tactics, and sharing information. However, when athletes speak different languages, there are difficulties in understanding and interaction. This can reduce the effectiveness of teamwork and lead to misunderstandings. Therefore, it is important to stimulate the development of intercultural communication and provide opportunities for the study of languages by athletes in order to overcome this language barrier and form a single sports language.

deeznuts in your mouth77
deeznuts in your mouth77
October 7, 2020 4:18 pm

thanks this is going to help on my work

Grace Patenaude
Grace Patenaude
December 30, 2012 7:40 am

Great article!

Carl Edwards
Carl Edwards
December 29, 2012 3:05 pm

love it!

December 20, 2012 9:25 am

Thanks for posting. Its easy to lose track of these simple principles. The post came to my attention through our women’s group at CrossFit Seven in Texas.

December 20, 2012 5:35 am

don’t forget, ten burpees for the C word

December 19, 2012 10:58 pm

Great post Nuno! I find when I use the victim language, it becomes reality. When I use the powerful language, I usually surprise myself by not only hitting my target but also surpassing it.

Kyle Blackman
Kyle Blackman
December 19, 2012 10:57 pm

great post Nuno! This i something I’ve been exercising this week and as a result have PR’d my strict press and power snatch. A great frame of mind to be in!

Mary DeHart
Mary DeHart
December 19, 2012 2:25 pm

Marvelous words Nuno. I need a reminder now and agin of how grateful I should be and this was wonderful. So appreciative of this last challenge. It really is a good reset for me.I must mention that as a reward to myself at completing the challenge I ordered some cookies ( and brownies for Nichole) from PaleoKai.com. I have to say they were the BEST cookies I have ever eaten. Had to stop myself from finishing them all on the way home. If you have not tried them you must do so. Made by a fellow Invicti.

December 19, 2012 12:29 pm

I feel I can create,and am going to eat, fried chicken.

December 19, 2012 9:11 am

Great post, Nuno! I (and many) “can” surely benefit from being aware of our communication habits and the way we allow them to shape our realities. A good practice, to make a day of hearing ourselves!

December 19, 2012 8:43 am
Reply to  Cynthia

O M to the G. Looks delicious. Can’t wait to try it. Thank you!

k roque
k roque
December 19, 2012 7:25 am

Nuno.. excellent post !! Thanks Karen

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