I’ve long known that our conversations help create our reality. What I say, especially about myself, confirms my beliefs, and my beliefs have a powerful influence on my actions.
In his really helpful book, Atomic Habits, James Clear talks about this in relationship to the habits we want to change. How we speak about those habits is powerful. He gives the example of two smokers trying to quit who are offered a cigarette. One says, “No thanks, I’m trying to quit.” The other says, “No thanks, I don’t smoke.” Clear argues that the person declaring his nonsmoker status has a much stronger chance of changing his behavior than the person who declares the struggle.
How do you talk to others about your relationship with food? “I should stop eating sugar” or “I don’t eat sugar”? “I’m trying to give up dessert” or “I don’t eat dessert”?
Something changed for me when I started telling people that I don’t eat sugar. I affirmed for myself in my conversations what I wanted for myself. That has helped me stay abstinent for three and a half years.
What change in your food conversation could you make?