I don’t know about you, but there seems to be several times each week (thankfully down from each day) when I open my mouth and say something I wish I could take back. And then I think about what I said over and over and over - usually right before I go to bed. And then, I cannot sleep. Or worse, have those weird dreams where I’m not prepared for the French test, because I sat through the Spanish class I thought I was supposed to be taking all semester.
When that happens, my next day basically is already established as one of those not so good days. I’ve given a lot of thought about how I can stop that cycle and most ideas are not very logical or possible. For example, I could just walk around with gray duct tape over my mouth. Or I could print a sign that says “Not responsible for my words”. Or maybe a sign that says “I do not speak English”. Or….I could just stay locked up in my house and watch reruns of Ellen or Law & Order every day.
Yes, I know it would be easier to just have more control over when I choose to speak, but that requires so much discipline and self control that I just didn’t believe I could muster. Yes, I’ve journaled about this problem - without changing. I’ve read books, meditated and prayed about it and didn’t like the answers I felt I received (see the discipline and self control sentence). So, I just decided I’d have to live with it. Ever felt that way?
Finally, I found a book with a solution that might bring me success. In Joe Sweeney’s book, Moving the Needle, he introduces a concept call the “GUT check”. So how can a gut check keep the words I shouldn’t say from pouring out of my mouth? Because it is a process of filtering by training myself to mentally ask three easy questions. And, the good thing, for me, it worked!
So the next time you start to say something without thinking, hold your words for a second and mentally ask yourself these three questions:
Is it Good?
Is it Useful?
is it Truthful?
If you mentally say “yes”, say it! If it’s “no”, just smile and move on. Once I made this a habit in my own life, I never panicked over a French test in my Spanish class again.
We would love to hear your experiences (or crazy dreams) about a time you said something you wished you could take back. And then add a comment about how the GUT check worked for you!