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Three Little Words That Can Change Your Life


Power of Words to Change Your Life

Here’s a simple tip:

Whenever you hear yourself think or say “always” or “never” followed by a negative belief, place three little words in front of the statement.

These powerful words are “Up until now….”

Example: “I always have bad luck in relationships.” or “I never can keep a job I like.”
Notice how final those negative sentences seem.
And they probably feel pretty “realistic” to the person saying them.
Now add the magic words and notice how the energy of the statement changes:

Up until now I’ve had bad luck in relationships.”

Up until now I’ve never kept a job I liked.”

Give it a try it with some of your own negative thoughts.

What Are You Sentencing Yourself To?

I invite you try the following experiment:

Keep track of your thoughts and words over the next few days. Even for the next few hours. What do you hear yourself say to yourself and others about your job? Your life? The “economy”? Yourself? What are your thoughts about money? Success? The opposite sex? I bet you’ll be surprised.

What main themes do you notice when you really pay attention to your inner and outer conversations? Do your thoughts tend to be positive? Are your words pleasant?  Or do you constantly find fault with yourself and others?

Your word is a powerful creative force. As the familiar scripture states: “In the beginning was the Word…”   What messages are you sending yourself and others? What judgments are you “sentencing” yourself to? I invite you to consider your thoughts and words as instructions to the Universe.  What kind of world are your thoughts and words creating?

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t,you’re right!”
~ Henry Ford

If you love the life your words and thoughts are creating, great! If you are a happy camper I’m betting the messages you send yourself and others are mostly positive. However, if you have areas in your life where you feel wounded, dis-empowered, hopeless or helpless, you will likely discover a lot of negative thoughts and complaints.

You may be thinking, “Of course! Those things suck! I’m only being realistic!” That’s to be expected if you believe that your thoughts are merely reactions to what happens “out there.”  But if you accept my invitation to consider your mind as a powerful creator, then you may want to shift your perspective and begin to change things by first changing your thoughts. I know this won’t sound “realistic” to some of you, but I invite you to try it anyway.  If you want to change your outer reality, start by changing your thoughts and words.


As a hypnotherapist I profoundly respect the power words have to shape consciousness and affect behavior. I am always amused when a new client asks me, “Can I be hypnotized?” I have to stop myself from blurting, “When have you NOT been hypnotized?”

The truth is people hypnotize themselves with their own thoughts and words all day, everyday. It’s sad that so many of the messages we give ourselves aren’t very helpful. Many of our habitual thoughts derive from conclusions we reached at the ripe old age of 3! We’ve internalized beliefs we imprinted from Mom, Dad, teachers, advertisers, politicians – usually without much questioning or examination. Too often we are unconsciously sentencing ourselves to Should, Shouldn’t, Always and Never. As you pay attention to the things you unconsciously think and say, you may begin to feel the need for a good “brainwashing.”

Start by choosing something that you have been complaining about – something you are sure you are “right’ about – and change your tune. It’s that simple. Stop complaining. Begin thinking and speaking about the situation or person in a positive light.  Even better, take some positive action. Start with something small. Here are some examples:

Change, “I hate to exercise,” to, “Let’s go for a walk. It’ll be fun!”

Change, “I’m not the creative type,” to, “It’s fun to play around with paint.”

Change, “We’ll never find a place to park,” to, “I’m really lucky getting great parking spaces.”

Change, “This is going to be really hard,” to, “This is going to be a lot easier than I expected.”

You can choose to recreate your life by redirecting your thoughts and words. Begin by weeding from your vocabulary habitual phrases such as: 
”I’m sick and tired….”
”To die for…”
”It’s killing me….”
”It’s too hard…”
”This will never work…”

You get the idea. Don’t be afraid of your own thoughts, but do keep your mental garden weeded and seeded with thoughts of that which you would love to have growing and blooming in your life.

Three Little Words That Can Change Your Life

“Up until now…”

Those three little words open the door to new possibilities; they create potential for positive change. They are a key to moving into the NOW and letting go of past patterns.

They are magic. Try them.

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Andrew Navarro

    God’s grace is available always, and knocking at the doors of our lives. We open this door when we change to thoughts to love, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, helpfullness etc. Our habitual thoughts manifest as reality in our lives.

  • Linda, I found your site through A list Bloggers, and I visited purely to see how you lay your blog out, but I’ve just found this post whilst looking around and it makes a lot of sense.
    Not only is this a great looking site, but the content is really worth hanging around and checking out.
    15 years ago I was an NLP practioner who changed careers and subsequently let everything NLP ‘lapse’. Reading this post I’m amazed how the status quo can, like weeds grow in a garden, simply take over and bring me back ‘in line’ with the original thoughts and beliefs I was programmed with in childhood.
    This post was, for me, a real wakeup call. Thanks very much for it.

  • Ron, Rob

    Up until now. I will put the magic words to the test.

  • I like this gentle way to ease ourselves into a new habit of self-habit. “Up until now” is such a great way to create a bridge from an old identity to the possibilities open to us. And it’s so simple. Love that! Thanks for a great post.

  • Excellent re-frame. And I like your choice of words that we “hypnotize” ourselves daily. We create these “trance” states by what we are thinking and feeling and can easily go on automatic pilot. Why not create more beneficial trance states – such as “Up Until Now”. We could then add, “However, I’m looking forward to that changing”.


    • Linda Gabriel

      Thanks Lauren. I like your suggestion.

  • Rich

    Up until now – Hmmm – i like it – handy

    I suspect you’re more than a little optimistic if you believe it will change habits of a lifetime for people – but useful all the same.

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