How Your Language Really Does Shape Your Reality (And the Theory Behind It)

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I used to be anxious. Really anxious about the future. When would my business take off? When would I hit this financial milestone or that one? When would I get married and buy a home?

Like they were items I could just check off on a list. Even happiness itself seemed like an item I needed to check off. Investing in therapies, energy healing, and books so I could finally reach happiness and fulfillment. Like it was all this linear path that I needed to follow.

Last week, I pulled out my old journal. And I was both shocked and inspired by how anxious I was. Even a few years ago. Really, really anxious. Always making a plan for the future. Never trusting things would work out. Feeling like I needed to check off more boxes to move forward.

And it hit me—I don’t feel that way at all anymore. I’m really, really satisfied with where I am. I mean, sure, there are always opportunities for growth. And there are certainly things I want to improve upon. But it doesn’t feel like a compulsive need anymore. It’s not obsessive. And I kind of trust it’s already happening.

So I started reflecting on what’s changed. Over the last several years, I’m built quite a support team of mastermind friends, an energy healer, a therapist, and business team members. And they’ve all helped me make monumental strides in my work.

But, in total honesty, it wasn’t the moving forward that made the hugest difference. It was the circling back.

Since 2015, Sherri and I have run Sacred Circles. And now that we’re back running them continuously, it’s made me really reflect on how subtle and subconscious its shifts really are. Mostly in that its helped me realize how non-linear life is. I stop seeing things as a straight line but rather as a circle. And it changes the way I experience the world.

If you’ve seen the movie Arrival, you might know what I’m talking about. In it, a linguist learns an alien language to help communicate with these extraterrestrials. But what she soon learns is that this new language (which is…circular!) doesn’t just help her communicate; it actually changes the way she experiences the world, including her perception of time.

This idea that language actually dictates our perception of reality is called the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis. I remember being fascinated by it when I first encountered it my freshman year of college. For whatever reason, I resonated so strongly with this idea that how we speak—the vocabulary, grammar, and syntax—actually informs that way our brain processes information. I had no idea that one day my work would drive me to a deep exploration of this topic.

By shifting the way I teach and talk about things like life purpose, linearity, and time—by bathing in that energy continuously for months on end—I’ve subtly changed my lens of the world. Everything just feels slower, like there’s no rush. Like all is well. And, ironically (or maybe not), everything seems to be happier for me at faster rates.

The Circle is insidious in the best of ways. It creeps in when we aren’t looking. And it grows when we aren’t conscious. Until one day we wake up and realize we’re no longer anxious at all. Not in this big monumental shift. But almost magically. Because we’ve been subtly shifting over months and years.

And this linear idea of checking off the boxes to happiness falls away. Because the judgment can end. There’s no starting or stopping point. We’re always in cycle. Always circling.

Friday another Circle ended. Today another begins. Sherri and I have very few breaks in the work. Because there’s a continuity. A circling. A traveling that never ends. And, at a certain point, it stops being work. And it just starts being the way I live my life.

The language we use, the habits we make, and the work we engage in is constantly shaping our perception of reality. We are whatever our lens on the world can perceive.

So how is your language shaping your reality? And what would happen if you chose to change the words and habits in your life?

What if you stopped striving forward, and instead saw life as a beautiful circle?

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