April 2017

Word Clouds are very popular these days. They are a visual representation of language meant to make a powerful statement or evoke a certain feeling. Marketers love that. They are hoping you will connect the feeling you have with the company or product they are selling. The words tell the story.

Thinking about that from a personal perspective, I wonder what my words would say about me. Just looking at me, you may not be able to tell a lot about who I am. If I am wearing yoga pants, you may think I do yoga. If I’m wearing them at the grocery store, you may think I am a mom…who may or may not do yoga.

We tend to make assumptions about a person based on how they look – what a person wears, how they smell, what they drive. Most of us know that is not the full story. But it is an impression. Our words do the same thing. They make an impression.

In a way, I think our words are more likely to tell who we are because they are our main form of communication. It may be a discussion, a debate, an argument, a presentation. No matter the context, what we say closely aligns with who we are or with what we want someone to know about us. We are choosing to share (or protect) a part of our self in that particular situation.

That started me thinking – if my words were in a cloud, what would be the words that would stand out? What would those words say about me and the connection I am trying to make with the world? Curiouser and curiouser. Because I have been blogging for just over a year, I thought it might may be fun to test my theory. Would the Word Cloud created from my blogs highlight the message I think I am putting out there?

Let’s find out…

There are many words that I am not surprised to see – story, hope, grief, loss, voice, believe, become. Predicting, I would have said “self” would be my most prominent word. When I look back in my notes, it is in there 40 times (second most significant word); however, it is in the form of myself, yourself, ourselves, child-self, ideal-self. Too bad it did not make the cloud.

I wondered which would win over “feel” or “think”. My personality type shows my thinker/feeler are very close, but I lean a little more towards my feeling side. My Word Cloud shows that my language does too. Both are there. Both are prominent. But “feel” and “feelings” win out. Probably a good thing in a world that has us spending so much time in our heads. And I am glad to see words like control, angry, and dark. That makes the cloud feel more authentic to me. Authentic is also in the cloud.

I was surprised to see that “life” is my most used word. Upon reflection, it makes sense. I do talk about life a lot in my writing; as in life story, experience, purpose, challenges, struggles. Seeing it in the middle of the cloud reminds me how much I like to look across the continuum – past (reflection), present, future (intention). Now is just a snap shot. It is not the whole story.

Words are powerful. They express who we are. They help us connect (or not) to those around us. They have the ability to influence our life in a positive (or negative) way. Our words tell our story. What are your words saying?

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