I set myself a test more than a month ago. It was to give up swearing during Lent and it sounded like a really simple thing. Yesterday I came to the end of my challenge and found I had gained a lot from the experience.
For anyone that doesn’t know me I need to put this in some kind of context. I used my first profanity at the age of about seven or eight and in front of my mum (I still live with the shame of the experience). Since my childhood I have found it much easier to use a swear word to punctuate a sentence especially at times of pressure or stress. This can make things quite difficult for my work colleagues. Don’t get me wrong I won’t randomly use swear words in polite company or in front of people I don’t know. But the rest of the time I couldn’t stop myself.
It seemed a worthwhile challenge. I decided to fine myself £1 for every swear word I used and within the first two days was already £10 down. The first two weeks were probably the hardest. I then decided that I would try to encourage people to sponsor me during this testing time. This would act as an incentive to keep going until the 2 April but also would be a good thing for my chosen charity Redwings Horse Sanctuary.
Surprisingly after just a few weeks I found I was regularly using words to replace the profanities in my head. I also started to notice the swearing from people around me and on a number of occasions I found myself challenging people for their use of expletives. People use swear words far too often and many times don’t even recognise that they are doing it.
It may have started as a bit of a joke but it showed me that if I put my mind to something then I can achieve it. I have been able to retrain myself into not swearing. But don’t expect me to abstain completely as sometimes I know that a profanity will pass my lips. I am now able to swear again without it costing me anything. But actually I really don’t want to and more than 24 hours after my challenge ended I have used very few profanities. I just hope retraining my brain and broadening my vocabulary will be something that lasts.
If you want to help me on the final push of my fundraising you can do it here https://www.justgiving.com/Amanda-Coleman4 . Thank you.