Do words have the power to shift your mindset? Can simple modifications in your vocabulary drastically alter outcomes?
Reassess Your Vocabulary to Change Your Mindset
I believe so, and our research team has uncovered findings that point to word choice as being immensely important in: interacting with one another, coming to a consensus and shaping lasting impressions.
Recently, I read an article on ExtremeHealthRadio.com that reinforced the power words have on not only communicating with others, but on our own internal mindset.
The article recommended several phrases to completely eliminate from your vocabulary. Two in particular stood out:
- But. Take this sentence, for example: "I want to play my flute this afternoon, but I have a long meeting." By opting to use the word "but," your mindset forces you to make a choice. Replace "but" with "and," and your mindset is instantly shifted. By saying, "I want to play my flute this afternoon, AND I have a long meeting," it allows you to prioritize instead of instantly eliminating between two tasks.
- I have to. Saying "I have to" trains your mind into believing a task is a chore, which may or may not be the case. For example, "I HAVE TO finish reading this book so I’m prepared for my presentation" could be changed to, "Finishing this book will help me prepare for my presentation." It’s a subtle shift, but the first option fulfills someone else’s agenda, while the second reinforces personal accountability. It’s one of the 25 soft skills we study.
The words we use set our destiny. By stripping “but” and “I have to” from our vocabulary, our words can remind our minds that we have the ability to make choices — not excuses.
Stay tuned for a white paper and our pilot research study, which further explains how certain words don’t work for certain behavioral styles.