The 6 Steps to Using More Positive Language
We have all been made aware of the benefits of how a positive mindset can transform your life. The “Positive Movement” has gone viral, influencing so many to practice gratitude, shift focus towards the positive things in our lives, and encouraged us to use daily mantras.
But what if there’s more to this movement than positive thoughts? What if another component to this movement involves our use of language? Communication is everything. From what we say, to how we say things, the words we use hold such great power and influence among others and ourselves. The words and phrases we use hold as much influence as our thoughts.
Just like our mindset, the way we speak to ourselves and speak to others could use a makeover.
1. Express gratitude instead of promoting blame
In certain circumstances, an apology is warranted. However, for minor infractions such as being late, the expression of gratitude often reveals your appreciation for others.
Instead of: “Sorry I’m late.”
Try: “Thank you so much for waiting.”
2. Need versus Want
Making the shift from “need” to “want” necessitates a desire versus an obligation. We are more likely to look forward to and be excited about the things we want and chose to do versus what we are required to do.
Instead of: “I need to go to the gym.”
Try: “I want to go to the gym.”
3. Affirmative versus Negative
With others, using affirmative statements provides us with the opportunity to establish guidelines for what we want or expect.
Instead of: “Don’t hit your brother.”
Try: “Keep your hands to yourself.”
When referencing the self, the use of affirmative statements can present as being less defensive. In addition, it can also promote a more positive outlook. Re-framing and shifting your statements towards what you “do” versus what you “don’t” establishes alignment.
Instead of: “I didn’t do anything wrong.
Try: “I did everything I could.”
4. Can versus Will
We are going to overlook the debate of these two auxiliary verbs where “can” is associated with ability. In regards to speaking to another person, using “will” demonstrates a softer request than “can.” Asking a partner if he or she “will do something” for you presents a level of vulnerability and need.
Instead of: “Can you…”
Try: “Will/Would you...”
5. Shaming versus Praising
We are all guilty of shaming ourselves for our failures, including being unable to meet our own expectations and commitments. The power in re-framing your statements to provide praise versus shame can influence your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to move towards.
Instead of: “I will feel really bad if I don’t go to the gym tonight.
Try: “I will feel great when I finish my workout tonight.”
6. To versus For
The experience of any pain or disappointment is inevitable. Relationships expire, jobs can be lost, and unforeseen circumstances happen without notice. When they do happen, it’s easy to lean into self-pity and take on the role of a “victim,” which can lock us into an emotional space that prevents us from moving forward and moving on. Turning the dial from break-down to break-through starts with creating tiny shifts to inspire a different perspective.
Instead of: “Why did this happen to me?”
Try: “Why did this happen for me?”
Words have a very powerful impact. In a world of commerce, part of influencing sales is the use of certain buzzwords that trigger an emotional response. So if our top influencers are using language to divert our interests towards their products, wouldn’t we be able to sell ourselves on a different mindset as well?
The possibility of altering the way we communicate with others and ourselves are endless. Take note of the way you say things and how these minor shifts impact your life, and create opportunities for yourself to see and say things in a different light.