How often do you hear people in a leadership role say something like, “This only happens to me!” Or, “It doesn’t matter how much I try, I can’t win.” Maybe you’re the one saying them? The biggest problem with these phrases isn’t that they’re negative; it’s that they stop people from taking action. They’re bad seeds that bloom doubt.
I say we put a stop to this stinkin’ thinkin’! When you’re faced with some hardship, rather than leaning on negativity, think positively! Here are 5 common, negative phrases used way too often. My challenge to you is to delete them from your vocabulary forever!
1. I CAN’T!
You’re right. If you say you can’t, it’s over. However, maybe you’re right. Maybe at this moment you can’t run three miles at once, maybe you can’t complete that project in three hours. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn to do anything! Next time, instead of saying, “I can’t” tell yourself, “I will learn how to…” It’s far more empowering and will motivate you to take leadership and action.
2. I’VE FAILED.
There is no failure, only feedback. You might not get the results you want, but don’t confuse it with failure, and please don’t ever confuse yourself with your results. You are never a failure—instead, you’re always learning. “I’m learning,” is a much more empowering phrase that lets you know you’re aware of your current results and you’re invested in improving!
3. I’M OVERWHELMED!
Give yourself more credit! You are stronger and more durable than you think. You’re not overwhelmed—you’re in high-demand. Doesn’t that feel much better? People ask so much of you because you have so much to give-so give it! Being in high-demand develops character and also helps you learn to prioritize. You might be challenged, you might be put to the test, you might be busy—but you are way too strong to be overwhelmed.
4. BUT! BUT! BUT!
Stop. Stop! Stop. Please stop building a case against yourself. Stop rationalizing your excuses. “I want to do this, but…” Stop making it so easy to talk yourself out of action. If you didn’t do something you said you would, or didn’t do something that you wanted to, own it, adjust, and move on. When you tell yourself the same thing over and over, you start to believe it. Don’t talk yourself out of achievement.
5. I HATE!
Hate—a negative emotion that distorts judgment, tenses muscles, shortens breath and weakens us. “I prefer” is a clear way of saying what you like, dislike, and expect. “I prefer” is also empowering and will lead the conversation or experience in a positive direction.
What other negative words or phrases do you find yourself uttering? As you continue your growth as a person in a leadership role in your company, I challenge you to never say them again! Instead, find a way to turn that negativity into positivity, motion, and success!