Using empowering language starts with an optimistic attitude. Positive thinking and then positive speaking through the words you choose is how you develop a positive mindset. Your words will literally change your outlook.
… I’m not talking about repeating a “one-size-fits-all” list of affirmations that you repeat while looking in the mirror (no offense, positive affirmation list people).
Let’s look at some small tweaks you can make in your wording that completely change how you look at a situation. Some are habits- like when someone calls you on something and you respond, “yeah, that’s what I meant“- and some are fears hiding behind words.
“What’s Next” instead of “What Now”
Picture this: You’re cruising down the highway of life, and you suddenly hit a roadblock. The job you thought you would get but they didn’t call back, or the job you just got laid off from…
Instead of lamenting with a “What Now?!”, how would your outlook change if you shifted gears to “What’s Next?”
You can’t change the situation, but you can change your outlook.
This subtle change in wording transforms a moment of uncertainty into an exciting opportunity for exploration. It’s like rerouting your mental GPS toward progress and possibility.
“Even If” over “What If”
We all know those pesky “what if” questions that pop up when we’re about to make a big decision or take a leap of faith. The fear seems to escalate in a spiral until it turns into a twister and you want to lock yourself in the storm cellar.
Swap out your sentence to include “Even if” as part of learning how to develop a positive mindset and watch what it does for your confidence.
Just try saying it out loud.
By acknowledging that challenges may arise, you’re telling yourself that you’re prepared to face them head-on. It’s like equipping your mental road trip with the right tools and a spare tire for any unexpected detours.
“Can’t” or “Won’t”
The classic “I can’t” excuse. It’s your get-out-of-jail-free card because you cannot be held responsible for success, failure, or even trying.
There are times when “I can’t” is appropriately used.
I’ll give you that one- the correct answer is “I can’t”!
Jesus is here telling his followers that there is nothing to gain in life by being worried or anxious. This view on worry is a widely accepted one in the medical community today, and there is even a great deal of evidence that excessive worry can do a great deal to shorten the life span.
BUT, most of the time when you say “I can’t” you really are saying “I won’t”.
- I can’t find the time to go to the gym
- I can’t forgive them for what they did
- I can’t take that chance…
- I won’t find the time to go to the gym
- I won’t forgive them for what they did
- I won’t take that chance to…
…and here is a closely related word: quitting. Quitting says “I can’t”
If you decide QUITTING is an option, you have no responsibility because you are saying “I Can’t”.
If you decide QUITTING is not an option, then you have the opportunity to explore all of the other possible options, and once they are eliminated for good reasons, then you can make an informed decision and take full responsibility for it.
(Sidenote: we are currently raising a generation of kids that are irresponsible because the adults in their lives are giving them the “I can’t” pass that they didn’t ask for but it’s been decided for them)
Why empowering language matters in developing a positive mindset
Learning these small tweaks and being concise with your choice of words and what you mean; and learning how to develop a positive mindset sets the stage for success and resilience. Here’s why it’s essential:
- ✅ Mindset shapes reality~ Your mindset creates the lens through which you view the world. If you continually use empowering language, you’ll see more opportunities than obstacles. Developing a positive mindset transforms those roadblocks into stepping stones.
- ✅ Confidence booster~When you believe in yourself and your ability to overcome challenges, you’re more likely to take action.
- ✅ Ownership of choices~Replacing “can’t” with “won’t” puts you in the driver’s seat. You acknowledge that your decisions are based on your priorities and values.
- ✅ Attract positivity over negativity~ Empowering language and a positive mindset are magnets for positive people and experiences. Have you noticed how whiners and complainers always seem to find each other in any group?
- ✅ Adaptability~ Life is full of twists, turns, and unexpected detours. A glass-half-full outlook equips you with the resilience needed to navigate these challenges. You’ll find creative solutions instead of dead ends.
Wrapping it up…
Really listen to how you talk to yourself and about yourself. Where do you need to make changes?
If you are feeling stuck in this area, this may help: Why Nothing Changes Until You Change Your Mind
Catch yourself saying defeating, non-empowering words. Write a pros/cons list of how they are helping or hurting you. Replace them with empowering alternatives and make another list. Out of your own mouth, wisdom speaks.
Write a gratitude journal. Start or end your day by jotting down things you’re grateful for. It’s impossible to be negative and grateful at the same time.
Surround yourself with positive people whenever possible and let your negative backseat drivers out at the next exit. Don’t worry, another negative person will come by and pick them up soon like they have a location tracker on them.
If you want to be really nice and charitable, send them the link to this post! Then it’s up to them…
Stay flexible and be ready for lots of practice; it’s easy to default to expecting the worst. Murphy’s law says “Everything that could go wrong will go wrong”. Poor Murphy, he must have been miserable.
Don’t wait for “someday” for things to get better, that’s waiting on you to make the change today.
Looking for an opportunity to get away and dig deep into why you think the way you do? Get on the list for the Purposeful Getaway Retreat Experience.
Sometimes you need to get outside your home and office walls to get a fresh perspective. Click below for upcoming dates:
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