Henry Ford famously said ‘if you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.’
The mind is incredibly powerful – your thinking translates to your words, and your words become your beliefs. These beliefs drive your behaviours or actions. And why does this matter so much? Because your actions determine your results and your level of achievement.
How successful you are, starts with what you think, and it’s the small, seemingly insignificant words that can have the biggest impact. Choosing the right words, and practising them, until they become your habitual thought, your new norm, will have a significant impact.
Small Words Have Big Impact
I’m not talking about visualisation or affirmation here, simply common words and phrases that ‘punch above their weight’, influencing you more than you like to think.
These phrases include ‘I can’t’, ‘yes, but ….’ and ‘she made me ….’ and they subconsciously cause us to not take full responsibility or accountability for our decisions and actions.
Subconsciously we don’t try as hard if the thought is ‘I can’t’ rather than ‘I’ll try’ or ‘how can I?’ Sometimes the voice in our head is saying ‘I can’t’ when it’s often in fact ‘I won’t’.
How often do you find yourself saying ‘I just can’t speak positively about this project’ or ‘I can’t ask my team to change that too’. You actually can, but have decided that you are not prepared to put in the effort to do so.
Change the Words in Your Head
I’m sure some of you are reading this and saying ‘oh, I know I say that but I don’t actually mean it.’
Our brains are our engines, what they practise they will do at lightning speed, especially when we are under pressure. Under pressure there is no time to contemplate ‘that’s not what I really believe, I actually mean ….’ No, your brain runs with the thought that has been tried and tested so many times before.
So today I want to challenge you to change some of the words in your head, to better control that voice in your head. Ban ‘I can’t’ and ban ‘I have to’.
Replace ‘I can’t’ it with ‘I will’ or ‘I’ll try’ or ‘how can I ….?’
Replace ‘I have to’ with ‘I’m choosing to’.
Monitor Your Results
I bet you’ll make some different, and better, decisions when you train the voice in your head to say ‘I’m choosing to’.
‘I have to do that for my colleague/my manager/my customer’ becomes ‘ ‘I’m choosing to ….’ And this causes us to think again and to choose well, to own our choices and to enjoy delivering on them more than perhaps we do now.
As Gandhi so wisely said
“Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words
Keep your words positive, because your words become your behaviour
Keep your behaviour positive, because your behaviour becomes your habits
Keep your habits positive, because your habits become your values
Keep your values positive, because your values become your destiny.”