“I NEED” vs “I WANT”
“I MUST” vs “I PREFER”
“I CAN’T” vs “I CHOOSE“
Most of us use “reactive” language in our day to day lives: “I CAN’T do that because I HAVE to do this“.
The problem with using reactive language is that it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy: Re-enforcing the belief that we are pre-determined.
|WHAT YOU SAY||WHAT YOU MEAN|
That’s just the way I am
|I am determined.
There is nothing I can do about it
|I can’t do that.
I just don’t have the time
|Something external (limited time)
is controlling me
|If only my boss were more patient||Someone else’s behaviour
is limiting my effectiveness
|I have to do it||Circumstances or other people are
forcing me to do what I do.
I am not free to choose my own actions.
Change your Language
and you will change your situation
Outside of being bound by the laws of physics, there are very few things in life that you HAVE or NEED to do. So stop using those words.
You are Brainwashing Yourself
Using reactive language absolves you of responsibility and makes you powerless: “I am not responsible. I am not able to choose my response. There is nothing I can do about it”.
|DON’T USE THIS||USE THIS INSTEAD|
|I NEED||I WANT|
|I MUST||I PREFER|
|I CAN’T||I CHOOSE|
This is a very subtle change in behaviour but it will make a huge changes in your life.
REACTIVE: “I wish I could take 6 months off and travel the world but I can’t because I have to work and I don’t have enough vacation.”
PROACTIVE #1:“Although I would love to take 6 months off and travel, my financial security and my career are currently more important to me. I choose not to go on this trip so that I can focus instead on my career.”
PROACTIVE #2: “The experience of travelling is much more important to me than my job or my financial security. So I will convince my boss to give me a 6 month sabbatical (or just quit?) and I will go on this iconic journey.”
Re-evaluate your Paradigm
Saying that “I DON’T WANT TO go on a wonderful 6 month trip because I WANT TO work” is difficult and counterintuitive. By changing your language you will re-evaluate your reality:
- Do I really want to keep working instead of travelling?
- How important is seeing the world to me?
- How important is my job or career?
- Is this job really what I want to do?
- What is truly important to me?
There are no right or wrong answers to any of these questions. But asking these questions empowers you to change.
It is always your fault
Until you can honestly say that “I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday” you cannot say “I choose otherwise”.
Never blame others for failures. Always blame yourself. The moment you blame another person or some external circumstance, you become powerless to change the results:
THEIR FAULT: “The project failed because we didn’t get enough support from the marketing department. They need to do a better job next time.”
YOUR FAULT: “The project failed because I did not mobilize the marketing department effectively. Next time I will change my strategy and make a more effective presentation explaining the importance of their role in the success of this project.”
The moment you think that the problem is “out there” then that thought is the problem.