The ball rocketed into the air, took a definite left turn, and crashed down into the water with a sickening:
My dad and I were on the 11th hole, and I was practicing for an upcoming golf tournament. The day’s work wasn’t exactly going well.
“UGH! I suck!”
I slammed my club into the ground and dad grabbed me by the arm.
“If you say that again, we’re walking off the course.”
“But dad, I DO suck! Didn’t you see that?”
He glanced over at the remaining ripples.
“Yep, I sure did. That shot sucked. But you don’t.”
I used to think actions spoke louder than words, but to tell you the truth, I now think it’s a pretty even split.
Words have enormous power —
the power to make or ruin someone’s day,
the power to encourage or embarrass,
the power to inspire or crush.
Words broadcast the person within. An insecure man will tear others down with his words. A fulfilled woman will make others strong.
The inverse is also true. There have been studies showing our external actions can actually change how we feel. Smiling has been shown to make you happier. Certain poses raise testosterone.
More so than smiling or standing like Wonder Woman, the words you let loose have a direct effect on you and everyone around you.
Here are 4 phrases to start farming out of your life for good.
“I always ______”
No you don’t. Maybe you did one time, or you did in the past, but you don’t always. Don’t you dare write your future before it happens.
Avoid definite statement. The human condition is always in motion. You aren’t the same person you were last year or last month or probably even yesterday.
If you say “I always smoke” I’ll be floored at your ability to light one up when you were in the womb.
Don’t cast a curse on yourself. You are not “always” anything.
Say instead: “In the past, I have ____” or “I messed up that time.”
“Oh, it’s nothing”
Humans have a weird thing where we long for the approval of others, but we smack it away when it comes.
This phrase usually comes after a compliment. Whenever you reject your own positive attributes by saying “it’s nothing,” you may as well be saying “I’m nothing.”
One of the quickest ways to step into your own power is to start accepting the things you are good at. And you are good at things, I promise.
Nothing is nothing. Everything is something. You may as well start accepting credit for your contributions.
When complimented, say instead: “Thank you so much” “I appreciate that” or “I receive that.”
“He/She/They started with ____. That’s not fair!”
Nope, sorry. Nothing is fair. You weren’t born a billionaire, so you might never be one. You weren’t born like LeBron, so you might never play professional basketball. That’s just the way it is.
The best way to combat the unfairness of life is to find where life is unfair in your favor.
Are you short? Sweet, you can get to places others can’t.
Introverted? Awesome, lock yourself away and do what you love most. Not everyone can do that.
Not Creative? No problem. Crunch the crap out of that data and logic your way to the top.
Ugly? Nice, play an iconic role in the Goonies.
Everyone has something. You just have to find your thing and exploit it.
Say instead: “I don’t have that advantage, but I do have ____”
“If only ____ then I could ____”
Happiness starts from where you are. Period.
This phrase is especially pernicious when there are dollar bills involved.
- “If only I made $70,000, then I could start my side business.”
- “If only I earned $120K I would be able to move up in house and be happy.”
- “Whenever I make my first million, then I’ll slow down.”
But money is a moving target, for teenagers and adults and businesses alike. There is always something else to buy.
The second you start appreciating the parts of life that are free is the second you move out of the money mindset.
This one usually walks hand in hand with. “They have ____. If only I had ____.”
Stop making excuses or change your expectations. All you have to work with is the things you have now.
What matters is how you finish.
Say instead: “Since I have ____ I can ____”
Bonus: “I can’t _________”
Yes you can.