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How to Change Your Mindset Using Words

Words have tremendous power and influence. Short, simple statements such as “I love you,” “I hate you,” “You’re hired,” and “You’re fired” can change a person’s life. But it isn’t just what we say to another person that can have a tremendous impact. The words we choose to say can change how other people perceive us, and change our own mindset.

Never underestimate the power of words.

Compare the following statements. What does each pair of statements say about the speaker’s mindset? Which words are confident? Which words are apologetic?

Sorry, I’m late.

Thank you for waiting.

The first expression is very common. However, you are starting off with an apology (nothing wrong with that). But by saying, “Thank you for waiting,” you are acknowledging the other person and speaking in a more positive way by not beginning with sorry.

Don’t do that.

Remember to…

Giving an order with “Don’t” is quick and to the point. “Don’t step on the grass.” But using “don’t” also emphasizes the negative. You can make the same point using positive wording: “Remember to avoid the new grass.” Or “Remember to log off before you leave the office.”

I didn’t hear what you said. Could you say it again?

Could you repeat what you said in a different way?

A slight change in wording changes your meaning and intent. In the first example, you’re admitting you weren’t paying attention and the speaker must remember what he or she said. In the second example, you’re implying you were listening (even if your mind drifted) and you want to make sure you understood what was said.

How do I know if I can finish the task correctly?

What if I make a mistake using the new software?

These two examples have the same negative mindset in common. The speaker is focused on failure or possible failure. The speaker is leaving the outcome to chance and fate.

What can I do to ensure I finish this task correctly?

What are some common mistakes and what can I do to avoid them?

Compare the negative mindset examples to the sentences above. Notice the change to a positive mindset. The speaker is taking initiative and controlling the outcome. The speaker doesn’t know what to do, but is telling the listener that he or she wants to be prepared and will make sure the outcome will be the best possible.

Key Takeaways

The words you choose to express an idea are part of your mindset. You can express an idea in a way that makes you appear negative and lacking in confidence. Or you can choose words that show initiative and positivity. Your words are a powerful extension of your personality and mindset.

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