By Kristin Allaben, Strategic Communications Specialist & Executive Assistant
There are always lists readily available about words you should remove from your vocabulary, or words you should never say to your boss. I recently read one of these lists on Business Insider that offered one interesting takeaway: “Don’t say I can’t, say I don’t.”
It’s not the first time I’ve heard that piece of advice, but it is the first time I’ve heard it shared in a way that I can personally relate to: dessert. The writer explained that saying “I don’t eat brownies” has a much stronger impact on your self-control than saying “I can’t eat brownies.” You control the first one; you are at the effect of the second one. Choose language that empowers you.
The writer taking the time to effectively communicate why one phrase is better than another made me commit to replacing “I can’t” with “I don’t” in my vocabulary.
This points to a broader theme here: it’s not about the words you should or shouldn’t use, it’s about how you use them.
We toss words around with very little thought about what message they convey. Is what you’re saying meaningful for the person you’re speaking with? Is your message delivered in a way that appropriately reflects your tone, mood and intent? Most of the time, words spill out without enough intention, creating confusion or misinterpretation.
And language choice when speaking to yourself is just as impactful as the language you choose to use when speaking with a friend, family member or colleague. All too often, we can be careless and reckless with our self-talk, negatively affecting our sense of self, our confidence and belief in oneself.
Words are important. Choose them wisely. Use them with intention.
In 2018, how will you communicate more effectively? How will you stop and notice you, others and your situations and choose how and what you say more intentionally? Imagine the impact it could have in all of your relationships.