It’s a truism of life that the optimists are always more successful than the pessimists, but that raises a crucial questions: how can you change your attitude to be more optimistic? The answer? Change the words that you use every day to describe your experience.
Some people see the world through a filter of optimism: They always make lemonade from the lemons, no matter what happens. Others see the world through a filter of pessimism; they always find the cloud in the silver lining.
Here are some quick language tricks that can change your attitude.
1. Stop using negative phrases … such as “I can’t,” “It’s impossible,” or “This won’t work.” Such statements program your mind to look for negative results.
2. When asked “How are you?” … respond with “Terrific!” or “Fabulous!” or “I’ve never felt better!” rather than a depressing “OK” or “Getting by.”
3. Stop complaining … about things over which you have no control—such as the economy, your company, or your customers.
4. Stop griping … about your personal problems and illnesses. What good does it do, other than to depress you and everyone else?
5. Substitute neutral words … for emotionally loaded ones. For example, rather than saying “I’m enraged!” say “I’m a bit annoyed”—or, better yet, “I’ve got a real challenge.”
6. Expunge profanity and obscenity … from your vocabulary. Such words are always signs of a lazy mind that can’t think of something really witty to say.