Let’s talk about making negative statements vs. asking empowering questions.
This has become one of my favorite and most helpful life lessons; it’s great for keeping us out of the victim mentality and into taking responsibility for our lives.
Awareness is always the first step, so here’s my first question; Do you make negative statements when something is frustrating you, or do you ask yourself empowering questions to get into a solution? (If you just cringed a little, yay!) I know for me, this is an ongoing challenge; to start searching for answers when it’s easier to blame or complain.
These first examples of negative statements vs. empowering questions may be familiar to you if you’ve been feeling stuck with your exercise or better nutrition.
Negative statements: I just don’t have time to exercise. Or, I just don’t have time to go grocery shopping for healthy food. Or, I don’t have the money for this. The way to flip your thinking to the empowering question: What do I need to do to make some more time to exercise? How can I move more just a little bit each day? What would it take to fit in grocery shopping and a little bit of food planning so I feel better?
Here is an example of a negative statement vs. an empowering question that we’ve all probably experienced in life or business:
I have no idea where to start. That’s for sure a dead end, right?! As opposed to, What one thing can I do, today to just go in that direction of feeling better; just one, little, tiny thing? Okay, so your mind will come up with it.
This last example may be helpful if you find that negative voice in your head that tells you that you have no solutions.
I don’t know what to do, I need so and so to help me make a decision.
Sometimes, of course, this is necessary. But… how many times do we get tripped up thinking we have to wait for an answer from someone else when we already have it ourselves?
I’ve known this one all too well.
I started playing this little game with myself when I feel stuck with a negative statement in my head. Okay … what would so and so tell me? (This needs to be someone that we respect; for me, it’s a very good friend, a therapist or coach.) If I said to them right now … if I picked up the phone and said, “Hey, can you help me with this?” What would their solution for me be? It works almost every time. It’s almost uncomfortably funny because it’s usually not what we want to hear. I hope you’ll try it if you often think you don’t have your answers, it’s fun!
So… since our subconscious mind believes whatever we tell it, let’s make it good!
So, if we say something negative, it accepts the bad news and those thoughts eventually influence our beliefs and behaviors. Instead, when we ask a question, our mind will go searching for the solution. Super simple idea, but the truth is what we think about; we bring about. (The good ‘ol self-fulfilling prophecy.)
Here’s a quote to close with from Earl Nightingale. “Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition will one day become a reality.”
I love that.
We can all create great things in our own world if we start with our thoughts, and, then our language.