The Benefits of Using Positive Words

Image of a brain with happy faces inside

Using positive words may be the most successful approach to reduce stress and increase your effectiveness. The reason is that this type of vocabulary empowers AND feels good.

Compare each in the following examples:

“I HAVE to go” versus “I GET to go.”

“I have no choice” versus “I am choosing to …”

“No!” versus “Not yet.”

“I only have two choices” versus “I have two choices.”

“I have a DEADLINE” versus “I have a DUE date.”

(The former connotes DEATH while the latter connotes BIRTH.)

We now know scientifically that what Henry Ford stated was accurate: “If you think you can, you can; if you think you can’t, you can’t. Either way you are right.” The words you use affect so many aspects of your life, not only in dealing with other people but also with yourself.

Therefore, the first step in increasing your effectiveness is to get in the habit of using empowering, positive words.

By the way, this is the reason that The Hierarchy of Social Development assigns specific vocabulary to its levels. The lower two levels of behavior are unacceptable and prompt “negative” feelings. The EXTERNAL motivational label is neutral, but the INTERNAL motivational label is empowering.

Using positive words is also extremely important for young people – both to use such words with them and to teach them the importance of it. Why? Because self-esteem is a person’s sense of self-worth and is manifested in large part by a person’s self-talk. One of the advantages researchers report about positive self-talk is that it encourages persistence—a key characteristic for success.

Negative self-talk creates a negative mindset that can lead to avoiding failure rather than reaching for success.

The more young people are encouraged and are talked to using positive words, the greater chances are for their own self-talk to be positive. Some young people need to believe in someone else’s confidence in them before their own confidence sets in. Numerous testimonials and stories attest to a person’s success because someone else believed that the person would be capable of performing the task. Indicating that the person can achieve the task promotes responsibility.

Tip: Focus on increasing the amount of positive words you use, both with yourself and with others.

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