In this week’s episode, I want to talk about how changing just a few words can make a big difference with your perspective and attitude.
How many times have you felt like you had to do something? I have to go to work. I have to take out the trash. I have to do intervals today. I have to take my kid to soccer practice. Even if you don’t always intend for it to be this task you are forced to do, saying I have to makes it sound like a chore. And let’s face it, sometimes they are just chores and you would rather be doing something else. Simply rephrasing how you talk about things you have to do, whether it be in your head or out loud, it makes a difference.
So instead of saying you have to do something, trying saying you get to do something. Saying I get to go to work, I get to take out the trash, I get to do intervals today, I get to take my kid to soccer practice helps us have more gratitude and not take for granted things that we get to or have to do. If you lost your job, you would not get to or have to go to work. If you didn’t have trash pick up, you would not get to take the trash out. And I have to say, from the third world countries I’ve visited, I’ve seen what it looks like when people don’t have trash pick up. Having time and being healthy enough to get to go out and do intervals is a privilege, even if it’s hard. Having time or even making time to be there for your kid and take them to soccer practice is also a privilege if you choose to look at it that way. Next time you find yourself saying “I have to” and you feel like it’s a pain or you aren’t really that happy about having to do something, try saying you get to do it. It takes time, but this practice really helps!
The next word I want to talk about is a word that helps you practice a growth mindset (that is, believing that things like your talents, athletic ability, intelligence are not a fixed level that you are born with). People who have a growth mindset believe they can cultivate their efforts to improve. A lot of times people say they can’t do something…but that sounds so definitive. So say that you can’t do it … yet! If you use the word yet, you can say that you aren’t there now, but you can get there with more time and effort. Some examples, “I can’t make it up the hill… yet. I don’t get it… yet. I can’t do a stage race… yet.” For the majority of things you say you can’t you do, you actually can if you choose to put more work in and keep going. When you start using the word yet, you also realize there’s a lot more opportunity waiting for you. Recognizing that you have a choice and that you can choose to improve is really powerful and gives you back some power when you feel like you have no control over something.