You probably already have an understanding that it is important to choose your words carefully. If you don’t, you risk being misunderstood or even hurtful to others. The same can be said of choosing your thoughts. If you don’t choose your thoughts carefully, you risk your subconscious misunderstanding your intent and possibly being hurtful to yourself.
Growing up, you may have been told that you are not as good as someone else in a certain academic subject, sport or talent. As a child, you may have heard people in your environment — from parents to teachers to other kids — that you were not as good as someone else in a certain area. And, therefore, you may have accepted this as truth and adopted it as a belief about yourself — especially if you were told this over and over again.
On the other hand, you may have been told that you were really good in a certain subject or area and never really taught to question those parameters, either. You may think that the bar was set, you reached the goals and that your job is done.
Another scenario is this: You may have judged yourself as someone who is not as good as simply because a statement was made on one occasion. You held onto that belief with no prompting from someone else, yet you continued to carry it into adulthood.
Any and all these scenarios happen when you grow up with a fixed mindset. However,
as an adult, you are free to re-create your life as you see fit.
Choosing Your Thoughts: Be Mindful of Words You Use for Yourself
When a friend comes to you feeling unaccomplished, more than likely you will encourage your friend, lift her or him up. Why not do that for yourself, as well? When you change your thoughts, you can change your mindset.
Do you beat yourself up? Criticize yourself? Do you refuse to give yourself the same break you would give your own friend?
Stop that! Cultivate a growth mindset by choosing kinder words for yourself. Become more aware of your negative self-talk, and turn it around.
If you find yourself beating yourself up over something, stop. Take a breath and find some way to be kinder to yourself about the situation. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned in the “failure”?
If you find yourself criticizing yourself, stop. Take a breath and find at least three ways to compliment yourself.
If you find yourself not giving yourself a break, stop. Why are you being so hard on yourself? Try being an encouraging, supportive friend to yourself instead.
A growth mindset allows you to tell yourself that you did not do as well as you had hoped and also speaks to you that you can and will do better, achieve more. All this without the negative self-talk that comes along with it.
Choosing Your Words for Others
A growth mindset isn’t always about you. As you work on being kinder to yourself, also make an effort to be kinder to others.
Instead of making excuses for them, hold them accountable, encourage them to see where they can do better and offer them the possibility of achieving more and doing greater things with their life and with their minds.
When you choose your words carefully, whether to yourself or to others, you make a difference which can result in making a change for the better.