There are those times though when we say some things and unbeknownst to us, does way more damage than we are aware of. The reason is because when we use these phrases, we don’t even realize that they are negative. What’s worse, we are totally ignorant of how using these phrases affect our attitudes and actions.
Don’t be shocked at some of the phrases you read in this article; furthermore, don’t fall off your chair if you realize you use one or more of them way too often. My goal is simple; to raise your awareness to 7 of the most popular negative phrases that masquerade as positive or realistic sayings.
Ready? OK, here goes…
1. It is what it is
On its face, this phrase may sound like a realistic one; it might even sound positive to many. The underlying meaning is supposed to be that you are ok with what is and that you’re just dealing with it.
The problem with this phrase however, is that it puts you in a weak, digressive and reactive mindset. It is what it is basically says that you have no influence over what happens to you or around you. It says that you are at the mercy of all that is and will be and that you have no choice but to deal with what comes because that is all you can do.
Even if when you say this phrase this is not what you mean, it still creates that negative energy. The truth is that rather than saying “It is what it is”, a more firm, progressive and proactive thought would be to say, “It is what I make it.” Now doesn’t that sound much more positive and uplifting?
When you say or invoke that “It is what I make it”, you are in effect saying that you do have influence over what happens to you and around you. You are saying that you don’t have to just deal with what comes, you can make choices to create the future in which you want to live. So please, can this phrase immediately if you are a user or worse an abuser.
2. What is to be will be
Really… is that truly the message you want to convey?
This again is another phrase masquerading as realistic but really not – and certainly not positive. What is to be will be is an excuse not to act; it’s a cop out. In the words of the great Bob Marley “Every man (or woman) has a right to decide his own destiny.”
This phrase creates a mindset that you have no control over what happens to you or your station in life. It basically says that your future is already written and no matter what you do today, you cannot affect tomorrow. Nothing could be further from the truth. The real truth is that no matter what has happened in your past and no matter what is going on in your life presently, it is the choices you make today that will determine the outcome of your tomorrow. There are no ifs ands or buts about that.
When you invoke “What is to be will be”, you’ve already given up your power to the people and circumstances around you. If you believe that you have the ultimate power to choose your destiny, a better phrase would be “If it’s to be it’s up to me.” Certainly this phrase sounds better that to leave your fate to the will of the blowing winds.
Remember this… while people and circumstances undoubtedly influence your actions, they do not determine; only you and your ultimate power of choice determines your fate. What you make of your life is totally up to you whether you believe it or not.
3. I’ll believe it when I see it
This phrase is extremely popular – sometimes said like this: “seeing is believing.” What an absolute mind job this is!
Basically, this phrase strips you of any hope for mankind or the greatness within it. I hope it doesn’t surprise you to see me take it this far. The truth is that it does run this deep.
Ponder a moment…
I’ll believe it when I see it essentially means that you don’t accept anything as real unless it first manifests before your eyes. Can you see the absolute buffoonery in this thinking? How can anything come to past unless it is first believed?
Nothing happens unless someone believes it is going to happen; belief precedes action and action begets results. To the degree that you believe something, your results will reflect the same intensity.
It stands to principle then that “I’ll believe it when I see it” is not only negative but also ass backwards. If you wish to see anything manifest in your life, a more impactful and principle-aligned phrase would be “I’ll see it when I believe it.” This is how you manifest your success – you must first believe that it will happen and your actions will fall in line which will produce the results you desire.
Look, if you are still going to continue using this phrase, it means two things: first you are definitely a cynic and all you can think of is negativity. Second, you are totally OK with being a BUFFOON.
4. I can’t…
Any phrase that starts like this can only go downhill from there. This is a tough one because often times when we use the term “I can’t” what we really mean is “I choose.”
It was difficult; however, I have managed to reduce the use of this significantly and it has done wonders for my attitude. The more you begin your phrases with I can’t, the more disempowered you become. You see, every time you say I can’t, you are in effect saying that you have no choice and that someone else is pulling your strings like a puppet.
The way I see it is that you have to go from puppet to puppet master. No one pulls your strings but you. My experience is that there are two instances in which the “I can’t” term comes out rather quickly. The first is when you truly believe that making any other choice would be dire to you. The second is when you need to shelter yourself from the backlash; you don’t want to be accountable for your choice so you back pedal by saying “I can’t.
Either way, all you are doing is disempowering yourself more. Instead of “I can’t”, more empowering phrases would be “I can” or “I choose.” Sure, both alternatives make you responsible for what you say and accountable to your word but so what – that’s the way it is supposed to be. Don’t be a powder puff – own your choices.
5. That’s impossible
If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard (used) this one, I’d own my own island by now. This is a phrase that quickly passes our lips the moment we hear something that is different than what we believe. People who live to uphold the status quo often think that anything that goes against the status quo is impossible.
No matter how many human, scientific, medical and technological breakthrough we achieve, some of us still find it difficult to stop abusing these words. The fact of the matter is nothing is impossible – NOTHING!
The universe has an infinite supply of possibilities that we cannot hope or even begin to exhaust. The mere fact that change and evolution take place constantly negates the possibility of exhausting possibilities. I don’t know if it ever sounded intelligent but I know that in this day and age, using the phrase “That’s impossible” sounds dim-witted at best.
Instead of responding by saying “That’s impossible” when you hear something different or unusual, try a response like “How would that work?” or “What does that look like to you?” or something more humble like “I never thought of it that way.” You will learn so much more if you can practice this approach.
Let me put it this way… if you can recall at least 5 events or discoveries that you once thought were impossible, you should eliminate this phrase from your vocabulary immediately. And, if you are unable to do that, then you are either a developing infant or you’ve been sleepwalking for at least the past decade. For your sake I hope you are the former.
6. What if it doesn’t work?
Yeah… but what if it does?
Fear is a major driver of this negative phrase. People who are fearful of change often ask this question because they only need one reason not to move forward. This gives them a way out – something to blame other that where the blame squarely rests – on their shoulders.
Don’t get me wrong, it is totally OK and prudent to review and research and crosscheck your facts and figures. When you’re doing that though, you ought to be looking for solutions to the problems you encounter. If all you ever do is point out the problem, it is like throwing gasoline on a fire and simply walking away.
Visionaries don’t ever think in terms of what won’t work; they always want to know what will. The fact that something won’t work just means that there is a solution that needs to be found. If you are constantly asking “What if it doesn’t work?” you are just impeding progress.
Instead of asking “What if it doesn’t work?” ask “What if it does?” This thinking creates a mindset of solutions and possibilities. It gives rise to creativity, tenacity and powerful imagination. At some point, in order for an idea to flourish, you simply have to let it go and see what happens. Celebrate the successes and learn from the failures – that is all you have to do.
7. If only I had more…
This phrase is the quintessential beginning of some of the best excuses ever thought of. This is because it is so easy and seemingly justified when you begin your phrases with this. It basically lays the burden of every shortcoming and failure on things over which we have no control.
“If only I had more time.” This said even when you knew from the onset exactly how much time you had. Another classic is “If only I had more money.” Really… what difference would it make? And furthermore, it’s easy to simply dodge the bullet by saying if only I had more money when all the while you know you have no plan or any hope of ever having more than 2 pennies in your pocket.
First of all where time is concerned, you’re never going to have more or less of it. Time is a principle that merely exists; it is constant and keeps ticking away no matter what you do. All we can do is manage ourselves in alignment with the principle; this is why we invented 24 hours for a day and so forth. It is simply an effort to be more productive, efficient and healthy.
As for having more money – hogwash; work with your true gifts and talents to create and distribute value to others. If you are tying your worth to how much money you have, you aren’t really worth that much anyway.
The bottom line here is that this phrase places blame on things over which you have no control which makes them the perfect scapegoats. This is a negative mindset because it robs you of abundant thinking. Instead of beginning your phrase with “If only I had more…” begin by saying “I appreciate….” When you show gratitude, you get more to be grateful for.
This mindset creates a more positive and uplifting attitude that can only propel your success even further.
If you are still reading, I suspect that one of two things must have happened…
1. This article actually struck a nerve a it’s making you think and rethink your entire vocabulary – this is good
2. You have been laughing your ass off the whole way through and you couldn’t wait to read what hilarious thing I was going to say next – this is also good.
Here’s the deal…
If you truly believe that your words carry any kind of power, I am certain you would want to be careful what you say. My goal was to raise your awareness; the rest is up to you. Just remember what you are aware of you can act on, what you are unaware of acts on you.
Copyright © Dean L. Forbes
Dean is one of the most passionate growth-directed individuals you will ever come across. From Wall Street to Main Street, his experiences are from the School of Hard Knocks. He can rap, cook up a mean omelet and is a damn good actor. Dean definitely knows how to wake up the sleepwalkers.
Article Source: 7 Popular Negative Phrases You May Not Be Aware Of