There are some negative phrases we’ve heard so often at work, that we may suddenly find ourselves saying them. They represent a frame of mind that is cynical, despondent, helpless and victimized.
Research shows that what we say reinforces what we think. Say something often enough, and it becomes how you see the world. That’s why we have to watch out for these pessimistic phrases. If you ever find yourself saying them, stop and ask yourself if it actually represents the truth or if maybe it’s more of an automatic verbal uttering.
Some pessimistic phrases to avoid
Here’s a partial list of phrases to watch for. Do you know any that belong on the list?
“It’s not my dream job, but it’s only for a year…”
ONLY A YEAR? Don’t you realize that a year is 12 months? 200 working days? 1600 hours?
Say this instead: “It’s not the ideal job, so I didn’t take it.”
Say this instead: “He’s a jerk, so we fired him!”
“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”
Murphy’s law. The safe haven for pessimists everywhere. Too bad it ain’t true.
Say this instead: “Things may go wrong – then we fix them!”
“My boss doesn’t motivate me.”
Listen: No boss ever motivated a single employee in the history of employment. Motivation is an emotion – your motivation exists inside you, and you’re in charge of it.
Say this instead: “I motivate me.”
“I hate my job – but so does everyone else.”
Hating your job may be a common enough thing today – but so is adult onset diabetes. That doesn’t mean you don’t do something about it!
Say this instead: “I hated my job. So I got a new one.” or “I hated my job, so I fixed it.”
“There’s no such thing as a free lunch”
Except that there is. Plenty. The world is a generous, forgiving and nurturing place, and sometimes you get exactly what you need exactly when you need it.If you’re open to it, that is.
Say this instead: “Can I buy you lunch?”
“What’s wrong with people today?!”
If every single person you interact with seems incredibly annoying… the problem may be you.
Say this instead: “Hmmm… I seem to be easily annoyed today.”
“I’m stuck in a dead-end job.”
Riiight. You’re stuck. There’s no way out. Because three men in ski-masks show up every morning and force you to go to work at gunpoint.
Say this instead: “I am where I’ve chosen to be! And if I want, I can choose to be somewhere else.”
“Let’s not get carried away!”
WHAT?! There is nothing better than being carried away by a great idea, nice people, a fun meeting or a good conversation.
Say this instead: “This is wonderful!”
“It’s too good to be true!”
Funny how you never hear people saying “This is too bad to be true.”
Say this instead: “This is great. I love it!”
“What’s the catch?”
Sometimes there just ain’t no catch.
Say this instead: “Thank you!”
“You can’t trust people.”
Nonsense. Most people are nice, honest and loyal. Are you gonna treat them badly because of the tiny percentage of cheaters?
Say this instead: “People are great!”
The worst thing about these sayings, is that if you keep repeating them, you make it so. If that is how you see the world, then your choices, your speech and your actions will reinforce this view. That’s why it’s worth replacing them with something more true.
What about you – got any more pessimistic workplace sayings we can flush out and replace?
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