Have you ever stopped to listen to the way you talk to yourself?
One day, I was dressed and ready to drive to the studio where I was the host of a TV morning show. Before driving to work I had to take the trash out to the curb for collection. At end of my driveway, I tripped and fell. I hit the pavement so hard that my hands and knees started to bleed.
I went back into the house and began telling myself an entire story about how hard it was being a working mom and how tired I was of having to do everything—like taking out the trash. These “poor me” thoughts overtook my mind, and I was on the verge of tears.
Then I paused and said to myself. Denise, you have a choice. You can choose to continue feeling sorry for yourself about something that happened and is already over, or you can choose to make today the best day you possibly can.
In that moment, I made a decision. I decided to have a great day instead of continuing to complain.
As I drove to work, I declared out loud, Today is going to be an amazing day, and nothing is going to get in my way. I am unstoppable. I may have fallen down, but I’m not staying down. I am already up and victorious! I’m going to have the best day ever!
My attitude shifted significantly, and I had one of the best times I’d ever had hosting the show. I’m not exaggerating! I made my day a masterpiece by using my words to declare victory instead of defeat.
My situation became a reflection of my self-talk. Yours will too! Your outer world is eventually going to look like what you’ve been telling yourself – out loud or in secret – all day long.
There is victory in your voice. You have the power to unleash it!
Think about the things you’ve been telling yourself lately. Are you speaking victory over your life and your situation? Or are you speaking out words of defeat?
It can be hard to stay positive in a world filled with negativity. Every day there are bad reports on the news, negative opinions flooding social media, complaining co-workers, and loved ones who seem to have been overtaken by the “spirit of grumpy.”
It’s like a firehose of negativity being sprayed at you – of course you’re going to get wet!
The world is filled with negative people. That won’t change. But you can change!
Jim Rohn said, “I used to say, I sure hope things will change. Then I learned that the only way things are going to change for me is when I change.”
Each of us must take responsibility for our own attitude. You can’t control other people, but you can control your own actions. One of those actions is to strategically choose the words you use.
Change the things you say and your entire life can change!
When you feel baited into saying something negative about yourself, your situation, or about another person, pause, and test your words using the filter of three!
The “Filter of Three”
In ancient Greece (470-399 BC), there was a philosopher from Athens who was widely admired for his wisdom. His name was Socrates.
One day, as the story goes, an acquaintance of Socrates ran up to him saying, “Socrates! Socrates! I have something to tell you about one of your students!”
“Wait,” said Socrates. “Before you say anything, you must answer three questions. First, is it true? Are you certain that what you are about to tell me is the truth?”
“Well, no,” replied the acquaintance. “I don’t know if it’s true. It’s just something I heard.”
Socrates continued, “The second question is to test the goodness of what you want to say. Is it good? Are you going to tell me something about my student that is good, kind, or favourable?”
“Well, no,” answered the acquaintance. “It’s not good at all. If it was good, I wouldn’t be telling you.”
After pausing for a moment, Socrates said, “The third question is to test the usefulness of what you want to say. Is it useful? Is it useful or necessary for me to know this information about my student?”
The acquaintance shrugged his shoulders and said, “Well, no. It’s just a of piece of information about this person. He . . . ”
“Stop,” replied Socrates. “If what you want to say is neither certain to be true, nor kind or good, nor useful or necessary, please don’t say anything at all.”
Search for what is true. Focus on what is good. Look for what is useful.
Have you noticed many people say too much and know too little? But not you! You are an eagle!
Besides, you don’t have time for all of that noise and negative chatter. You’ve got more important things to do. You were created for a purpose.
When it comes to having an attitude worth catching – an attitude that will bring you greater success and happiness – you must learn to tame your tongue.
Tame Your Tongue
Are you up for a challenge?
Over the next 24 hours, keep an eagle eye on the things you say. Choose to cut off all complaining, gossip, and negative speaking. Decide to speak out only that which is true, good, and useful.
If you slip up (and we all do!), you can get right back on track. Declare: I might have gone off track, but I’m getting back on track! I may have missed the mark today, but I’m aiming at the target again tomorrow.
How’s that for declaring victory? You’re telling yourself, I will not quit! I will keep going!
Remember, your outer world is eventually going to look like what you’ve been telling yourself – out loud or in secret – all day long. To make your day a masterpiece – and to have an attitude worth catching – be vigilant about the things you say.
There is victory in your voice. It’s time to unleash it!
All my best,
P.S. A few weeks ago, I promised to post three messages containing strategies to help you gain a fresh, new attitude – an attitude worth catching! You now have all three. Here’s a quick recap:
First, you examined your thoughts. You discovered: Attitude is a choice. You can make the decision to have a good attitude because you have the ability to focus your thoughts on something positive in every situation.
Next, you uncovered what’s in your heart. You learned to adopt an “Eagle Attitude” by not taking the negative behaviours of others personally, and by asking yourself: Why am I feeling the way I do?
Finally, you learned about the power of your tongue. To have an attitude worth catching, you must be vigilant about things you say. There is victory in your voice. You have the power to unleash it by speaking out what is true, good, and useful.
Tom Stoppard said, “A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.”
Denise Marek is an award-winning speaker, internationally acclaimed worry management expert and creator of the CALM™ methodology for worry-free living. She’s the author of several books including CALM: The Proven Four-Step Process Designed Specifically for Women Who Worry. If you’re curious about learning strategies to reduce stress and worry, sign up for Denise’s free workshop here. For more information, visit her website: www.denisemarek.com.