Five Phrases You Should Stop Saying To Yourself

A growth mindset journey is a rocky road. So here we have 5 phrases you should stop saying to yourself to take the first step toward self consciousness.


You can change how you experience life by choosing a different way to think. 


It’s no secret that “the secret” to life is based on a single, simple principle — the law of attraction — which posits that what you think about, you bring about. The way you experience life is through thought and those thoughts become your reality. 


Remember how you never noticed how popular your car was until you bought it? Or how as soon as you picked out the perfect baby name, it began to trend on the list of top ten? Or how as soon as you made the calculated switch to the other checkout line, the one you just left suddenly started rolling through customers like they have a Fast Pass?


It’s called the “Baader-Meinhof phenomenon” — a frequency bias when you notice something new and suddenly you’re hyper-aware of its existence. If only we could put this hyper awareness to good use — to notice more of what we desire instead of what we don’t — we can cultivate more favorable outcomes into our reality. 


If you read my article How to Make Peace With Your Inner Voice, you’d know that my own thought life has been undergoing an extensive renovation for some time. In fact, I sometimes wonder how I write any of this when I myself feel lousy at it.


Needless to say, a growth mindset journey is a rocky road, but increased consciousness of our own self-sabotaging patterns is the first step to changing them. 


Five phrases you should stop saying:


1. “I just need to get through . . . ” 
You know you’ve said it. If you could just get through this week, this appointment, this event . . . The problem is, once you get through, there is always something else on the other side.
There will always be another thing to get through. It’s important to appreciate the immediate experience; stay in the present or why bother being there in the first place.
The difference between feeling anxious or at peace depends on where you plant your attention. If the goal is to “enjoy the ride,” as the saying goes, then stop wishing it was over.
Instead of “I just need to get through . . .” specifically define how you are successfully getting through.


2. “Had I only known . . .” 
Of course hindsight is 20/20. But had we actually known, then we wouldn’t necessarily have grown. I once heard the purpose of life is to learn. And the best teacher is struggle.
Most of us can look back on a hard time and admit that it was the making of you. That you wouldn’t wish “blank” on your worst enemy, despite understanding its significance in hindsight. Embrace what was rather than what could have been.
Instead of “had I only known . . .” identify something you learned from the undesired outcome. 


3. “I wish I would have . . .”
On the heels of “had I only known” is a new narrative that begins with how you would have done something differently had you known the outcome — a response that would have invited a more preferable result. But for fun, let’s say you were struck by lightning and given the power of knowing how all your actions would influence the future.
You would know the exact points in which to pivot. Perfect! But, then again, it might feel pretty lonely living in hindsight with the ghosts of the past. You make the best decisions you can with the information you have.
Cut yourself some slack. Instead of “I wish I would have . . .” recognize the steps you are taking to alter the course moving forward.


4. “I’ll start when . . .” 
Let’s face it, anytime you begin a sentence with “I’ll start when . . .” what you’re really saying is you don’t want to start now!
Likely you don’t have the energy to deal with whatever it is you have to do — with good reason: I’ll start my diet when we get back from that trip. I’ll start planning date nights after I close this deal. I’ll start saving money when my car is paid off.
But there will always be a good reason to delay something hard. I am a huge “swallow the frog” advocate. It means you identify the most difficult task of the day (frog) and complete it before moving on to anything else (swallow).
If you get the hardest thing out of the way first (before you’re drained), then you’ll be able to tackle the remaining tasks with increased ease and reduced stress. Instead of “I’ll start when. . . ” simply start now. 


5. “I’ll be happy when . . .”
I’ll be happy when I have that job, get that promotion, meet that guy, have those kids, lose that weight, buy that house . . . (fill in the blank).
But there will always be another thing. Contentment must be found in what you have. If you focus on what you don’t have you end up with exactly that — the law of attraction is not personal. Instead of “I’ll be happy when . . .” identify a few things you are presently grateful for.
The frequency bias is actually not a surprising phenomenon. Look for hearts and you’ll suddenly see them everywhere — in the shape of a leaf, in the gem of a ring, in the tracks of sand. If you focus on finding something, chances are good that you will. 

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