Lazy. This one is a strange one. It’s negative and very unclear in its meaning. What is lazy? Is it a person who is unmotivated? What if that person has a very good emotional reason for feeling unmotivated? Is it a person who does not get around to doing the things on their to-do list? A child who doesn’t want to do their homework?
Each of these people has causes to their behavior. It’s something inside of them, a fear, an anxiety, an unknown, overwhelm… Whatever it is, it’s valid and it needs to be addressed before they will be able to get to that to do list. If you call yourself or anyone else lazy you are guaranteed to create a negative feeling and not to increase motivation for change.
What if? Such a dangerous question. When you’re anxious this is often the number one sentence starter that you will have running through your head. My solution is to answer them. What ifs are emotion-based questions so use logical/rational thinking to counter them.
“What if I catch a terrible disease?” “Then I will seek medical attention, I will do what I need to in order to take care of myself.” “What if my husband leaves me?” “Then I will get a job to pay the bills, I will reach out to my friends for support, I will go through a difficult time and I will find a way to come out the other side.”
There are always answers to what if’s. They are not always ideal answers, but they are answers nonetheless and they take away the unknown, which can let you feel in control of your experiences.
Yes, but. When we really don’t want other people’s input or advice we ‘yes, but’ them. We use ‘yes, but’ to block us from the possibilities. This happens when people give unsolicited advice as well as when we ask for it. You may have asked your mother how she thinks you should decorate your living room, but the clue that you really don’t want her advice is when every suggestions she presents is met with “Yes, but, that would make the couch look funny” (or something along those lines).
If you hear this phrase coming out of your mouth take a moment to figure out what you are reacting to and decide whether the advice being given is something potentially useful or is it better to change the subject.
Take a week and notice how often you use any of these words or phrases. Start paying attention to the words you use when talking to others as well as when talking to yourself. It takes work to change our habits and if you keep trying to be aware, keep trying to change the words you use, you will find that your view of your world and of yourself will begin to change for the better. You have a choice in how to express yourself, make that choice be to limit the negative so that you can make room for the positive.