The two simple words that can make or break success

We've been told over and over that the way we describe ourselves has an impact on our state of mind and countless lists have been created containing phrases we should repeat to the mirror every day.

According to Marla Tabaka, a small-business advisor, these two words have an impact on how successful you will be:

I am

Following “I am” are usually negative, critical words used to describe your behaviour, for example “I am lazy" and "I am not clever enough."

The problem, she says, is that when you use those two words in this way, you’re not actually describing your behaviour, you’re describing who you are.

As a result, you begin to subconsciously associate these negative descriptors as markers of your character and identity, which leads to more negative thoughts and opens the door to psychological disorders like depression.

Instead, if we must describe something negative about ourselves, be specific. Are you late submitting that report? Rather than "I am a procrastinator" describe the action, for example "I am feeling tired now."

This isn't an entirely new idea.

Jessie Zhu, on the Positive Psychology Program spoke about self-awareness as a marker for success:

In a study undertaken by Green Peak Partners and Cornell University examining 72 executives at public and private companies with revenues from $50 million to $5 billion, it was found that ‘a high self-awareness score was the strongest predictor of overall success.’

It is the non-judgmental quality [that is] an essential component to self-awareness.

Rather than criticism, reserve those words for empowerment.

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