As individuals and organisations you need to ask yourself whether your language is one of criticism or opportunity. Do your words move you and others to act, believing in what is possible, optimistic  that success is attainable. Do they create a space for innovation and self belief or are they words that leave everyone feeling powerless.

The problem is that the words we use all the time are the words of correction, complaint and criticism.

We constantly consider problems and push for progress with the result that our language has become one filled with negativity.

This ‘negative’ language then anchors your thinking because of the ease with which these words come to mind, how readily available it is.

So try this simple exercise to shift your thinking.

Words that leave you switched on.

Take a look at the words listed here or find more of your own, choosing a few (10 to 15) that are capture things you value. They can be work related or personal, but find those that work for you and add them to your expressive vocabulary.

You can decide on 1 a day for a week, or choose all of them at once. But make sure you consciously choose the words you want to add to your common everyday language.

Look up the word and see what it means and then consider how you could use them to express optimism, gratitude and acknowledgement.

Then having expanded your expressive vocabulary, use these words to compliment yourself and others. Not all at once, but make a mental note to use at least one of them each and every day, making them a part of how you think and how you communicate. Creating a culture of positivity. Making words of appreciation, recognition and value easily accessible and readily available.

It may take a while for you to see just how much of a difference this makes in how you feel and how you impact others. But stick with I keeping in mind that research has shown that getting a sincere compliment gives us the same positive boost as receiving cash, (even when you receive that compliment from yourself).

It may feel uncomfortable a at first, but this is because of how your mind is far more familiar with  words of demand, expectation, and disappointment. In fact you may even believe that these are the words necessary to bring about change.

Not surprising when you look at how often management and parenting use criticism to ‘motivate’ change. “We don’t do mediocrity”, “Average is not good enough”,  “What happened to the other 10%”, “If you don’t put in more effort you will fail” , “Your job is on the line here, your performance has been less than inspiring”

This is the basic flaw in our thinking, because change is more likely to occur when we believe we are capable of success. And to believe this we have to believe in ourselves.