The Power of Your Word – Why What You Say Actually Matters

There may be more true to what we say than we realize. When it comes to our goals, the question of whether or not we will succeed may have already been determined by us when we started our goals.


The importance of stating goals correctly

Did you know that the way we state our goals has a significant impact on whether or not we achieve the goal? Whether the wording of a goal is positively or negatively oriented is crucial to our success.

Take, for example, the phrasing of the goal “I want to lose 10kgs” versus “I want to weigh 75kgs”. From a neuroscience perspective, the difference is truly fascinating. In the first example, our limbic brain – the reptilian “fight or flight” part of our brain – reacts to the word “lose” and effectively shuts down the rest of our brain before the analytical part of our brain (the pre-frontal cortex) can even receive the information for processing and analyzing.

What this means is that because the goal, as expressed in example one (“I want to lose 10kgs”), is negatively stated, we may have already set ourselves up for failure.

Instead, when setting goals, state your goal in positive terms. State what you want to achieve, and avoid expressing what you don’t want. Expressing your goals positively can make a massive difference to you and the outcome.

Now with this in mind, take some time to reflect on your goals and see what kind of language you’re currently using and, if necessary, rephrase them so that they are positively oriented.

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  1. […] When assessing your workplace culture, one thing to consider is the language that the company uses. Think about it for a moment – do you refer to your people as “employees” or “valued team members”? How we communicate, how we provide feedback, and how we talk to each other is important. For more on this, take a look at our article which explores the power of your word and why what you say actually matte…. […]

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