A Neuroscientist Explains Why These 5 Phrases Are Holding You Back and What to Say Instead

A Neuroscientist Explains Why These 5 Phrases Are Holding You Back and What to Say Instead

Enjoying happiness requires doing a lot of the “right” things.

But enjoying happiness also involves NOT doing a lot of the “wrong” things.

If you feel something’s holding you back from enjoying real and meaningful happiness, then read on …

via Inc.com by Minda Zetlin

‘Notice the way you’re talking to yourself,’ says brain expert Josh Davis.

The words we choose have a surprisingly powerful effect on our thoughts and emotions–and even our brain function. We can use that power to drive our success, push past doubts, and let go of past regrets. That insight comes from neuroscientist and author Josh Davis, who’s been studying the brain and how to make the best use of it for many years. He’s the author of the bestseller Two Awesome Hours: Science-Based Strategies to Harness Your Best Time and Get Your Most Important Work Done.

“There’s an art to learning to notice the way you’re talking to yourself or the way that someone else is talking,” Davis says. And, he adds, changing the words that you use–especially when talking to yourself–can alter both your emotional state and your understanding of the situations and challenges you encounter.

It’s a broad field, but here are a few examples of how changing a simple phrase can make a difference to your mental state.

1. Change “I have to” to “I get to”

Davis illustrates this example by trying it out on me. “Do you have anything on your mind that makes you think, ‘I have to do this,’ or ‘I have to get this done?’” he asks.

I’ve just returned from giving a successful keynote. I made a few contacts, and I know I have to follow up with them about the possibility of future work. This task of following up on leads is something every entrepreneur has to do at least sometimes, and it’s something I’ve never enjoyed.

“How does it feel if, just for a moment, you let yourself genuinely say, ‘I get to follow up with these people’?” Davis asks.

I realize that his reformulation makes a lot of sense. The whole reason I have potential customers to follow up with is that people loved the keynote–enough that several people who’d known nothing about me that morning were now open to working with me. One exec even approached me to ask about it. If I think of the act of following up on those successful connections as a pleasure and a celebration, rather than as a chore and an opportunity for being rejected–well that might change my whole outlook. It’s a perfect example of how altering a single word can make an enormous difference.

2. Change “we need a decision” to “we need to decide”

Watch out for nouns that are created from verbs, Davis says. When people use verbs that have been turned into nouns, “without realizing it, they tend to take something in their mind that’s a process and turn it into a fixed thing.”

“We need a decision” is just one example, he explains. “A decision is not really a thing. Deciding is an action with lots of steps.” Look at it that way, and you start planning how you’re going to decide. “It takes your mind to a different place than ‘We need a decision,’” he says. In the same way, changing “we need improvement” to “we need to improve” forces you to consider some important questions, such as what, specifically, needs to improve, and how you’re going to improve it.

Using verbs instead of nouns can be very powerful. Words like “decision” and “improvement” tend to be used as objects in sentences. (In “we need to make a decision,” for example, “we” is the subject and “decision” is the object.) Research shows that objects activate a different part of your brain from action words, which are usually verbs. Taking a verb that’s been turned into a noun and changing it back to a verb literally means you’re changing how your brain reacts to that sentence. The same goes for anyone else who hears it…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE