We all know that positive language provides better results than negative language, but we may be using negative language without realizing it.

As Zig Ziglar says “negative people call it an alarm clock, positive people call in an opportunity clock”. Corny? Sure, but it’s also true that your words can define your habits.

Let’s take a look into some language that you may not realize is holding you back, and how to change it…

Defining Positive and Negative Language

Negative language is pretty obvious…

  • I will never have that
  • I could never do that
  • I will never be able to break this habit
  • I will never be able to create this habit

…but it goes farther than that. Negative talk isn’t just the obvious stuff – it’s anything that is taking away from your goals due to the wording you’re using. More on that in a moment.

So what does positive language look like?

  • I will be able to have that
  • I can do that
  • I can break this habit
  • I can create this habit

That’s the obvious language, but again, it goes farther than that. Let me explain…

Your Language and Your Habits

If you’re trying to quit smoking and you say: “I will not smoke cigarettes”, you may think about that as positive language, but it’s really not. Why? Because the word cigarettes is in your statement. Every time you say what you’re going to do, you think about cigarettes, and that’s counterproductive.

So how do you make the switch to positive language? When you’re trying to break a bad habit, you need to remove that habit from your vocabulary. We don’t think in ticker-tape lines of information, we think in visual images. So every time you say “I will not smoke”, you’re mind starts thinking about smoking. If you say: “I will stop looking at pornography”, guess what your mind is thinking about?

As I’ve said before, and I know from personal experience, it’s best to replace habits instead of simply breaking them. This carries over into your language.

Here are some practical examples…

Templates to Follow

Here are some of the most common habits that people want to ditch or control, and here is some effective word-replacement to get you started:

  • Smoking – Instead of “I am quitting smoking”, try “I will only breathe fresh, pure air”.
  • Pornography – Instead of “I will not look at pornography”, try “I will only look upon productive and good things”.
  • Poor Diet – Instead of “I will not eat junk food”, try “I will only put healthy food in my body”.
  • Alcohol – Instead of “I will drink less alcohol”, try “I will drink more water”.

Stop using negative language and start using positive language.

Here’s to replacing bad habits and bad language.