Are you listening to yourself?

Your language—the words you use—is a very real indicator of the degree to which you see yourself as a proactive or a reactive individual.

Quick reminder: a proactive person accepts responsibility for their own situation—no matter how dire—and takes the initiative to make things better. A proactive person acts, rather than being acted upon.

A reactive person lets their circumstances and conditions control them. A reactive personal doesn’t act; they’re acted upon. The language a reactive person uses absolves them of responsibility. A serious problem with reactive language is that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Some reactive phrases to look out for:

There’s nothing I can do.

That’s just the way I am.

He makes me so mad.

They won’t allow that.

I have to do that.

I can’t.

I must.

If only.

Replace reactive phrases with proactive ones:

Let’s look at our alternatives.

I can choose a different approach.

I control how I respond to this.

I choose.

I prefer.

I will.

Words are free—it’s how you use them that may cost you. You are what comes out of your mouth.