Mind Your Language!

Business From Courageous Success Inspiration Success

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How the language you use affects the life you experience. 


Are you about to walk into a nightmare or a challenge?



How much are the words that you use predicting your outcomes? The language we use in our heads, and often that which we say out loud, can have a huge impact.
If you think ‘I always walk into a nightmare’, then you will be seeing your world through the filter of – a nightmare.  If you think ‘my team are not good enough’ then you will be actively focussing on the ‘not good enough’ parts of the team and your attention will be on these.
Words can make a significant difference – in his book The Achievement Habit, Bernard Roth suggests the following substitution:

  • Replace but with and

I want to leave on time but I have a report to write becomes
I want to leave on time and I have a report to write. 
But creates conflict and sometimes an excuse, it feels overwhelming and can trigger us.  Using and unlinks the two statements and opens the situation so you may see a different way forward, a more positive one with less drama.  Here’s another one:

  • Replace I’m unsure with I’m going to find out and see what difference it makes to how you feel.

Here are some tips for language change:

  • Become more conscious of your internal dialogue, when you are somewhere you won’t be overheard say the words out loud that are going through your head; you will probably shock yourself!
  • Notice what negative words you habitually use e.g. nightmare, shocking, difficult, ridiculous.
  • Do the ‘best friend’ sense check – if my best friend came to me for advice would I talk to them the way I talk to myself?
  • Really consider – how much do I actually create stress and overwhelm for myself?
  • Take the 10 day positivity challenge, make sure everything you say or think is positive for 10 days to reset the habit.
  • Instead of a swear box set up a negativity box in the office and charge people for negative language – see how much money you raise for a good cause!

Simple tips and techniques for a big impact.

How much chocolate can you cope with?

From Courageous Success Inspiration Positivity Success

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80 million – the number of Easter eggs sold ahead and over this coming weekend in 2015 – and that’s just in the UK!

At Courageous Success chocolate represents positivity. 

How much positivity can you cope with? Is it false or real and what’s the impact?

There’s oodles of research demonstrating the impact of a positive mind-set in building resilience, internal coherence and in generating positive hormones that feel good and help us to get the job done.  And yet in our research more people share that their workplace is in reality more negative in culture than positive and yet through our approach all of our clients agree that they have the power to perceive positivity and create it.
So what stops us stuffing ourselves with chocolate, sharing it and appreciating the great feeling that it gives us?

  • Habit – we have conditioned ourselves and conformed to a social trend that means that we bond on negativity – what’s not great – creating drama.
  • Our mood – we wait for others to do what we would and should and blame them when they don’t and let this affect our mood.  Stroppy, distant, cold and sulking behaviours breeding negativity.
  • Fight or flight – we are programmed to notice the negative to avoid danger – in fact Barbara Fredrickson – the mother of positive psychology – has published that as human beings it therefore takes five times as much focus and energy to be positive.
  • Disengagement – for as long as we don’t consciously decide to enjoy our work and world – throwing ourselves into it – we will be looking for the energy and happiness answer.

…and there are many more!

Choc IcecreamThe world can be challenging but positivity is a proven choice that can help. 
In our chocolate vs strawberry tool, we ask people this – it’s a hot day.  I have two ice creams – chocolate and strawberry – which would you prefer?

People choose almost instantly.  Try it now – which would you like?  Did you think about it?  Did you check what others chose?  Did you worry about how you’d be seen if you chose one over the other?  Did you procrastinate and bring in sarcasm to diss the choice or the exercise?  You just chose.  Choosing to be positive is exactly the same choice.  Only we tend to make it more complicated than that!


Top positivity tips to cram as much chocolate into you and others as possible;

  • Make it real.  Genuinely see the good in others and consciously in situations.
  • Keep your power – others can’t make you feel cross or fed up – only you can so choose to be optimistic and hopeful instead.
  • Don’t make everything about you, step back, what’s really happening?
  • Swap negative language for positive – problem to challenge, loss to learning, inconsistency to flexibility.
  • Bond positively – who cares if people think you are crazy.

Enjoy chocolate…one of life’s pleasures that has more power than we think!

 Talk to us about our Positivity and Self-belief workshop.
t: 01476 500794 e:potential@courageoussuccess.com

Star Performer


Congratulating Allan Smith as our new Star Performer!  Allan is one of our clients who has recently experienced Courageous Success Development and has, in our view, demonstrated an exceptional level of commitment and success.  Allan is a Senior Manager with a major Australian food company based in Sydney, he completed an 8 week 1:1 Development Programme and the Courageous Success workshops: Coaching & Communication and Positivity & Self Belief.

Allan says of his Courageous Success experience;

Courageous Success was very timely for me.  Over the past couple of years I have felt an increasing sense of disillusionment and lack of control over the direction of my life which was starting to negatively affect my personal and professional relationships.  The courageous success program content and structure gave me an opportunity to stop and reconsider the world, reconnect with and refine my understanding of who I am and has offered a seriously effective toolkit and support program to rebalance my life.  I have regained a sense of what drives me and most importantly a feeling of opportunity, motivation and inspiration that has been lacking for some time.  I still need to make some changes in my life but I feel that I now have the confidence and ability to guide my life’s journey in a way that is aligned with what is important to me.

Allan Smith 2

Could you be our next Star Performer?

Brain Power!

Brain Power!

Daily Notes From Courageous Success Lifestyle Success

The Courageous Success Energiser

In psychology today in 2012 Andrew Newburg shared the following fascinating finding;
If he were to put any one of us in an MRI scanner and flash up the word “NO” for less than one second,  the scanner would pick up a sudden release of dozens of stress producing hormones and neurotransmitters.  These chemicals would then immediately interrupt the normal functioning of our brain, impairing logic, reason, language processing and communication.

Studies have found that the more we dwell on negative words the more we can actually damage key structures that regulate our memory, feelings and emotions.

Note to self, as I focus on myself negatively and give my power away to others and my environment I am actually being abnormal!!

Neuroimage (2002) found that as we vocalise our negativity, or even as we frown to say “NO”, stress chemicals are also released in the listener’s brain.  Negativity spoken with anger does even more damage, sending alarm signals through the brain, interfering with decision making centres in the frontal lobe, increasing a person’s propensity to act irrationally.

Note to self, as I speak or act negatively I can promote irrationality in others – making them abnormal too!!

So – not only can my voicing negativity affect me – it also affects others.
Barbara Fredrickson, one of the founders of Positive Psychology, discovered that we must express more than three positive thoughts and words to one negative, or our personal and business relationships are likely to be adversely affected.  Choosing positivity has also been found to propel the motivational centres of the brain into action, building resilience.  (Emotion study 2007 & 2009).

Note to self, as I go about my daily life I will harness the brain power of choosing positivity: from now on I will choose chocolate, say yes, be positive: brain power!

Easy decision – massive impact.

Let us know how you get on at potential@courageoussuccess.com