Ever heard (or used) these? “If I could just control my eating habits, I’d be healthier.” Or, “I didn’t control my study habits, so I didn’t do well in school.” Or, “Some habits are just too hard to control.”
These common statements are backwards. When it comes down to it, we do not control our habits. Our habits control us!
Our habits – good-bad-ugly – are in “habit loops”. Our brains are in a constant state of learning, and our “habit loops” are rapid fire and potentially never-ending unless something or someone deliberately breaks the old loop and creates a new loop.
One habit loop that plagues most women is in our speech patterns. There are certain words and phrases that make us meeker than we need to be. Research shows that women who make less money or have less education do this more than anyone else. If you want to be seen as confident, you’ll have to put in the hard work of breaking this habit loop and replacing it with habits that demonstrate your power.
So, what do we do?
Recognize the cue. What triggers your brain to use less-than-powerful words or phrases? Are you afraid, uncertain, or feel inferior? In a sense, what do you “feel” when you are in an important conversation?
Realize what you want to gain from “smalling-up” yourself through your words. This sounds more complex than it is. Often the core is, “I want people to like me,” or “I want to be nice,” or “I don’t want people to think I’m aggressive”, or even “I don’t want to be seen.”
Use a different response. Practice new words and phrases to replace the old stuff. People may or may not like you, but you will gain allies who will have your back. Your words can be kind and powerful. You can remain yourself and show your confidence. People will notice your influence, which is critical if you want to move into new places in your career.
Collect your reward. Your reward will be a new way of presenting yourself that creates respect and recognition. If you like that reward, reinforce it by repeating the process over and over and over again.
Download your list of power-robbing words and phrases, plus powerful replacements, here!
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