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Use This Phrase to Power Up Progress

The words you say to yourself and others can impact your success.

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I love it when research supports my bad habits. And when I read how swearing is a sign of honesty and intelligence I was all in. Apparently so are many of my friends.

The study on swearing is one of dozens that talk about the impact of words on our relationships, health, moods, motivation, and performance.

Positive self-talk improves performance and makes people more effective leaders, according to researcher Randall Masciana.

It's clear, the words we use can either empower and elevate us, or hold us back.

Looking to overcome an obstacle on the way to your goal or habit change – like say, cutting back on the cookies to lose weight, or leaving work on time to have dinner with the fam?

Say “I don’t,” not “I can’t.”

Try it: “I can't eat dessert” feels punishing and limiting. “I don’t eat dessert,” is more empowering and motivating.

“I don’t” helps us recognize that we are in charge of what we create in our lives. It also makes us more likely to stay on track toward our goals, according to research led by Vanessa M. Patrick.

Talking to yourself in second-person works a similar way. Saying “you” instead of “I” improves follow through and performance, according to research.

And instead of screaming like a lunatic, or calling your husband a doofus and stalking off to the bedroom while the kale burns (maybe that’s just me) using precise words to describe our emotions can help us manage and diffuse them, according to UCLA researchers and others.

When we choose the right words to describe a scary situation we can also have an easier time dealing with it, according to Katharina Kircanski at UCLA.

She tested the theory by exposing people who were afraid of spiders to spiders.

I think I’ll stick to the cussing research.

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