Updated: Nov 12
Dr. Gills is a runner. As he continued to run into his 60s and 70s, he noticed that he needed to make a change. He said, “If I listen to myself, I hear: You're too old; you can’t do this; you will never make it.”
So, Dr. Gills decided that he would stop listening to himself. Instead, he would talk to himself. He said, "That way, I can feed myself the words that I need to keep on running." Great advice, Doc!
What is your primary language?
Independant of the cultural language that you use, what mindset language dominates and determines your performance and your team's wins?
To gain the level of physical conditioning needed to play professional sport, players must push themselves with get out of bed language. Very few people live lives where their body urges them to “Come on, get out of bed - let’s do a work out!”
Language must be trained; mindsets must be intentionally layered. Lazy thinking incrementally increases lazy language, and lazy language is the indicator of lazy performance - a stuck culture with a long-term losing team. I should language is very different from I will language.
During my time on NHL teams, I would often chuckle when players looked down at the blades of their sticks and blamed the instrument if they failed to score a goal when the net was wide open. Similarly, sales teams blame economies and executives blame disengaged employees.
Blame Day language is exacerbated by the faceless connection of social media. The world that we live in is both blessed with connections over the internet and cursed, because anybody can blame anybody and they never have to look them in the eye. It seems that most people are less accountable for their language in today’s world.
The energy to blame others seeps out of a victim mentality. When we view ourselves as victims, it’s not our fault language accelerates the pity party that moves us far away from taking personal responsibility and making personal change.
What language do you speak?
Do we speak Blame Day Language?
Or, do we speak Game Day Language?
Does my mindset frame-in what others didn't do, or frame-in what I will get done?
Over the long term, blaming others damages relationships. Past-Negative blaming increases a negative momentum that can become a feeding frenzy. Have you noticed how easy it is to join in on a blaming session? As blame infiltrates our mindset, it also subtly influences our cultural conversations. The thought that must cross our co-conversationalist's mind is: "If you are currently blaming someone else, then you will probably, at one point, blame me too."
Many executives share with us how tired they have become by their people only bringing blame or complaints without also offering fresh ideas or solutions to solve their problems. Most leaders do want their people’s input. They want to understand what their people are experiencing. But they also want their employees to spend time pre-thinking through potential Future-Positive solutions.
Again, what language do you speak?
Blame language is often pointed at others, but who else do we blame?
I like the language that Heidi Priebe flushes out in her article,
You are not your Past, in Thought Catalogue:
You are not your past — no matter how easy it is to forget that.
You are not the person you used to be.
You are not the company you used to keep.
You are not a victim of the people who hurt you.
You are not the story you used to tell yourself.
You are not the any of the bad things that happened to you.
Unless you chose to believe these things.
Remember, Past-Negative-Thinking turns into a huge upside when we can view it through the learning lens. One of our favourite pieces of language for combatting rumination in Past-Negative blaming is the simple phrase: “next time.”
Next time gives us the opportunity to get turned instead of dwelling.
Next time gives us the grace to act, to breathe and feel failure, but not feel stuck. “Next time we will …”
Next time also allows us to try hard things, make mistakes, and use language that encourages to try again.
Next time gives us the team language to help people personally or through positive gossip.
Listen-in this week. What is your dominant language?
Remembering Dr. Gill's crazy-good advice, decide to stop listening to yourself. Instead, start talking to yourself with the generative language that moves you towards your desired win!
This week will we chose to view our world through a
Blame Day Mindset?
Game Day Mindset?
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