May Not and Perhaps
The power of the right words can make the difference between moving forward to accomplishments or the realization of a dream, or staying stuck where you are, or casting oneself in the role of failure.
One thing is for certain, though. If you always see yourself as failing, you are more likely than not to be just that. The power of how you visualize the world is directly connected to how you see yourself and how you speak. If you see the world as full of problems, obstacles or roadblocks to change yourself, start or learn new skills, or to begin the adventure of being your own boss in your own business, you already have allowed defeatism to enter into the equation. In essence, you have set yourself up to fail before you have even started.
For example, if you use the words “I probably will not make enough money to make a living” already has a failure element built into this perception, whereas the words, “I will, perhaps, make enough money to make a living”, give potential a fair opportunity to live on.
A few months ago, I was visiting a couple that I have known for years. After exchanging the usual pleasantries, they began to tell me about a home business they were going to start. It had to do with catering meals to local special events, old age homes, and small office functions like birthdays, or promotions.
The husband said, “that they might make enough money to cover their costs” while the wife said, “they were going to be able to make enough money to expand their business to their own commercial establishment.” He told me that they had to start small and not go to fast while she argued that they should expand as quickly as possible so they could build up a decent clientele that would help spread the word and to make enough money to expand.
In fact, in just a couple of weeks, they had started to secure a couple of clients. From what I could tell, they appeared to have a great idea, and had at least started when others would have simply talked about it. It seemed they were off and running.
In the last couple of weeks, I stopped in to see them again to see how they were doing with their new catering business. As soon as I walked in, I felt a sense that something was wrong. I asked them both if something had happened?
The first to speak was the husband who bluntly and concisely told me that they stopped their catering business. He turned and looked directly at his wife and said’ “I told you we had to go slow, but you wouldn’t listen. Now we have been left with a lot of kitchen utensils and equipment that we don’t need and paid for out of our own pockets”.
She looked at me seemingly hesitant to respond but did so after I asked her exactly what happened. She reluctantly told me that they had been doing quite well and had several new clients. But, they had received a visit in their home by an inspector from the local health authority that wanted to ensure that their kitchen preparation area was up to code. It wasn’t. So, they were told that unless they had a proper food preparation area, they must cease operations.
Unfortunately, the defeatism attitude of the husband ruled the day. It was all about blame, and “I told you so” rather than about how to find a solution to this obstacle. It is a situation where one person had started with an “I doubt it” attitude and where another started with a “We can” attitude. Without both parties being on the same page, there was little hope that a solution would be found, or, even explored.
How big a role did selected words have in defeating this new business venture? I would have to say a great deal. Words are powerhouses of feelings, attitudes and reflect what you believe. If you want to succeed in absolutely anything, choose your words correctly, believe what they mean, and live up to these words daily.