Yes, The Most Dangerous Word In The World

August 4th, 2013 by LaRae Quy
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The only four letter word I never heard in my twenty-four year career in the FBI was “quit.” No matter how tough the training got, or hard a case was to solve, or the size of the obstacle in front of me, I never allowed this word to weasel it’s way into my thinking.

A great deal of what I learned during my four months as a new agent in the FBI Academy had to do with overcoming obstacles and breaking barriers. Each of us were pushed to the limit of endurance and performance to where we wanted to say “I can’t.”

If we weren’t pushed into our discomfort zone, the instructors weren’t doing their job.

It takes positive thinking + mental toughness to create the strong mind needed to overcome obstacles and break through barriers.

Here are four tips to keep in mind:

1. Chose Your Words with Care

The words you use are important. Words originate in the brain and they have a lot of power because they energize our thoughts. Words are thoughts spoken out loud. The words we say to ourselves can either inspire or destroy, depending on what our brain hears.

When you think you can’t accomplish a goal and want to quit, your brain puts barriers around achieving the goal; often these are no more than self-limiting barriers because you’ve told yourself you can’t do it.

2. Stop Using the Word No

Researchers have determined that when you see the word NO for less than a second, your brain releases dozen of stress-producing hormones and neurotransmitters. These are the chemicals that interrupt the normal functioning of the brain and impair our logic.

Now, if you say the word NO, even more stress chemicals are released into your brain—and not just your brain, but into the brain of the listener as well.

The word NO and other negative messages interfere with the decision making centers of the brain, often causing a person to act irrationally. Mental toughness is being able to interrupt this flow of chemicals into the brain.

3. Intentionally Choose to Be Positive

We’ve all been in tough situations where it’s hard to keep positive about our situation. Turns out that we have to intentionally choose to be positive because we all have an innate bias toward negativity. We process bad news faster than good news because our limbic brain system is survival driven. This explains why we’re driven to avoid losses far more than we’re driven to pursue gains.

The brain rarely responds to positive words and thoughts. That’s because they’re not a threat to our survival so the brain doesn’t need to respond as rapidly as it does with negative thoughts and words. To overcome this natural bias toward negativity, we have to repeatedly and consciously generate as many positive thoughts as we can.

Researchers have discovered that to overcome an obstacle or break a barrier, you will need to generate at least five positive responses to counter each negative one.

Chose your words wisely and speak them slowly. This allows you to interrupt your brain’s natural inclination to be negative.

4. Create New Brain Connections

When we reinforce a way of thinking, either new connections are formed or old ones are strengthened. So, when you maintain a strong mind that thinks in positive and constructive ways, these connections become more durable and easier to activate.

This is a tremendous concept, because it shows us how we can change our behavior. When we use the word yes, we are training our brain to make positive patterns more automatic (click to tweet). Since your brain is listening to everything you think about yourself, you might as well start using words that inspire and expand your vision of your life.

Mental toughness is positive thinking on steroids (click to tweet). When confronted with obstacles and adversity, mental toughness is saying “Yes, I can do it…And I can do it bigger, better, bolder, and more badass than you think I can.”

How do you talk to yourself in a way that’s uplifting and positive?

You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LaRaeQuy

Read my book ““Secrets of a Strong Mind,” available now on Amazon.

 

Sign up for my FREE Mental Toughness Mini-Course

 

 

 

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10 Responses to “Yes, The Most Dangerous Word In The World”

  1. TJ Trent says:

    Ma’am,

    Great article backed up by powerful research. As far as being mentally tough. I always tell myself that where there is a will there is a way.
    TJ Trent recently posted..Know… Your Role!My Profile

  2. Here’s something I just did recently.

    My wife and I purchased new phones, the Galaxy S4. The phone comes preloaded with a message saying Life Companion on the lock screen. That just didn’t seem to cut it for me.

    So, I have begun to edit the messages every couple of days to bring me words of inspiration and positivity. Currently, I’m having my phone tell me that You Rock.

    It’s simple and silly but it’s been helping me create a more positive image about myself.
    Joseph Lalonde recently posted..4 Ways You Can Create A Leadership PresenceMy Profile

  3. I am a great believer in fate. I believe everything that happens to us happens for a reason. I’m always looking for the lessons. A negative is a positive because it’s a learning opportunity. You need to take the opportunity to learn the lesson and then move forward. Enjoyed reading your post. As you noted – when you change the behavior you change the result. Adults can learn new things. You can rewire the brain. Love that line “mental toughness is positive thinking on steroids” Looking forward to reading your book – Cheers
    Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak recently posted..When One Door Closes – Another One OpensMy Profile

    • LaRae Quy says:

      Hi Brian

      You and I think alike! Too often, adults think they can’t change the way they think….all it takes is a little and the right perspective. So glad you stopped by!

  4. Terri Klass says:

    A terrific post, LaRae as you continue your support of positive thinking and mental toughness! I particularly liked your focus on stop using the word, “no” because it does send us down a road of defeat. I believe in the Little Engine That Could’s philosophy- If we think we can do it, we can! Our minds do have so much control over our actions. Thanks!
    Terri Klass recently posted..Leading A Team With HonestyMy Profile

    • LaRae Quy says:

      Hi Terri

      I just love that little engine with the positive attitude! Our minds are so powerful…..and it can unlock all the potential that we have inside if we just let it. As always, I really appreciate you, Terri. You bring a breath of fresh air into every conversation……

  5. LaRae – Thank you for another great post!

    I so appreciate all of your posts on Mental Toughness and a Strong Mind. The really awesome part is that the secrets are easy to understand and with some focus and discipline so transformational!
    Chery Gegelman recently posted..The single best way to develop leaders: Throw them in!My Profile

    • LaRae Quy says:

      Hi Chery

      The secrets to mental toughness and a strong mind are easy to understand! Focus and discipline are key components…thanks for all your support. It’s much appreciated!

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