how to be positive

Can You Get Through The Day Without NOT?

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Quick question: do you like working with naysayers, with colleagues and leaders who are always skeptical that a goal, small or big, will be achieved, no matter how hard the team works? Or, do you love bosses who are always pointing out things that they don’t like about your work, without any constructive direction?

Am taking a wild guess here, that you may not have answered yes to the above.

Most of us like positive, encouraging, appreciative people, because that makes us feel motivated, hopeful, solution-oriented. Especially if you want to show up as a leader, you need to constantly retain passion and optimism, and lead with solutions, no matter what setback happens.

Then, have you ever wondered what kind of a person you are and what kind of a professional brand you are perceived as? Do people like your positive spirit and want to work with you, or feel drained by you, and groan at the thought of doing avoid projects with you?

Whichever it is currently, you can start being a positive and ‘pleasure-to-work-with’ brand today! Start with a simple trick that someone taught me too some time ago.

Stop using ‘NOT’ words for one day

Take it as a rule that words like ‘Not, can’t, don’t, wouldn’t, couldn’t, haven’t”, etc, are to be avoided.

What happens when you do that?

Let’s say you’re asked if you like something. But you really don’t like it. But by the above rule, you have to avoid saying that you don’t like it. Yet you have to answer. What happens?

You will force your mind to talk about what you DO like or prefer.

The only way to make the negative go away is to bring the positive in.

Go ahead, try it. Try answering which you absolutely think is negative, without using negative words.

Broadly, 3 things happen:

  • You actually start to think of solutions and get more action-oriented
  • What we focus on expands. If you talk about preferences and solutions repeatedly, your subconscious mind gets trained in that direction as your reflex action, wants to find more situations like that, and over time your productivity increases.
  • To others, you show up subliminally as positive and encouraging
  • As you’re talking about solutions and things that you want, overall you carry a happy feeling with you, you feel energetic, and people want to be around with you even more

And this is important as much in conversations with others as in self-talk.

Let's see a few examples.


Avoid: “I hope I don’t mess up this big presentation today”

Try: “I really want and hope to make a fantastic presentation today, which will get everyone really excited too!”

Avoid: “I really don’t like doing so much admin and paperwork”

Try: “I really love to do the strategic work, and want more time for that. Let me ask some colleagues if they have found a solution to this, or explore some ways myself how I can finish this up faster. Maybe I can speak to my manager tomorrow openly”.


Question: “Can you please prepare this new report for me urgently today?” (when you’re already swamped with work)

Avoid: “If I do that, I won’t be able to finish the one I am doing right now”(and if you can’t say anything to your boss, you just work through the night)

Try: “Yes, sure. I am working on some other reports too, and I know all of it is important, so can we quickly discuss what we need to super prioritize”? (talking in ‘us’ vs ‘me’ also helps, like you’re in it together)


(proposing a project or method in which you see lots of red flags)

Avoid: “I am not sure this is going to work”

Try: “For this project to really deliver results, we need to do….”

(you can list A-Z of all that is needed. Then the discussion will be centered around why A-Z, and if those will be possible. Either the idea may be dropped, or you never know, maybe a solution CAN be found and you will learn something!)

You get the gist.

After you finish the day, as you have focused on things that you want, whether you have got them or not, chances are that your mind will be in a happier, solution-oriented place. You might feel more in control, and your conversations with people would have been constructive and pleasant.

Sure, it’s really hard to do that. We're so programmed to easily use 'N' words, that it's a part of our regular vocabulary. But trust me, if you CAN do it, at least for sometime, it sure feels good! And people feel good about you and want to work more with you, give you responsibilities!

So, what do you think? Up to the challenge? Would love to hear how your experiment goes! Needless to say, if you can do it for one day, try for 2 days, then 3...always good to keep challenging yourself!

Your mind, your life. Design and lead it to the direction you want. Always stay #PowerfullyYOU.

Would love to hear your comments and don't hesitate to reach out to me at pbasu@weignitegrowth.com if you have any questions. You can also follow me on LinkedIn and Twitter (@poulomi_basu) for more tips and information on authentic living and entrepreneurship.

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