The Language of Success

Borrowing from a colleague’s1 blog by the same title (that I archived some time ago), it is good to be reminded that how we talk carries immeasurable weight in how successful we are and what we experience going through life.

Yes — it is that old adage, “if you believe you can or believe you cannot, you’re right.” How we talk to ourselves and even who we consistently listen to (and how they talk) shapes what we see. It also influences how we think and how we react — valid or not — as we go through time. We prepare ourselves for precisely what we convince ourselves is going to happen and then we end up taking steps that eventually take us there.

Many of you I know have heard of Positive Psychology and the Law of Attraction, disciplines that focus on the power of “belief.” Our beliefs work on us everyday (sometimes negatively) and they are powered by our self-talk. But remember self-talk isn’t necessarily reality and we do have the power to change it.

Knowing what you believe and reinforcing that in how you speak to yourself is extremely important. It not only influences your destination but also can dramatically affect how and where you lead others. Best-selling author and entrepreneur Seth Godin expresses it this way. “The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow.”

It all starts however with clarity and focus on what you want to have happen. Then you have to think about it every day and look for evidence of achievement.

Two other sage authors, Ralph Waldo Emerson and John Lubbock, had this to say about it respectively:
“You become what you think about all day long,” and
“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.”

Not only does “successful language” guide your most desired outcomes, it also buffers negative thoughts and defeatist tendencies by giving you alternative ways of viewing the world and helping keep you on track. Obstacles become mere problems to be solved, temporary set backs or interruptions just make you “not yet successful.”

For teams to be most successful they need this kind of orientation from their leaders — leaders who are open to failure because it gets you closer to succeeding. Learning from failure, positive coaching, development of new thinking and skills all are fostered by a positive, can-do attitude and the language of success that asks “how can I do something” not “can I do something.”

Referencing my colleague’s blog directly again, “…everything [ahead of us] is going to be about better problem solving, more creativity, more innovation. [By] consciously pushing our communication to where we are stepping up puts us in charge of our lives, where we can steer and make a difference,” referring to a language of success that we can use to focus ourselves and others positively on solving problems and making progress.

So now what do you have to say to yourself? Everything is possible. What is your part in that for you? What does your self-talk sound like? Remember that your attitude and actions guide not only your outcomes but those of others as well. We hope you are choosing your language for success with that in mind.

In the meantime, if we can help you be successful with your HR contract, HR search or HR consulting needs, be sure to call us now. Our self-talk centers on HR, which we have been helping Bay Area companies with since 1989. We know HR. If you would like to discuss how we might help you or your business with your HR needs, or if you are considering a career move in HR – let’s talk today.

Best regards,


1Ian Blei, Founder of Optimized Results, author of Kind Ambition: Practical Steps to Achieve Success Without Losing Your Soul