pick a side

"There’s nothing I can do."  (Let’s look at our alternatives.)

"That’s just the way I am."  (I can choose a different approach)

"He makes me so mad."  (I control my own feelings)

"They won’t allow that."  (I can create an effective presentation)

"I have to do that."  (I will choose an appropriate response)

"I can’t."   (I choose)

"I must."  (I prefer)

"If only."  (I will)

A serious problem with reactive language is that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. People become reinforced in the paradigm that they are determined, and they produce evidence to support the belief. They feel out of control, not in charge of their life or their destiny. They blame outside forces--other people, circumstances, even the stars--for their own situation.

Stephen Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People