How language affects your mindset is an amazing thing.
Case in point, notice the difference between these two simple questions:
“How do I?”
“How can I?”
“How Do I?” evokes a feeling of helplessness or lack of knowledge. How do I cook these waffles? How do I write a marketing plan? How do I attract clients through Facebook?
But when you shift it to “how can I?” – it empowers you and puts you in the driver’s seat. How can I cook these waffles? How can I write a marketing plan? How can I attract clients through Facebook?
From do to can – one word change and your mindset gets an instant boost!
Let’s say you are hosting an event. Here are questions you may have tumbling around your head:
- How do I get people to attend the event?
- How do I sell my product from the stage?
- How do I earn a profit from this event?
Now, what if we rephrase these questions with the word “can”:
- How can I get people to attend my event?
- How can I sell my product from the stage?
- How can I earn a profit from this event?
Don’t you feel, after reading these question, that you CAN fill your event, and sell your product, and earn a profit?
Once you start asking “how can I,” your mind will fill up with ideas. A practice I like to use is to write down a brainstorming list – usually 50 to 100 things.
For example, if I want to attract people to an event, I would make a list called “50 Ways I Can Attract People To My Event.” And then I brainstorm 50 ideas. I may not use all 50 ideas, but undoubtedly, I’ll list a few good gems that will help me reach my goal.
To sum this up:
- Instead of asking “how do I,” ask “how can I?”
- Then brainstorm a list of ways you can
One more thing: If it helps, write down “How Can I?” on a Post-It note and place it by your computer – as a visual reminder. Yes, it’s a tiny word change, but it creates a huge mindset shift. You’ll go from a feeling of powerlessness and resistance, to a feeling of possibility and faith. And it’s within possibility and faith that you’ll find the most success.
Jill Celeste, MA is a bestselling author, marketing teacher and founder of the Celestial Marketing Academy. Jill teaches purpose-driven entrepreneurs everything they need to know about marketing so they can become the Directors of Marketing for their businesses.
Jill is the author of the Amazon Top 25 Bestselling Marketing Book, That First Client, as well as the co-author of the bestseller, Cultivating Joy, and international bestseller, Gratitude and Grace.
Jill graduated with a B.A. in English from Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. She obtained her master’s degree in history from the State University of Georgia in Carrollton. Prior to becoming a marketing coach, Jill worked for 14 years in the private sector, and has experience in marketing and public relations in healthcare, IT and small business.
Jill lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband, two sons, three guinea pigs and a basset hound named Emma.