If you adopt the language of an active mindset, you might act more decisively and take more responsibility for your actions.
People with a passive mindset tend to shirk responsibility and think that life happens to them. They aren’t in control what happens. This attitude is reflective in their language:
“It’s not my fault I was late for the meeting. Traffic was bad.”
“I would have gone to the gym today but I’m too busy at work.”
Using passive language is often a sign of a passive mindset. When people use passive language, they have usually convinced themselves nothing is their fault or responsibility. Passive people leave their future to fate (“whatever is meant to be will happen”) or believe they are inherently unlucky (“I can’t catch a break”).
The reality is you are mostly in control of your life and are responsible for the situations you get in to. You could have planned for traffic and left a little earlier. You could have prioritized work differently so that you had enough time to make it to the gym. You can take responsibility for your actions.
Instead of thinking passively, you should have an active mindset.
An active mindset is one in which your actions have intent and you have ownership for your actions. And your failures. An active mindset means you are responsible for things you can control.
The language of an active mindset sounds much different than a passive one. Consider the previous traffic example:
“I apologize for making you wait. I didn’t plan appropriately for traffic.”
Two things stand out in the active version as compared to the passive one: empathy and admission. The first sentence in the active version shows empathy for the person who was left waiting, rather than a generic non specific apology. The second sentence in the active version is an admission of the root cause of the problem (‘planning’) rather than passively blaming something else (‘traffic’). By acknowledging the root cause, the issue is less likely to happen again.
Research shows language influences how we act and how we view our surroundings. As a result, if you want to be less passive, you should adopt the language of an active mindset. Admit to the root cause of the problem and show empathy to others that you impact.
If you do, you will think more actively and act more decisively.
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