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A mental shift to feel more in charge

Today’s tip: Replace “should have” in your vocabulary with “next time.”

I should have started working on this project earlier. I should have called my friend right after I heard the bad news. I should have noticed myself feeling frustrated all day before I blew up at the kids. Instead of dwelling on past mistakes, reframe your thinking with a simple shift: In your mind, replace “should have” with “next time.”

“To become more productive in a meaningful way,” the career-development coach Remy Franklin writes, “you need to catch your unproductive thought patterns early.” Choosing to focus on the “next time” puts you in a more proactive state. It’s empowering: You get to choose your language, and as a result, your language determines how you see yourself in the world.

📚 More from Forge on shifting your perspective:

The Mindset We’ll Need to Get Through the Coronavirus

Four Mindset Traps Holding You Back at Work

The Best Ways to Reverse Scarcity Mindset, According to Researchers Who Study It

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