If You Change One Thing This New Year, Let It Be This


In a recent session with one of my clients, I immediately noticed how stressed and overwhelmed my client was. As we spoke about his week, he began to recap for me all the things on his list that he had to get done for work. As he was speaking, I could see and feel the stress that he was feeling.


I noticed something about the way he was speaking about, and approaching, his work that was likely one of the main reasons he was feeling this stress and overwhelm.


As he was speaking about his list and his tasks, he kept saying things like ‘I have to’ and ‘I need to…’ As I noticed this, I shared with him that the way he was speaking about his tasks and list was like there was a large boulder chasing after him and he was working hard to stay ahead of it and not get run over by it.


He agreed that that was exactly the way that he was feeling and shared that he was feeling this way in his personal life as well.


I pointed out to my client that the language he was using to talk about his tasks, and the way he was viewing his tasks, in general, was reactive and that that was very likely why he was feeling the way that he was.


What happens when we use reactive language?

When we use reactive language, and say things like ‘I have to, need to, or should’, we send a message to ourselves and to our brain that we are not the ones in control. Without even being so aware of it, using this language when speaking about, or relating to, our tasks in this way, gives our lists and tasks power and control over us.


What to do instead

An effective way to be, feel, and get back in control (and to get in front of that huge rolling boulder, instead of doing our best to run away from it) is to change, or rather replace, our reactive language with proactive language.


I shared this with my client along with a chart with a list of words and phrases that are reactive on one side, and proactive on the other side.


I asked him to look at the reactive words or phrases and pick the one he finds he uses most.


For him it was ‘I have to.’


I asked him to notice how he feels when he says, ‘I have to.’ He said that his chest feels tight, and his body feels tense.


I then asked him to look at the other side of the chart and to choose a proactive phrase to replace his reactive phrase with. He chose, ‘I choose to.’


When I asked him to tell me what it felt like when he related to his lists or tasks from a place of ‘choice’, he said he felt less stressed and more in control.


You can upgrade your language too.

If there is one thing you decide to change or upgrade this year, consider changing and upgrading your language to one that is proactive.


To do this, think about and assess what phrases you tend to use most often and notice how you feel when you say them.


Now, think about a proactive phrase to replace it with.


Here are a few suggestions to help get you started:



Practice will help you create this new habit, language, and approach.

The way you can practice this is by catching yourself every time you hear yourself think, speak, or write your old reactive phrase and replace it with your new proactive phrase. In addition to this, practice using, thinking, writing, texting, and speaking your new proactive phrase.


By doing, and practicing, this on a regular basis (as in, every day and throughout your day) you will be building your new proactive language and approach ‘muscle’ and feel more in control and calm in your life.


This seemingly small change makes a huge impact.

When I worked on and created this new habit of using proactive language and approaching my life in a proactive way (it’s a process and not an overnight kind of thing), it was transformative. It brought me to taking full responsibility for and full ownership of my life, heal past wounds that were holding me back and keeping me stuck, and also brought me to feeling more powerful, calm, less stressed, and much more in control in all areas of my life.


You can experience the same by starting to upgrade your reactive language and approach to a proactive one.


What new words or phrases will you start using this new year?

I’d love to know.



Moving Forward

I hope you found this tip helpful.

If you’d like to take this proactive approach to a new level, download my 2024 Treasure Chest Worksheet to think about and decide what (ideas, attitude, approach, dreams, vision, goals) you want to bring with you into the new year, and what you want to leave out.

You can download your worksheet here.


Guidance & Support

If you have any questions about what I shared here and about the proactive language upgrade, please feel free to reach out to me here.


If you would like my guidance and support in helping you to make this lasting switch from being reactive to being proactive in your life so that you can be more calm, in control, and experience more joy, fulfillment and success in your professional and personal life and relationships, I’d love to help you.


At the end of our process and work together, my clients often joke with me that they don’t recognize the person they were before our work together, because their language and approach is so different than what it was before beginning with our work together.


As one client shared with me:


“Jenny, you helped me get in touch with my own inner voice and conscience, develop into a woman who makes pro-active, as opposed to re-active, choices, and helped me overcome the many stumbling blocks in my path – all of which were actually inside myself.” ~ K.F.


If you are interested in exploring what it would be like for us to work together and how my process can help you, go here to schedule your complimentary consultation. 


In the meantime, I wish you and your loved ones a very happy, healthy, and wonderful holiday season and a new year full of blessings and joy!


In support and admiration,
~ Jenny
Follow Jenny Sassoon:

Career & Relationship Coach | Leadership Trainer | Founder of UnleashingU!

Hi, I'm Jenny Sassoon, founder of UnleashingU! I guide professionals, students, entrepreneurs, and executives to move forward and thrive in their career, business, leadership and life in a way that is right and authentic for them. To schedule your complimentary consultation to learn more about how I can help you, click on the 'contact' tab above.

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