"Never say never." --old English proverb
'I'm done with cigarettes - I'm NEVER going to smoke again!' 'It took days for my ankle to recover - I'm NEVER going to try skating again!' 'I've finally reached my goal - I'm NEVER going to gain that weight back again!'
We vow and swear and guarantee. We promise ourselves, knowing exactly what we will and won't do. But in the all-or-nothing category, if you fail 'never,' what will the result be?
It could be an excuse for losing all control: 'I ate that huge piece of chocolate cake. I might just as well have another - I'm never going to lose weight, anyway.' 'I followed my exercise plan every day for two weeks, but I didn't feel like it yesterday, so I didn't do it. Why bother? I'm never going to get fit.'
Maybe it's another form of perfectionism: 'SHE's been a size 8 since high school - I bet she never overeats.' 'My neighbor jogs at least two miles every morning - I bet HE never has an off day.' Meaning, of course, 'Since I can't attain the perfection of her / him, I might as well give up before I start.'
When we make a firm commitment using the word 'never,' are we setting ourselves up for failure?
Perhaps a little reworking would help: 'No matter how many times I have to try to quit smoking, I'll never give up.' 'I know I can lose weight - I'll never quit trying.'
You may hear that words like 'never' are somehow wrong, not to be used, as if the word itself is negative. It comes down to the optimist / pessimist point of view, though, doesn't it? Positive self-talk as opposed to negative self-talk - 'I'll never quit' instead of 'I'll never succeed.'
Take such words and make them your own. You can create motivation and build morale from any word - if you want to.
"Resolved, never to lose one moment of time, to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can.
"Resolved, never to do anything which I should despise or think meanly of in another.
"Resolved, never to do anything out of revenge.
"Resolved, never to do anything which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life." --Jonathan Edwards