Are there certain words you’d like to eliminate from your vocabulary?
Are there words you should remove from your personal glossary?
No, I’m not talking about words you’d use after slamming your fingers in a door or language that should embarrass you if used in the presence of elders.
I’m referring to fear-filled, powerful and power-filled words like:
- Can’t, as in ‘I can’t do that…’
- Shouldn’t, as in ‘I shouldn’t be taking ‘me’ time…
- Won’t, as in ‘I know I won’t like that…’
- Couldn’t, as in ‘I couldn’t ask for help…’
- Insert your ‘word nemeses’ here…
I Need to Report a Crime…
These words steal from you.
Subconsciously, but with your permission, these words embezzle your power.
While using these words, you’re condoning the crime.
You’re giving up your personal power and nodding your head in approval while they rob you of bits of your strength.
I’ve got to ask you, ‘What’s up with that?’
If a stranger took something from you, you’d do something to get it back, right? So what are you willing to do to re-gain your muscle?
Are you going to throw your hands in the air and say, ‘There’s nothing I can do. That’s just how I talk.’ Or, ‘How can I stop saying, can’t? I wouldn’t know how to begin to do that.’
Sorry, but you’ve got my B.S. meter pegged. Those excuses don’t fly with me.
Not at all and here’s why….
Who Needs Problems?
Years ago I made a conscious decision to eliminate the word, problem, from my lexicon. I figured it wasn’t doing me any real favors, after all.
Whenever I said or thought of the word problem all it brought to mind was feeling overwhelmed, defeated or being in a stress-induced state of constant worry.
Who needs more of that in their life? Certainly not me…
I became pro-active. I no longer recognized the word, problem. I banished it from my vocabulary.
I refused to use it while conversing or writing. I chose to get rid of that word and all the thoughts and emotions it evoked in me.
- I ran into hitches, snags and obstacles.
- I faced quandaries, road-blocks and sticky-wickets, (because it’s just so darn fun to say.)
- There were puzzlements, opportunities and challenges, but no, no problems, thank you, very much.
I shared the news with my friends. They thought it was a little strange, but nothing that warranted a doctor’s attention.
As a business owner, I brought my team together and told them that word was no longer allowed in the work place, during work hours.
Yes, initially, they thought I was joking.
When they slipped up or said the p-word to test me, I’d call them out on it. ‘Wh-wha-what did you just say? No, sorry, we don’t have those here anymore.’ I’d say with a forgiving smile.
Yes, when they realized I was serious, they thought I’d lost my mind. I caught sideways glances between staff, until they acclimated to my active mindset change.
The Unexpected Benefits
Did all the challenges in my life magically go away, when I banned that one word?
No. Not at all…
My life, at the time, was filled with continual waves of challenges. (Thankfully, my days of living in constant chaos are forever in my past. I choose to live an active, yet serene Life.)
I was still married to Peter Pan; a little boy disguised in adult clothes. He devoured money as if it were bags of potato chips and he rarely showed up to work our multiple businesses, which caused major financial stress and constant unpredictability in our business and personal lives.
No, no, none of that had changed.
There were, however; unanticipated shifts in my Life, and in the lives of my friends and team, as a result of this course of action.
I suspect you’d experience similar results if you tried this yourself, with a word that drains you of your power.
Here are four of the ‘Wins!’ you’ll uncover using this process:
- You’ll become more mindful. Tossing words around without giving thought to the weight or messages they carry can be harmful. When you replace an unwelcome word with a more desirable one, you become more mindful of your language. This will have a trickle-down effect and you’ll become more attentive to other choices which enhance your Life.
- You’ll become more creative. Once you choose to eliminate a word from your vocabulary, you’ve committed to thinking of new ways of getting your point across. One team member made up the word, ‘frigging-fragging-frag-oh-staph’ to replace the p-word in his conversations. Unconventional? Yes. Expressive? Yes. Did we all understand what he meant? Undoubtedly.
- You’ll become more positive. I didn’t substitute one power-plucking word for another. I didn’t delete problem from my vocabulary only to replace it with crisis, trouble or disaster. What’s the point in that? Choose replacement words that minimize the negative. This will lessen the emotional impact by taking the punch out of the word.
- You’ll laugh more. Whether you share this process with others or not, catching yourself when you use the illicit word will bring a smile to your face. We laughed when one of us would start to use a banned word. The wrongdoer caught themselves mid-sentence or a listener sounded a verbal buzzer citing the foul. Laughter ensued as the speaker scrambled for a more positive word to use. Trust me; it’s hard not to laugh while someone uses a word like, ‘frigging-fragging-frag-oh-staph’.
Are You Talking to Me?
There’s a woman in my power yoga class, named Barrie. She’s a beginner and usually sets up next to me for our practices.
It doesn’t matter if Tricia, our beloved yoga instructor, gives us an easy move or a demanding sequence; Barrie’s reaction is always the same…‘Oh, I can’t!’
Before even trying, before her first attempt, she automatically emits ‘I can’t!’ as naturally as she exhales.
It’s a self-defeating, negative message.
It’s unsupportive and unhelpful.
Her mind is programming her body, setting her up to fail, making this message detrimental.
I encourage her to try. I gently remind her that if she believes she can’t, then she’s right.
I cheer her on telling her as she tries, ‘I guess you really showed, can’t, didn’t you?’
Who needs to hear more self-flagellating, toxic and obstructive messages in their lives? The empowering answer is, ‘None of us do!’ So, let’s stop it, with the negative self-talk already!
This is about taking personal responsibility for the messages you are downloading from your brain into every cell of your being. Make well-thought out choices. Be aware and live mindfully.
The upshot of this small alteration continues to have profoundly positive effects.
Ten years after actively making this choice I can proudly say I continue to live problem-free!
So, how about you? What energy-draining words are in your vocabulary? Isn’t it time you empowered yourself and evicted them?
Email me, using the form below, to let me know what word is depleting you. If you’ve already made a change similar to this, what changes have you experienced? I’d love to hear your story…
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