“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!”
Outside of cute nursery rhymes, we all know that words can hurt you. Ask any child who’s been bullied in the playground.
But words can also limit you and keep you from achieving the success you want in life.
Especially if they are your own.
Words have power.
They shape your thoughts, influence your actions and determine the direction of your life.
Positive words give you hope, power, encouragement and the motivation to do your best. While negative utterances rob you of your joy and self-confidence.
At any stage in our lives, personal and professional, the words we have used thus far have shaped the people we are today.
Recently, I went through a challenging period, which made me think about my choice of words and my vocabulary.
I wasn’t aware I was doing this until my partner pointed it out to me.
I discovered that I was using certain words more often than usual. They’re in the list below but the overall result was low energy and powerlessness.
It made me wonder what would happen if I became more deliberate about the words I used and totally removed the main culprits from my vocabulary.
I’ve been working on this for a few weeks now and the results have been pretty dramatic.
A few simple tweaks to my vocabulary have helped me overcome the stuck-ness I was feeling. Within days I attracted a solution and things are moving again.
So if something is holding you back, take a look at the words you say and that you’re consistently using. They could be partly responsible.
Here’s a list of 5 common words to replace with more empowering ones.
5 Words To Stop Saying
The word “should” elicits guilt and keeps you stuck and feeling guilty about not doing something. It is completely unnecessary.
- I should have started my business last year (but I didn’t)
When you say “should” you are lamenting over something you didn’t do or say. It’s another way of saying “I wish some other thing was true.”
What’s done is done, you can’t change the past so stop making yourself feel bad.
The word to use instead: Choose.
Instead of idly wishing, make conscious choices about what you say and do from this point forward. Replace “should” with “choose”, which is a far more powerful and proactive way to express yourself.
- I choose to start my business
Many people use the word “hate” lightly without realizing the powerful emotion behind it.
Hate is a strong word that radiates negative energy and lowers the vibration of the person saying it.
Say it out loud a couple of times and you’ll notice a recoiling inside you.
The word “hate” focuses your attention on the thing (or person) that is wrong or not as you would like it to be. It distracts you from what is good and right, and attracts more of the bad stuff into your life.
The word to use instead: Love.
Although love and hate aren’t exact opposites, the positive effect of the word “love” is undeniable.
Do the same exercise above using the word “love.”
Can you feel a warm glow inside you and a feeling of expansiveness?
Whenever you can, switch your focus to what is good in your life and the things you love.
Express yourself positively and use words like “love” and superlatives to deliberately raise your vibration. Bring back some of the wonder towards life that you had as a child when everything was “wow”, “cool” or “awesome!”
When you start to see life, people, events and situations around you as “amazing”, “wonderful”, “beautiful” and “awesome”, there is no space to let in any negativity.
“Just” is a qualifier which serves no purpose in your speech except to weaken what you say.
As an entrepreneur, especially when you are starting out, it’s important to rally your resources and draw as much inner strength as possible.
So why weaken your argument and compromise yourself with the word “just”?
Do you know how powerful you truly are?
You are not “poor little you” having this small lowly experience on planet earth. You are an intelligent, creative and spiritual being with immense power in you and moving through you right now.
You are part of the Universe and it is part of you.
A drop of water taken from the ocean has everything that the ocean has, albeit in miniature.
It doesn’t lack anything.
And neither do you or I.
We’ve simply forgotten about our power along the way.
That’s why we can never be “just” anything.
The word to use instead: Definitely.
Whereas “just” weakens, “definitely” conveys an absolute faith to the point of certainty, sometimes even before the fact.
This kind of self-confidence may not come easily to you but you have to start somewhere. So why not start with the words you use.
Entrepreneurship is not for the timid.
Never undermine yourself by saying, “I’m just going to do what I can.” Instead, tell yourself and others, “I am definitely going to succeed!”
It doesn’t matter if things don’t quite work out as you planned or you experience a setback. You will still be further along than the person who thinks and says “just.”
Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”
Truer words have never been spoken.
Saying “can’t” is to give up before you have even started, guaranteeing failure.
It’s the main reason why so many budding entrepreneurs fail to launch and allow their dreams to die on the drawing board.
Completely eliminate the word “can’t” from your vocabulary and see how many significant positive changes come into your life.
The phrase to use instead: “How can I…?”
When you reject the very possibility of “can’t” and prompt yourself with “How can I…?” you open up the floodgates of your subconscious mind to attract a solution.
There’s nothing you “can’t” do.
Every challenge has a solution and a lesson within it.
You simply haven’t found it yet.
No matter how impossible things may seem, if you have a seedling of an idea in your mind then you have the talent and skills to make it happen.
On a very basic level, you wouldn’t be able to conceive an idea if you didn’t have the ability to achieve it.
In a recent article Seth Godin discussed the difference between seeing something as “impossible” or “nearly impossible.”
By adding the word “nearly”, you completely transform the problem – from one to avoid or give up on, to one that you can commit to.
Godin argues that every apparently insurmountable challenge carries the “nearly” part. It simply takes someone with courage and vision to see “nearly” when others don’t.
The word to use instead: Possible.
Learn to reframe any challenges into “nearly impossible.”
By seeing them as possible your belief will make them possible for you.
Remember, if someone else has done what you want to do then it’s also achievable for you.
Words are the basis of the way we communicate and communication is the key to success. Many of us never give a thought to the words we use every day or their effect on the course of our lives.
They may seem harmless but words are powerful because they can help or hinder us.
You don’t have to stick with the vocabulary you learned at school or college, especially if these words no longer serve you.
Bigger goals require bigger thinking.
Become aware of your vocabulary and give yourself a better chance of success by changing your habitual way of speaking and choosing the best most empowering words to define your reality.
Are there any words you are going to stop using in this list? Have I missed any out? Which empowering words will you start using?