Your words are more powerful than you realize. They influence your thoughts and actions, and can significantly impact your relationships, career, and day-to-day life. Here are 10 disempowering words and phrases you need to replace in favour of more encouraging ones.
There’s a huge difference between I’ll try to finish versus I will finish. The word try points to insecurity and self-doubt, and you are essentially giving yourself a get-out-of-jail-free card when the first obstacle pops up. On the other hand, the word will build confidence! It sets your mind to the task and carries you through it with a get-it-done attitude, which is more likely to help you succeed.
If you think about it, isn’t a problem subjective? Any event is purely neutral, and we assign meaning to it by giving it a label. So, it’s a problem because you believe it’s a problem. It’s only your perception. If you think of it more as a challenge, it prompts you to seek a solution, making you proactive rather than reactive.
- HAVE TO
How much of your life is just obligations? Things you have to do? The phrase implies you have no control over your day, your decisions, and your life. It might give you a victim mentality, or at least paint you in that light to others. Sure, sometimes we all do things we aren’t a fan of. Saying you have to do something though, simply crushes your spirit and makes you another cog in the machine. Instead, replace the phrase with I’m going to. It gives the idea of more control, which will boost your confidence.
The word but negates or cancels everything that precedes it. So when you say I want to finish reading this book, but I don’t have the time, all your mind hears is, I don’t have time. It’s an obstacle in your path, and it’s not one you’re even trying to move out the way. So next time you want to do something, replace that but with and. You’ll be tricking your mind into finding a way to make it happen before you can even think of the excuse!
Can’t has been the killer of many dreams and ambitions. It slams down a roadblock in the middle of everything and forces you to never move forward. By saying I can’t, you abandon every chance you might have had because you let doubt take over. Instead of giving yourself reasons why it can’t happen, give yourself reasons why it can. When you focus on solutions instead of listing why things won’t work out, you open up a world of opportunities.
Look, things won’t always pan out the way you imagined. That doesn’t mean you failed. And it certainly isn’t a reflection of your abilities or self-worth! It’s simply an event. An event that had something to teach you. Replacing the word failure with I’m learning puts you back in control of the situation and encourages you to figure out a way to get the outcome you desire.
When we say the word should, we usually mean well. However, it often elicits feelings of frustration, guilt, and regret. It can also point to something being an obligation, like saying I should go to the gym. The thing is, if you really wanted to do something, you could. So make it a choice. You can say I choose to go to the gym or I choose not to go the gym today. It not only gives you more control, it takes away the feeling that the task is a burden.
Hate is a strong word, and it builds up a toxic soup of negativity, anger, and resentment. It has physical impacts, too, like tensing up your muscles and making you short of breath. Instead of putting all that emotional, mental, and physical pressure on yourself, take a step back. Give yourself a minute, and focus on the positive. While you can prefer one thing over another, you don’t need to hate the other. For example, instead of hating math and rush hour, you can prefer social science and empty roads. Saying I prefer makes you more approachable and amicable without compromising your message. People will understand your likes and dislikes, and the conversation will flow in a more positive direction.
Someday is not a date on the calendar, and it’s a word that gets you out of really committing to anything. When you say I’ll start a business someday, it shows a lack of belief in your abilities to do something now. When you procrastinate about something you want to do, you’re robbing yourself of the experience. If you really want to do something, don’t keep putting it off until some distant day in the future. Do it now! Or at least pick a definitive date to start and then stick to it.
Forget the word entirely! Impossible means resigning before you’ve even given it a shot. It makes you believe that you don’t even have a chance. Instead, you can say that something is difficult or challenging, which indicates that it will be a journey of learning. You can do anything you set your mind to. No exceptions. A slight attitude shift is really all you need.
Words have the power to make or break people and situations. If you know how to use them, you can move mountains! If you use the wrong ones, you’ll find yourself stuck in a rut. If we are the writers of our own destiny, incorporate more positive words and phrases into your story and set yourself up for success!
credit: brainy dose