Every day I write the story of my life. The story I tell myself about my life is powerful, and the language I use supports or undermines the life I live. To be the person I want to be, and live the life I want to live, I must be purposeful in my thoughts, words, and actions.
Many years ago I diskliked myself and my life and I supported this experience in the story I told. I told myself I was miserable and unhappy. I put myself down and minimized my skills and talents. I brushed off compliments. The words I chose to describe myself and my situation colored the way others saw me, and worse, the way I saw myself.
I decided I’d had enough! I started replacing self-deprecating language with self-affirming language. Instead of saying “I’m not good at this” I said “I’m good at that”. Instead of saying “oh, it’s no big deal” I replied, “thank you! I worked really hard on it.” Life got a little better. And better and better each day.
Despite my progress towards a happier and healthier self, I continued to use words that undermined my confidence and abilities. I didn’t realize I was limiting myself with my vocabulary. Eventually I recognized the power of my words and began to replace limiting language with empowering language.
The worst offenders were four little words I used every day. Four little words with big impact. Four words I hear used in conversation every day.
4 Words To Remove From Your Life Story
Shouldla, woulda, coulda- should hasn’t done me any favors. Should is a word that sits side-by-side with shame, guilt, and expectations.
What if it’s okay to make mistakes? What if I made that choice at the time because I didn’t have all the information, or I thought it would work out differently? What if I’m doing the best that I can today?
Remove the moral obligation of acting correctly in every situation. Replace should with will. Say what you will do, not what you should do.
I have learned to avoid extremes and absolutes, including always and never. Always doesn’t really exist. There’s nothing that always is, was, or will be for all time.
Always is a word that’s often loaded with judgement. Free yourself from the judgement of always.
Replace always with sometimes. Sometimes is not only more realistic, it suggests opportunity. This small word exchange opens a world of possibilities in how you relate to the people and the world.
Every time I tell myself I can’t it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. There’s very few things I can’t do. There are things I’m unable to do, things I’m unwilling to do, and things I choose not to do- that’s a lot different than can’t.
Replace can’t with can! You may say no to one thing, and yes to another. You may lack one ability, but surely you have many other abilities. Don’t dwell on what you can’t do- focus on what you can do!
It’s important to have dreams, and more important to make your dreams count. Stop waiting for life to be what you want it to be. You create the life you want- it’s not something that happens to you, it’s something you do.
Replace wish with choose. Don’t tell me what you wish would happen, tell me what you choose to create. What kind of awesome life are you going to live starting today?
Join me in making the most of life by editing words that don’t support the story you want to live.
I love your comments! Do you use these words in your everyday life? What other words limit your potential for awesomeness?