4 Words To Edit In The Story Of Your Life

Posted by on Jul 27, 2012 in Personal Development | 10 comments

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

1. Should

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.

2. Always

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.

Source: nickyneon.tumblr.com via Kim on Pinterest

3. Can’t

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!

4. Wish

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?


  1. Nicetameetchya, Chrysta! Cordelia pointed me here ~

    I’ve been pretty successful at cutting out Should and Always/Never and Can’t, but I’d never noticed “Wish” – that’s a real thinker! (Fortunately I have a 10-hour drive ahead – )

    “I’d love (or prefer or want) to see…” – do those feel like an improvement? Especially when I’m not in a position to make any of the changes needed to accomplish ‘the thing’? (I.e. not about personal changes.)

    • Thanks for your truly awesome comment, Karen!

      I wish is definitely a tricky one, because it’s generally pretty neutral, but I do find when I use “wish” it’s when I’m not fully operating in the present moment and making the most of today!

      I consider “love/prefer/want” is about expressing your opinion and I don’t consider these to be self-defeating. In fact, voicing my opinion is self-honoring!

      Thank you so much for your comment! I do apologize for the delayed reply- I appear to be having problems with my comment notifications.

      Have a grateful day!


  2. Oh yes, absolutely! But with exceptions as in “I am always happy no matter what. And yes, words are so powerful, because they generate feelings and then a certain vibration.

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Christa!

      I agree, words are powerful! I find whatever words I use to define myself and my life become the truth of my life. If I tell myself I’m not good enough, I start to believe it’s true. If I tell others I’m not very talented, I believe that, too.

      Thank you so much for your comment! I apologize for my delayed reply- I appear to be having trouble with my comment notifications.

      Have a grateful day!


  3. Chrysta,

    Inspirational post! Thanks for reminding us about the power of words. That self-deprecating voice has to go.


    • Thanks for the awesome comment, Joanne! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post.

      Have a grateful day!


  4. Amazing post Chrysta! I totally agree although I often forget how important this is. It is like this for me: If I don’t trust in my abilities who is going to?
    That is why I keep moving forward although I sometimes use the forbideen words: I should have. Still, I try to ignore those voices that tell me I’m not good enough because deep inside I know that I’m good enough and more.


    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Mariella!

      I still use these words sometimes, too. What’s important is not that I never use them, but that I’m aware when I’m minimizing my potential.

      Have a grateful day!


  5. Chrysta,

    Great words to avoid. Another may be “when” – as in, “I will when….” Don’t wait. Think it through and then move forward.

    Great distinctions to make in living our life story!


    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Jon!

      “When” is a good word to add to the list. When is all about the future instead and when I live in the future I’m often overlooking good stuff in the here and now. It’s important to have goals but if I can’t enjoy today then chances are I won’t enjoy tomorrow- even if I achieve my goals.

      Have a grateful day!


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