Words are powerful because they shape our thoughts, determine our actions, and chart the course of our lives. This is true whether the words are positive, giving hope and encouragement, or negative utterances that steal our joy and confidence.
Wherever we are in our lives, personal relationships, or careers, the words we have used consistently are partly responsible.
This fact should prompt us to become more aware of our words, and when needed, to change them so that we can begin to get the results we really desire.
Recently, during a particularly challenging period, I discovered that I was using some of the following words far too often to get the favorable results I sought.
The use of this word is primarily responsible for countless hopes and dreams lying dormant on the "drawing boards" of our lives. Completely eliminate your use of this word and you will see a significant positive change in your life.
When used as a conjunction, "but" negates whatever statement that precedes it." I want to study law, but it will take a lot of hard work." Your mind does not focus on your desire to become a lawyer or judge; it only sees the hard work you will need to perform. Replace "but" with "and."
Any statement that uses the word "should" generally elicits guilt. "I should go to the gym," makes you feel guilty for not going. Replace this word with "choose," as in, "I choose to go to the gym, or I choose not to go to the gym today."
This word indicates indecision, doubt, or uncertainty as to a course of action. For example, "Maybe I'd better wait to..."
For those of us interested in personal development, "maybe" should be used very sparingly. Use "I will" or "I will not" instead of maybe. The mere sound of the more positive words emits feelings of confidence and resolve which are so important to our personal well-being.
5. Soon or Later
Both are indefinite references to time. They are also non-committal. They should be replaced with a definite time and date. When someone tells you he or she is going to do something "soon" or "later," there is no way to determine when whatever it is will get done. Imagine what could happen to deadlines and your integrity when these words are used frequently.
Someday, like soon or later, is much too indefinite, and when it is used, it shows the same lack of commitment. Replace "someday" with a specific date and time.
This word is absolute, and there are only limited situations when "never" is absolutely true. The use of this word, in my opinion, suggests a closed mind, which seriously hinders our self-growth efforts. The word "never" should be replaced with a non-absolute term.
The word "won't" implies an unwillingness, reluctance, or closed mindedness, and like the absolute term "never," it is quite harmful because it closes the door on many of the actions we need to take to reach our goals.
This is a small word that carries large doubts and uncertainties, and when used often, it gnaws away at our confidence and intended actions, two qualities necessary for any type of success.
10. Try or (I'll Try)
I don't know about you, but each time someone has said these words to me, or the few times that I have used them in conversations with others, whatever the subject of "I'll try" was, rarely, if ever, got done. Replace "I'll try" with "I will."
These words must be given serious thought before we use them in our "self talk" or in the conversations we have with others.
We must remember this: Our words affect our thoughts, our actions, our very lives, and because of their power, we must choose them with the utmost care.
Barbara J. Henry is a published author, (Journaling: Twenty Plus Reasons Why You Should Start Now), Personal Development Expert, poet, and avid reader of books on self-growth, spirituality, and personal development, which are also the subjects of her blogs.
Barbara describes herself as "The Journaling Lady" because she has journaled daily
since June of 1995.
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