Shit, damn, crap, F$*K. Dirty no good swear words. We’ve created change jars to punish ourselves for cursing or we’ve taught ourselves that this type of language is for the dirty sailors or potty mouths. But are those words really the problem? What about the words we speak that reduce our confidence, disempower us, guilt us or shame us? THE DIRTY ENERGY DRAINING WORDS AND PHRASES. Why are we not more critical of ourselves when we use those words? After all these are the words that are more than likely getting in our way and preventing us from doing what we’re doing. Here are 4 words and phrases that you must drop from your vocabulary NOW so you can stop struggling and start moving.
1. Should. Any time we tell ourselves we “should” do something we are immediately shaming ourselves into action. Consider the phrase “I should exercise”. Wow, talk about no energy and basically a guilt induced feeling that’s some how supposed to manifest into motivation to become a fitness buff. Not really. Should is a bad word that induces guilt or shame and implies that we don’t have choice in what we do. You have choice in what you do, so “Don’t should yourself”. Word Reframe: Want ie “I want to exercise.” Do you notice the energy shift?
2. Need. Unless you’re talking about food, clothing or shelter I’m having a hard time understanding anything else that is a need. It’s a want or a do not want. If you have a hard time converting “need” into an empowering statement consider my example. “I need to get all of this work done before x”. Word Reframe: Want. ie “I want to get all of this work done so I can leave work at a reasonable hour or move on to a more challenging task”.
3. Have. Similar to need, ask yourself if you’re addressing a fundamental resource need in your life. If you’re not, find the reframe that best serves you and increases your energy versus making you feel like you’re failing or behind the eight ball in life and barely making it. For example, “I have to go to my friends birthday party.” Do you really have to go? Word Reframe: Want. It's either you want to go to the party or you don't. By telling yourself you have to you're depriving yourself of choice and we always have choices.
4. I don’t know. This phrase can be our crutch. When we’re nervous or feeling unsure we vomit this phrase subconsciously and it can cause our confidence to drop. Trust yourself, if you don’t know it give yourself time to identify the answer instead of undermining your intellect and abilities. Word Reframe: I’m going to look into it further. “I do not have the answer right now but I’m going to look into it further and get back to you”.
In summary, if you're setting goals and to do lists be conscious of the language you use. If you tell yourself you have to, need to or should, you won't generate the strong and empowering motivation to accomplish your goals. Make it a want to!
Jenn DeWall, Denver based Career & Life coach for young professional women