Believe it or not, words have power. The words you use, both when you speak and when you think, not only lift you up but can also bring you down and keep you from achieving.

The words we use in our thoughts can be self-limiting and make us feel negative about yourself. They become your constant companion, bouncing through your head, keeping you up at all hours of the night. Self-limiting thoughts get in your way throughout the day and can hold you back.

Those thoughts, beliefs, emotions and subsequent actions generated by these thoughts become behaviors. But they can be changed!

Just imagine the freedom and ease you would feel, the sleep and relaxation you would achieve. You would be able to experience a calmness in a busy and hectic world. How would you feel if there actually was a system to effortlessly switch off those thoughts? Just picture how joyous life would be without worrying, losing sleep, experiencing stress and being in overwhelm.

Doesn’t that sound great?

The good news is that dreaming about turning those self-limiting internal conversations off CAN happen. There are four words that you can do away with today that will lead to lower your mental stress, give yourself a respite from chaotic thoughts and begin to create more joy, calm and self-confidence on a daily basis.

  1. SHOULD – When you eliminate this word from your vocabulary and your thoughts, it brings enormous benefit to your life and those around you. The usage of the word “SHOULD” is epidemic and puts you and those around you at the receiving end of a judgement. For example:
    1. “I SHOULD be getting more done.”
    2. “I SHOULD have taken care of that yesterday.”
    3. “I SHOULD quit my job?”
    4. “I SHOULD finish the laundry.”
    5. “I SHOULD be staying at work late.”
    6. “I SHOULD be more successful.”
    7. “I SHOULD lose weight.”

I SHOULD, I SHOULD, I SHOULD and so forth. I am certain you can add to this list. SHOULDING could really be related to that 4 letter word about excrement. We do it regularly, with precautions to do it sanitarily and make certain it is completely removed from our proximity. So why can’t we do that with the word “SHOULD”?

We have all heard that it isn’t nice to “judge” or say less than ideal things about others –so why judge YOURSELF? There are ways to eliminate this subtle yet judgmental word and the first is to become aware of it in the moment you use it.  Once you are aware, redirect your thoughts away from that word and eliminate its use in the future. With practice, the word becomes obsolete in your vocabulary and the and underlying meaning and negative impacts on yourself and others will wane.

Be warned though.  Many people SHOULD themselves about SHOULDING themselves.  “I should stop using the word Should.”

2. TRY – The second word to eliminate is TRY. With the current and resurgent popularity of STAR WARS – I can’t help but quote Yoda: “There is no TRY, There is only DO!“

The use of the word “TRY” it is representative of a thought. It represents giving away your power. It signifies self-doubt, lack of commitment and gives your power over to another or to a situation.

It allows you the space to not fully commit to a result. Isn’t it safe to say, “But, I tried?” It confers effort and intention, yet doesn’t hold you to effective action or a result. It is a “free” pass to not hold yourself accountable or someone else. You can tell yourself you put in the effort, but for some reason – that you do not own – you didn’t achieve the result.

As with SHOULD, there is an effective, and easy way to move to DO and take back your power, effectiveness and results and increase your self-confidence. It involves taking action, without giving yourself the option to not.

Conceptually, that is a very easy thing to do. Where it breaks down is when we actually take the action, follow thru on the behavior and DO it. Each step of action counts and as you do it, you will feel the sense of accomplishment and a rise in self-esteem. You will reclaim your personal power, integrity and confidence.

3. HAVE TO – I am certain you have heard this expression more than once – particularly from a child when asked to complete a chore, their homework or do something they would prefer not to. “Mom, do I HAVE TO?!” Said in that exasperated pleading tone, they hope you will give in and let them off the hook.

HAVE TO represents the thought and feeling of taking an action one does not want to take willingingly. You give control of your actions to someone or something else. It is about powerlessness, lack of control and being in a position of being “PUSHED” to do something.

As adults, there are very few actions we HAVE TO take. We have a choice and taking an action because we “HAVE TO” represents turning over our personal power to someone or something else. When we take those actions we felt we “HAD TO” we often do just enough to complete it or get it off the “HAVE TO” list. The action may not result in something positive and now we are even less likely to do that action again. It creates a loop of powerlessness, poor results, disappointment in the results and a lack of initiative to do that action again.  Ultimately, because of HAVE-TO, the cycle will repeat.

4. NEED – Again, here is a commonly used word that has the ability to move you from sense of abundance to a sense of lacking. Using the phrase NEED TO immediately sends the message to both you and to the world that there is a lack of something.

The concept of need is all about filling a gap, a hole, or otherwise obtaining something that is lacking.

So, like we did with the words SHOULD, TRY and HAVE-TO, let’s establish a way to catch ourselves or those around us in the moment we use it and redirect our thoughts to reconsider or simply eliminate the emotions, reactions and behaviors that follow from those words.

While there are times the word NEED is accurate and the usage is effective, let’s be conscious that the word is not one we turn to out of habit, lack of forethought or laziness. When we allow the word “NEED” to become our verb of choice without reflection, we create and foster an ongoing sense of lacking in ourselves, our lives and the lives of those around us.

It is widely known and has been written about extensively that focusing on the concept of abundance creates abundance. Why not help ourselves with yet another simple choice.  When NEED pops into your mind, consider whether that thing truly is a NEED, or is it a WANT?  Using WANT instead represents a choice, giving you the power to decide.

Phrases associated with WANT include I WILL, which conveys action and ownership or I CHOSE to which again gives you decision power.

So there you have it.  Doing away with these four words or phrases will make a huge difference and give you personal power over your life! These are relatively easy changes that will lighten your mood, lessen your sense of being overwhelmed and reduce your stress.  Eliminating them will also offer you and those around you more joy each and every day.

If you’d like to know more about how your thoughts and emotions can take YOU from barely surviving to THRIVING, or tips on how to eliminate these words, email me at [email protected].