Most every day we engage in conversation. Have you really paid attention to what you’re saying? It’s interesting to see that a great deal of the words we use are habitual and disempowering! When you think about it, where did we even learn to speak? Most of us learned from parents, friends, teachers, and television in a parrot-like manner. The times I recall witnessing people teaching children to speak, it never went further than having the child utter back what the adult was saying. I’d imagine only a few people have had the privilege of really being taught the power and meaning behind vocal communication.
Today, many of us still go around mindlessly repeating back words simply because we’ve heard them before. Many of the words we use stifle our personal growth and the level of peace we experience, yet are so commonly accepted. I do want to say that no one is to blame here. Our parents, teachers, and friends all did the best with what they had. They were taught to use the same words they taught you.
The good news is we have the power to constantly grow and learn. Though a lot of the words we were taught do not bring us our highest possibility for peace, we can start relearning a new language today. One of the most powerful ways to change our experience is to change the way we think and the words we speak. I want to share with you a few words that are likely edging the peace out of your life, and help you welcome what you’ve been searching for: inner tranquility.
Words to Eliminate Today
Should: In effect, the word “should” really means “I am wrong.” The biggest peace taker of all is this word. When we use the word “should,” we are in essence implying that if we do not, we are going to fail. Also, we are saying we are wrong now and that this new “should” is the right way to fix us. We cannot love ourselves and assume we need fixing at the same time. Telling someone else they should do something is just as peace-stealing. You are also implying that they have the wrong idea or way of living. Though we think we are being constructively critical by creating a list of “shoulds,” we are only stealing our peace and creating self-guilt by assuming we are not good enough as we are.
Instead, a better word to use is “could.” Could implies possibilities and empowerment, and it comes from love. Using “could” is, in effect, saying, “I am awesome where I am, and I’m exercising the idea of learning something new!” You will not achieve anything good with a bad attitude. Should is a bad attitude and a peace stealer! Give yourself the option—life isn’t a death sentence—and the most successful people are people who experience deep peace with themselves and life.
Can’t: This word steals our peace by keeping us a prisoner of our past. Why couldn’t we do something? The only reason anything seems impossible is we have a past experience that “proved” we weren’t good enough. If you think you “can’t” do something, chances are you have only one or two ideas of how something can be done. You are limiting yourself by seeing only so many options.
In reality, there are endless options. For example, there are over 200 ways to wash dishes, depending on the person, detergents, dishes, and many other factors. This is a great microcosm of life. There are endless factors that play a role in each situation. No matter how similar a situation seems, it will never be the same again. It’s our rigid beliefs from the past that keep us in fear of trying or doing something new. “Can’t” is more like saying, “I’m afraid to because last time it didn’t work.”
We give our power away to the past when we believe we can’t do something. Instead, when you find your subconscious mind using this word, replace it with the word “won’t.” “I won’t become a dancer” gives your power and your peace back. Because now you have a choice—you’ve taken the responsibility back and realized, “If I wanted to I could.” Or you may find out you don’t really want to do something at all, that it was someone else’s expectation, and now you can let it go.
But: This is a hard one to avoid; it seems to complete our sentences so well when we are torn. “I want to but…”Really, whatever follows “but” you can rest assured is only an excuse. “I love you but…this just isn’t working.” “But” places conditions on people and situations too. Whenever we place a condition, we are avoiding intimacy and a chance for self-discovery.
Unfortunately, most people don’t like to think too much. Not thinking can be a great thing, until it’s used as an avoidance technique to suppress our desires, thoughts, and emotions and leads to toxicity and confusion. Using the word “but” is a sneaky way of questioning your own words as if they aren’t enough. Instead of “but,” I suggest trying to replace the word with “and.”
“I would love to and…”
If you cannot finish your sentence with something that feels right in your gut, then don’t finish it. Reword your sentence instead; tell the truth about how you really feel and don’t question your own desire or thought. If you love the person, love them—there is no but! If you find yourself wanting to say “but,” then whatever follows the “but” is something that needs to be brought to your attention and discussed. The point is to get to the point. Find how your thoughts have become split and confused and bring them whole again with truth, love, and self-awareness.
Always and Never: These are classical weapons of disruption. These are two very limiting words. Does anything in nature always happen? Absolutely not. It doesn’t always rain. The sun also doesn’t always shine. Life is contrary; it takes contrast to exist, and nature provides this example. If it happens in nature, what makes you think your own life will be any different?
The thing about the word “always” is it’s self-created emotional illusion. What I mean is when something seems to “always” be happening, the only thing that is happening is your perception of what’s happening. You have a limited view of reality. If someone is always putting you down, well . . . they aren’t. You just happened to focus very strongly on one quality of this person and have missed out on thousands of other good qualities they possess.
The things that truly bother you do not happen without fail, you help create them with your thoughts. You go around looking for them to occur again and again. The more you believe in always, the more you will replay the tapes of the past in your mind.
The word “never” is just as limiting. Even if you are fearful enough to believe something will never happen, voicing it only contributes to it coming true. If you find yourself using the words “always” and “never,” you might want to find some humility. What’s the other part of the truth? This always happens? Have you tried anything different? What about things that never happen? How many times have you actually tried?
I encourage you to experiment removing these words from your vocabulary. Go on a language diet! Strip the words that create heaviness and restriction in your life. You can start with these!
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