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Wendy Shafranski


December 30, 2023

Get These Words Out of Your Vocabulary!

I wrote this post last year for another audience, but I think it's appropriate now, when everyone is setting goals.

Our words are powerful and we often say things that can negatively affect our attitude, goal outcomes, and more without even realizing it.

Below are words to try and eliminate from your vocabulary. It will take awareness, but replacing them can mean more positivity…and it may just change your life!

“I Can’t” – When you say “I can’t,” you set yourself up for failure. Essentially, it means you are giving up. If you find yourself saying this, follow it up with the word "yet." (For example, I can't do pull-ups yet.)

“Just” – This qualifier minimizes ourselves and our accomplishments. It shows a lack of confidence. For instance, “I’m JUST a newbie” can devalue everything you do to improve. Or "it's JUST a half marathon," minimizes all the hard work you put into your race.

“Someday” - someday doesn’t exist. Using this word connotes a lack of belief.

“I’ll try” – this phrase is non-committal and indecisive. In the words of Yoda, “do or do not, there is no try.” Use “I will” instead.

“I have to” – all we have is choices. And using this phrase can make tasks we do seem like a chore that we have no control over. “I have to go to the gym” sounds like something you aren’t particularly excited about. Instead, phrasing it as “I get to train today” is more empowering.

“Hate” – is one of the most debilitating words in existence because of its negative energy. Nothing good ever comes from hate. This is a word my mother never allowed me to say (and I love her for that!).

“Impossible” – this word holds you back from taking action. If we say something is “impossible,” we stop pursuing it. It’s synonymous with “I can’t,” and it ties you down.

"Why Me?" - these words can lead to a victim mentality. The phrase focuses on the negative and can prevent you from coming up with solutions for things within your control.

"Should" - this word can bring on feelings of frustration, guilt or regret about your life. Try using "choose" or "could" instead.

We don’t get our words right 100% of the time, but if you read the list above and realize that you have a habit of saying one or more of them, become aware of these words. Then, focus on replacing them with something positive.

Flip that script!

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