5 Words That Steal Your Power

In the last year I have eliminated some words from my vocabulary, not because they are bad words but because they don’t help me accomplish the things that are important to me. I discovered that these words had power to either keep me tied up in indecision or were loaded with implication from someone else’s wants and needs. Words are incredibly powerful and can either fuel us to move toward our goals or keep us stalled and stuck. Some words even eliminate the possibility of accomplishing the things that are important to us. It’s as easy as shifting your thinking to discontinue their use and today I wanted to share with you how I do it.



Of all the words I no longer use this is the biggest one. The word ‘can’t’ implies powerlessness, impossibility, but even more importantly it implies INABILITY. When we use the word can’t we stop the flow of creativity in problem solving and actually murder the possibility of achieving whatever it is we say cannot be done. Instead of using this word I instead ask “how can I” so that my mind and the minds of those around me can start creating ideas of possibility. Can’t kills dreams dead in their tracks. If you want to make sure you NEVER achieve or accomplish something put the word ‘can’t’ before it - i seals the deal of impossibility the minute you use it. Instead ask how can I? Asking how creates inspiration and reveals possibilities you may never have even thought of.



Should is an implication word. It implies that something outside of us has made a judgement call about what we need to do. When we say we ‘should’ do something it’s either because we know better than what we are currently choosing or something else is imposing it’s opinion of what we need to do on us.  Should is one of those words that leaves things unfinished and adds pressure and anxiety to our lives.  Instead make a choice about what you will do. Choose will or won’t instead of should. I will go to the gym or I won’t. Then a decision is made. It’s made by you and the consequences you can own or accept but either way it’s done, it’s not hanging over you pressuring you, or adding guilt or shame. The decision is made, you take back your power and you decide.


Have to

Have to is a very dangerous and slippery slope of powerlessness. Have to is one of the phrases I eliminated because it was constantly pushing me, driving me and overextending me. Have to became my silent, self punishment. It made me feel constantly overwhelmed, like a perpetual failure and implied I was never enough.  When I finally examined what I thought I had to be doing I realized that most of it was untrue - a blatant and bold-faced lie designed to appeal to the perfectionistic, insecure part of myself. In truth I have the power to decide what I want or need and giving that power to forces outside myself was hurting me and it was 100% counterproductive. By allowing myself the choice of what needed to be done I shifted the weight of have to into an inspired fuel of want to, choose to, decide to and subsequently broke the chains of overwhelm and anxiety.



Wish is another word loaded with implication. It implies that you are captive to someone else’s will or authority. Wish is also a copout and allows us to remain in our comfort zone instead of committing to something that could stretch us and help us to grow and it allows us to hide from our true desires. Wishing is dipping just our toe into the pond of what we really feel inspired to go for instead of trusting our guidance and moving toward our destiny. I used to say that someday I wished I could write a book. If I’m truly honest with myself I know that there is a book inside of me. I’m not sure yet what it is but I know that the hope is there because the book is there. By saying I wish, I allow myself to maybe not write it - and that’s a crying shame isn’t it? If we are gifted with something we should be brave enough, trusting enough and loving of others enough to share it! By hiding behind wish we allow ourselves the possibility of burying that gift instead of giving it to the world who needs it. Don’t say wish, decide instead that you want to, even if you are unsure yet how or when but open yourself up to the possibility that it will come to you when the time is right.



Maybe is a way of putting decisions on hold. It’s a placeholder often designed to avoid conflict with others that you really want to say no to. What we don’t realize though is that by putting off an uncomfortable decision or conversation we allow it to linger and hang over our own heads. We spare other people's feelings and instead add anxiety to our own. Decisions left undecided have a way of creeping up when we try to rest or sleep and we will often churn over those things multiple times instead of just saying no when we need to. I would encourage you to instead say no when you need to. Make the decision that is right for you and be loving enough to yourself to honor it. Say no and be done with it instead of allowing your indecision to plague you and take up tons of space in your life that you should be devoting to other things.


So these are my 5 words.  I hope this gave you food for thought. I'm curious if you have discovered other words that steal your power and eliminated them from your vocabulary? I'd love to hear about them!