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The Power of Words Is Real – Which Is Why We Should Cut These 8 Words and Phrases From Our Vocab ASAP

Ashton August
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Thoughts create things. I am a firm believer in that. What we think about, we attract. And what we say, we become. That’s why the power of words is so real – the words we speak are actively creating our reality.
 
There have even been studies, widely known at this point, about the power of a positive word vs. a negative word on water molecules and plants.
 
For example, a plant with the word “love” next to it grows and thrives, while a plant with the word “hate” next to it withers and eventually dies.
 
As a child, my dad would always stop and correct me when I said that I “hated” something, or when I said I “couldn’t” do something. “Hate’s a strong word,” he’d say. “Henry Ford said, ‘whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right’” he’d remind me.
 
Words are powerful. They create our reality and color the lens through which we view our world. So why, oh why, do we make it such a habit to say things like, “I’m so stupid” or, “I’ll never be able to ____”?
 
Why are words and statements that do not serve us such an ingrained part of our regular speech?
 

Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” – Lao Tzu

 
What Lao Tzu said is true! What we think, we become and what we say, we create. The power of words is incredibly potent and they directly impact our reality. So let’s take a look at some of the more commonly used words and sayings that we should probably try to use a bit less in our daily conversations and thoughts.
 
 

The Power of Words and the Impact They Can Have On Your Life

Here are eight words and statements you should cut out of your vocabulary, and why:
 

1. I don’t have time

Let’s start with the statement I am personally most guilty of using far too often. I, like so many of us, lead a very full life (note that I felt the impulse to write “busy life” but stopped and consciously made the shift to phrase this more positively – and more accurately – as “full”).
 
If you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse. Truly – it’s that simple. So when you tell someone (or yourself, like I so often do) that you don’t have time, what you’re really saying is that either A. it’s not a priority, or B. you’re living in a lack-based mindset.
 

2. I’m too busy

Similar to #1 but important enough to include separately, the “I’m too busy” statement is a feeling/belief that runs American society. In American culture, the rat race that we call the American Dream glorifies being busy.
 
“I’m too busy” is a great excuse when you don’t want to do something and don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. But aside from that, it’s a dangerously slippery slope that can quickly become a habit. Argue for your limitations and you’ll keep them!
 
Being too busy working on your next book to stay out all night partying is a worthy reason. Being too busy to not have any fun or any social life at all is a cop out – and not just for your friends – for yourself, your life balance, and your overall sense of satisfaction in life.
 
If you’re truly that busy, maybe you need to re-prioritize your schedule. And if you get really honest and can admit that maybe you’re not that busy after all, you’re on your way to feeling – and acting – like you have more time.
 

3. Can’t

“Can’t” is a word we hear all the time. But is it a word we should believe in the context of ourselves and our abilities? Absolutely not. Yet we say it all the time. For some of us, it’s our knee-jerk reaction to things that intimidate or scare us.
 
Give a speech in front of 100 strangers? I can’t do that! Eat healthier, be more active, take time for you, quit the job you hate and pursue your dreams? “I can’t do that! I’m too busy, and I don’t have time.”
 
Whoa there! Take a step back and listen to yourself – how you think and what you say. If you keep telling yourself and others that you can’t, well, then you can’t and that sucks . . . Which leads us to #4.
 
 

 

4. This Sucks

Sometimes things do suck, and that’s ok! But watch for this statement (my favorite catchphrase from ages 12-18) to become a habitual way of viewing situations in your life.
 
Do things really “suck” that bad? Again, sometimes yes! They certainly can.
 
But often our biggest challenges and hurdles are our greatest teachers and instigators of growth, change, and bringing us where we need to be. Take a step back and try to recognize either the good or at least the lesson in every situation. It’s there, I can promise you that.
 

5. I hope

One of my biggest pet peeves – “I hope.” This passive statement drains all of your control from any situation. It’s a statement to the universe that you’re not fully confident (or even capable) in your ability to do or create or accomplish whatever it is you’re referring to.
 
Compare the following statements: “I hope I can land that job!” vs. “I can land that job, and I will.” From an employer standpoint, which candidate would you hire? The one that hopes they can, compared to the one that fully believes in themselves and furthermore establishes their confidence and credibility?
 
Which would you rather be: the one that hopes you will live the life of your dreams, or the one that can and will?
 

6. I’m sorry

Ok, obviously there is a time and a place to apologize. But there’s a huge difference between a sincere and justified apology vs. an empty and almost habitual apology. Women are often guilty of this.
 
“I’m so sorry, but can you please let me get through?” Really? Did that need an apology? I’ve seen the apology used far too often, and I catch myself doing it all the time.
 
“I’m so sorry I didn’t reply to your text message right away!” “I’m sorry I didn’t have time to do my hair today.” To the waiter: “I’m sorry, but my dinner came out cold.”
 
Where does this come from? Manners, being polite, not wanting to offend? I’m sorry, but can we stop apologizing for everything? Let me try that again – can we PLEASE stop apologizing for everything? OWN IT!
 
Excuse me, but I need to get through. I was so busy enjoying my day, I didn’t see your text until now! I didn’t have time to style my hair today – I’m rocking the messy natural look. [To the waiter] This dish came out cold – can you please have the kitchen remake it?
 

7. Never // Always

‘Never’ and ‘always’ are similar to ‘hope.’ They’re all words that send messages to the universe and impact your reality. “I will never amount to anything.” Yikes! Be careful with that. “I am always so unlucky.” Hmmm . . . do you really want to reinforce that belief in your mind?
 
Flip the script, because ‘never’ and ‘always’ can be used for good too. “I learned my lesson and I will never compromise my true worth again.” “I am always on time!”
 
It’s not so much about permanently eliminating certain words from your vocabulary – it’s about reshaping and also consciously choosing to use them in the right context for personal empowerment.
 

8. Hate

Hate has caused so much destruction in our world. Hatred towards other cultures, other religions, different sexual orientations, opposing political views . . . the list goes on. Hate is toxic, and it starts with the word itself.
 
“I hate you. I hate myself. I hate my _______.” It might sound dramatic, but I can literally feel a negative shift inside me just from writing those lines. Whether it’s something small like “I hate my wrinkles” to something major like saying you hate an entire race of people, it’s another slippery slope with big ripple effects.
 

Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds. You can choose to grow flowers, or you can choose to grow weeds.

 
One of my favorite sayings fits so well here: Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds. You can choose to grow flowers, or you can choose to grow weeds. Don’t grow weeds with your speech, and don’t kill those plants with words of hatred.
 
 

The Power of Words

Listen – we’re only human and we’re allowed to feel and vent and process our feelings and emotions. We’re entitled to cry it out if that’s how we’re feeling. It’s ok to be real and feel whatever it is we’re feeling. Part of this is expressing ourselves.
 
If you want to scream f*ck and throw a mini tantrum, let it all out. I’m certainly not advocating that we mute or censor ourselves here.
 

It’s not so much about permanently eliminating certain words from your vocabulary – it’s about reshaping and also consciously choosing to use them in the right context for personal empowerment.

 
But it’s also important that after we allow ourselves to process and feel, we also pick ourselves back up, hold our heads high, and keep moving forward.
 
A big piece of moving forward is in how we engage with ourselves and the world around us. Trust me when I say that I’m writing this as much to myself as I am to anyone else reading this. I’m the queen of getting into a mood and venting.
 
But there’s a difference between venting to let it out, let it go and move on vs. making it a negative habit that becomes your norm. Sometimes you get into a rut of feeling, speaking, or acting a certain way and carries on a little longer than it should.
 
Words are very powerful. They shape our perspective and play a large role in creating our reality. Choose your words with intention, awareness, and precision. Say what you mean and mean what you say – you owe it to yourself.
 

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Ashton August

Ashton is a writer, yoga instructor and Editorial Director here at YogiApproved.com. If she's not bustin' out articles or producing YogiApproved videos, you can find her teaching Buti Yoga, hugging her puppies, or traveling the world with her beau. Follow her on social @ashtonaugustyoga

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