A word doesn’t need to contain a lot of letters in order to have a real impact. As a Coach I am fascinated by the language that we use, and how one extra word in a sentence can completely change its power over us.
It takes practice to stay present and have an awareness of the words we are speaking, BUT, if you can start to do it, the difference you will feel and see will be pretty amazing.
My top 5 bugbear words:
ONLY – I’m only a receptionist, or I only work part time. Drop that only right now. You are a receptionist, you work hard, you are loyal & committed and you take pride in what you do. The word “only” does not need to make an appearance at all. Your value as a human being has nothing to do with your status at work, or how many hours a week you are there for.
JUST – It’s just a bit of fun. If you are building your business, training for an event, or trying to learn something new, then I encourage you to own it. Call it what it really is. Stand tall, open up your chest, relax your shoulders and look someone in the eye while you tell them that it’s something really important to you.
LITTLE – Again, this one relates massively to those of you that have your own business, you may find that people ask you “how’s your little business doing?”, your response should always be “my business is going really well thank you”, don’t mirror their language, choose your own. It doesn’t matter if your business is really in the early stages, be proud of the fact that you are actually a “doer” not a “sayer”, and are making it happen at your own pace. Also, if you find yourself in this situation and feel awkward. Simply answer their question as stated above and then ask them something about themselves. Deflect and give yourself some breathing space.
YES – I think that saying “yes” in your life can be a truly wonderful thing, and bring huge amounts of joy and happiness, BUT, as women we are very prone to saying “yes” when we really mean “no”, and it’s not healthy. Think about how many times that’s happened. You feel like you’ve been railroaded into something and felt like you had no choice about it. Doesn’t feel good does it? We seem to have this strange belief that in order to be the best versions of ourselves, we should be spinning as many plates as possible. That only leads to you depleting yourself. Next time someone asks you to do something (pick something small) then simply take a deep breath and say “no”. You actually don’t need to say anything else. No, is after all, a full sentence. But you can always have a few words ready to add on if you feel it’s needed. Start freeing up time for yourself by shedding some of the stuff you loathe doing but always get roped into. Ask yourself what’s more important, saying yes to every little thing, or having a calmer sense of self and a bit more headspace. Its bloody exhausting being all things to all people.
SORRY – I’ve saved the best for last. On average we utter this word 233,000 times in our lives. It’s something that seems to be inextricably linked to living in the UK. The problem is this, the more we apologise for simply being ourselves, the more of our power we give away. How many of you have said this “sorry I look so tired today”, or “sorry I don’t have makeup on”? Maybe you’re saying ‘sorry’ because you are always the one that apologises. What are we saying about ourselves here? That in order to be accepted, to be truly valid, we must show up with bells and whistles at all times, to be perfect. It’s not real life, and its damaging us. Don’t apologise for existing. I invite you to see if you can track how many times today you say ‘sorry’ and what the situation is.
All of these words have a place in our world, but they don’t have a place in how you describe yourself or your life. Our overuse of them is keeping us small, keeping us hidden, keeping us invisible. They rob us of our power. As children the narrative we would have been fed is that good girls sit and play nicely, they don’t show off, the don’t make a fuss.
Here is the truth, the world needs more women turning their backs on those stories, and instead standing up, speaking their own truth and unapologetically going after what they want. Women like you. Life is messy, so be messy. Blur the lines, and move forward one step at a time with imperfect action. It doesn’t surprise me that “This is Me” from the Greatest Showman has been viewed on Youtube 80 million times. It speaks to us, it speaks to a part of ourselves that we deny out of fear of judgement. In reality, every single time someone stands up and says “this is me” the world becomes a more diverse, loving and interesting place. You being truly you will inspire so many people, I promise. It’s time to claim some of that power back, and that starts with our words.
Revel in your uniqueness. Be you, be seen, and never be sorry for it.
Rachel is an Intuitive Life Coach working with women who didn't receive the love, support, or encouragement that they needed as children. In her work she helps her clients to rediscover the parts of themselves they have been hiding, to heal wounds with their own inner child, and bring them back to their true selves, so that they can show up in the world as the amazing human beings that they really are. You can contact her here