There are a couple of words that when I hear them from my clients, I may challenge them to get more specific and decide if that is really what they mean. 

As a former communications person, I know how important it is to be accurate and clear with our communication. It’s a perspective I bring to my coaching. 

Shifting your thoughts, kind of like the “find > replace” function on your computer, can have a powerful impact on your thoughts and actions. 

Here are four words or phrases to reconsider:

1. Let’s start with everyone’s favorite: should. 

You’ve probably know someone who “shoulds” a lot.  Maybe you’ve even laughed at the joke, “stop should-ing all over yourself.” 

I should like yoga. I should go visit her.  I should look for a new job.

At best, “should” shines a light on our resistance.  At worst, “should” feels like shame. 

Instead, shift your language to acknowledge your choice and give yourself more agency (word choice) by saying choose. Saying “I choose not to…” Or “It isn’t important to me…” is far more powerful.

2. One I hear quite a lot that brings us feelings of dread: networking.  

One client was stressing about networking to grow her business so we spent some time coaching on this. She came to the realization that in her perspective, people only network when they NEED something. 

I asked her to consider what it would feel like to be connecting to grow her business.  Immediately she lit up. Connecting feels mutually beneficial, feels genuine and is aligned with her values.  All of a sudden, with this reframed perspective, she was excited about the possibilities. 

3. This is a two-for-one: never / always.

When we find ourselves in the territory of absolutes, it can be helpful to recognize that we aren’t leaving room for truth, surprises and possibility. 

Either/or thinking tends to keep us stuck. By acknowledging that there is room for another possibility, you will stay in a growth mindset. 

4. This word has been transformative for me:  why?  

Why did I do that?  Why can’t you stop? Why _____? 

Why is judgmental and puts you or another person on defense.  Instead of why?,  ask how? How is a way to look for understanding without judgement or accusation. 

While it is not as easy to change your thinking as the “Find > Replace” function at your computer, paying attention to words that keep you stuck can open you up to deeper understanding and capacity for growth.

Do you have another good “find – replace” set of words you use? Hit reply and let me know! I personally read all responses and I’d love to hear from you! 

And, if you’d love to have one-on-one support on your mindset, communication and actions, I’d love to invite you consider coaching with me. Hit reply and let’s talk about how coaching with me might help your personal and professional growth!