Lately, I have been thinking more and more about the words I use, and the words I don’t use anymore. The old saying of “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is a lie. Let’s face it — words matter. The words that you use say a lot about what you and your company stands for. That’s why not only individuals are being condemned for what they say on social media, but businesses are also subject to the same standards for their choice of words, as well. There are some words that people just shouldn’t use because they make others feel bad, and then there are others that you shouldn’t use because they just don’t make any sense. Whether you are an individual or a business, the same rules apply to you.
So, here are the six words that I no longer use in my vocabulary, and the reasons why I have stopped using them:
This is my least favorite word in the English language. Stop trying to do what you have always wanted to do, and just be what you want to be. I have previously used the word “aspiring” when I wanted to become a writer, but now I am a writer. I used to be an aspiring entrepreneur, but now I am an entrepreneur. What’s the difference? I stopped using the word “aspiring” and decided to take action. Individuals and businesses, stop saying you want to do something, and instead begin working towards your goals of being what you want to be. Stop aspiring, and start doing.Stop aspiring, and start doing. Click To Tweet
I talked about this word last week, but I still don’t like it. “I’m a failure.” “We are doomed for failure.” “You are a failure.” Pick any sentence that you want to — it doesn’t sound good in any context. “I made some mistakes.” “We made some mistakes.” “You made some mistakes.” Mistakes can be fixed and learned from, and failure…well, failure is doomed for failure. Do us all a favor and please find another word to use instead of this dreadful one. You are never a failure and your business is never a failure either, so stop speaking and acting like one.
I’m referring to using this word in the context of hating things that don’t deserve one of the harshest words in the English language.When using this word for no good reason, it sounds like nails on a chalkboard. I know I can’t be the only person that feels this way. If you or your company uses this word for marketing materials, or even just lingo around the office, please find another word. Fill in the blank: “I hate _____.” However you finished that sentence to describe something that doesn’t deserve the word, it sounds bad. I had to stop using it when I heard other people use it, and would play the sentence on repeat inside my head for days on end. Maybe it’s something I heard from another kid when I was growing up and it has stuck with me for this many years, but whatever it is, the word doesn’t sit well with me. “I despise”, “I don’t like”, “I really don’t like”, “I loathe”, “I detest” — take your pick. Just about any word is better than hate.
I used to use this word a lot, but I found that it defeats any attempt that I am getting ready to make, before I even begin. Remember, words are powerful. “You know, people have told me that it’s impossible, but I am maybe going to give it a try.” sounds a lot worse than, “I know that I can do this, because I have been preparing for this moment for years. It’s definitely possible.” If you are working within your strength set, and have been working towards your goals like we talk about repeatedly, then nothing you do is impossible. In fact, it’s most likely probable.Remember, words are powerful. Click To Tweet
Lately, I have seen this word on more inspirational posts than I care to look at. To tell you the truth, the more I see this word, the more it aggravates me. Why? Because the word isn’t true and it shouldn’t exist. There, I said it. Do people really believe that they can be fearless? I have reasons to believe that no one can be, but somewhere deep down, people want to believe that they can be. For people to post this word across their social media accounts, it tells me that there’s more to it than the word just having a nice ring to it. Feel free to contact me if you feel I’m wrong, and I’d be happy to have some friendly dialogue through email about it with you, but I don’t get why people believe that it’s possible to achieve fearlessness. Stop acting like you don’t fear before you make big decisions for yourself or for your business. You’re not fooling this guy.
I Don’t Care
I know that this is a phrase rather than a single word, but if someone else cares about something, then you should at the very least somewhat care about the outcome, too. If someone comes to you, and cares enough to speak up about an issue, then you need to not only be available to listen, but you need to realize the fact that they are coming to you because they genuinely care enough to say something. The conversation I am talking about here goes something like this: “You offended me with what you said yesterday.” And the response given to that person’s comment is, “I’m sorry, but it’s what needed to be said.” Whether “I don’t care” is actually said or not, if it is implied, it still hurts.
I cannot tell you how many people I have worked with that will justify what they say to others by passing the responsibility off to the other person, and it was their fault that they reacted the way they did. As if to say, that people shouldn’t have emotions, and the best answer is to somehow “just get over it.” Have people really become this irresponsible? People don’t want to take responsibility for their actions or the words they speak, but life doesn’t work this way. There are always ramifications to what someone says. Choosing words carefully is a responsibility that all of us have. Do you care about this truth?Choosing words carefully is a responsibility that all of us have. Click To Tweet
This is just a short list of the words that I don’t use anymore, but I am sure there are more out there. Do you have words that you don’t like using? I’d love to hear what they are. Maybe we can make some progress in this area, and stop making people feel bad about themselves, and defeating ourselves before we even begin. Chances are that if the words we hear don’t sit well with us, then they may sting when they are said to others. It’s at least worth our time to think about the words we use, and don’t use, because words can impact people in a negative way.