I have written before about the power of the spoken word. I want to talk about the words some of us use that are limiting and keep us in the anxious mindset.

We all have faced humiliation at some point. We have expressed an observation or opinion and were told it was wrong. We were called stupid, teased about how we were wrong. Many of us encounter this on the playground at school when we were younger. That happens to almost everybody. Some of us went home for some comfort or support only to face even more criticism. Through years of facing shame and a feeling of low self-worth you begin to feel guilty about who you are. Feeling as though you have failed your family and yourself. You feel worthless, and even though it is not true, people will begin to treat you as if you are worthless. They will begin to use words with you like, “that’s good enough”, or “I don’t know if you can handle that”. After a while you say those words to yourself, and it stops you short of your potential. For many years I stopped myself short from getting pay raises, taking on more responsibilities, being in healthy relationships, and having a positive outlook on life. I felt as if I did not deserve those things, and in turn, it caused a lot of unrest within me. I had developed self-limiting behaviors and a self limiting vocabulary.

I can’t feel angry because it may hurt others. I can’t feel sad because I will seem weak. I tolerate that people walk all over me. I’m content with not expressing my true thoughts and opinions. I guess its okay that I don’t get what I want. I’m not ready. I’m fine, I guess.

Do you ever find yourself saying or thinking these things?

This kind of speech may seem like the safe way to operate at the time, but it only holds you back from your potential. It is not honest to you. If you cannot be honest with yourself, how can you expect others to be honest with you. You can no longer afford to operate at minimum capacity, using verbiage that minimizes your power. When you are operating out of safety, you take minimal risk. Like on a computer, when you run Safe Mode, it operates on minimal settings. When your life is on Safe Mode you operate at minimum. You will not achieve your dreams and goals living your life safely. If you feel as though your circumstances warrant you to be safe, than begin to plan an escape route. If ages ago, we did not set sail towards unknown shores, you and I would not be able to communicate as we are today. Life needs risk. It’s a risk to tell people how you are really feeling. Its a risk to express yourself. Ironically though, the greater risk to your spirit, your happiness, and possibly the world is that you do not use your potential.

Think about some things you are contented with, or things you have settled on. Write them down. Then pay attention to the words you use to rationalize the reasons. For example:

I’m okay with not expressing myself because I don’t want people to dislike me. I’m contented with not being wealthy because I want to remain humble.

These examples were from my own list. They were things I told myself for many years. What I came to realize, though, is that deep down I was not okay with being quiet or being humble. It was not giving my life meaning by constantly short-changing myself. This behavior was turning me into an indecisive, non-expressive person.

Begin to replace some of your vocabulary with words that will maximize your power.

I am angry! I am sad. You will not talk to me in that way. I will express my true thoughts and feelings. I will have what I want. I am ready. I deserve.

Become the one in the room that is standing tall, with your head held high, ready to take life on. Use speech that empowers you and that builds the ideal image of yourself. Will this be easy? No way. Most people use minimizing speech. Align yourself with people who use speech that maximizes their potential. Perhaps join a local toastmaster club to begin to work on your speech. Surround yourself with people that speak of themselves highly and respectfully. Eventually you will adopt those habits and begin see yourself worthy of your dreams.

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