Words that Hurt Your Career

“Sticks and stones will break my bones. But words will never harm me.”

Except when they do.

Lately, I have been noticing, especially from us ladies, this unconscious tendency to speak about ourselves in a negative way that can really take us out of our confidence. Especially when it comes to how we see ourselves in our career which then ultimately spills over into our personal lives. So let’s take a poll. How many of you have said these words recently, “I am not a public speaker. I am not a writer. I am not business savvy. I am not good with money. I am not qualified enough for that job. I have to stay in this job. I can’t afford that.” As I write, I’m reminded of myself in these words. I certainly have my moments when those words come flying out of my mouth like a full speed locomotive but I’ve become uber aware of how I use my words and curb the ones that I no longer want to associate myself with.  Words are labels and we use them to help us define and make sense of things. Naturally, our words become our truth and we find ourselves living up to them particularly when we use them to define ourself.

Think for a moment about what is happening internally when we tell ourselves I am broke or I am not a writer or I can’t spend time on things I enjoy doing. Think about the restrictive energy of the words not, can’t, have to, should, try. Saying them out loud or even thinking them can feel confining, limiting, forced, and brings a sense of smallness in terms of our own potential. These words eliminate possibilities and are one-dimensional. Don’t believe me? Go ahead try it out. Think about something you really want to do but you say you can’t afford to. Whether it’s making a purchase, leaving a job, taking a class, attending a seminar, or taking time off. If you tell yourself you can’ afford it, you will find yourself doing things that are consistent with those words.

Your words act as commands for your mind, body, and spirit.

The culprits:

I am broke.

I cannot afford that.

I am trying to start a business/get a new job/eat better.

I am not a public speaker/creative/a writer/a go-getter/business savvy/qualified

I have to work or else I won’t make any money.

Try this instead:

I am choosing not to purchase that. Or How can I bring in extra money so I can afford this?

I will or start a new business/get a new job/eat better. Or I am starting a new business/getting a new job/ eating better.

I am choosing to work so I can support myself financially.

Remember this,

  • Whatever words you put after “I Am ______________ “, creates your reality.
  • When you use the words “trying”, you will perpetually be in a state of trying rather than actually doing and accomplishing.
  • The words have to creates an energy of force and obligation that implies if you don’t do it, something negative will happen. 

Changing your vocabulary and affirming the positive is not some woo-woo warm and fuzzy, positive thinking new-age technique. Lao Tzu said it best:

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”

Can you think of any words you’re currently using that might be holding you back? 

This week, get into the practice of using words that help you, not hurt you. Like saying “I choose, I will, I can…etc”. Grab a buddy for support and let her know to call you out whenever you use limiting words. Choose your words wisely and speak them slowly. Notice your mood changes when you start to drop “should’s, try, can’t..” from your vocabulary.

Keep me posted on how it goes Ariane@arianehunter.com.