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Choose Your Words Wisely

Updated: Feb 8

Words matter.

As someone with communications expertise, I know this to be true.

Cold is not the same as frigid.

Tired is not the same as exhausted.

Tiny is not the same as minuscule.

Here are some small words with a big impact:

  • have to

  • must

  • should/shouldn't

  • need to

These words convey a lack of choice and a sense of obligation.

When we're feeling overwhelmed, it may be because we have taken on too much, because we're doing things we may not really want to do, or because we feel less in control of our time.

The next time you find yourself using these words about your professional (or personal!) life, here's a powerful question to consider: How can you restate your thought with words that convey choice?

  • "I have to answer all these emails" may become "I will respond to relevant emails and delete those that aren't."

  • "I need to review these projects because my team needs feedback" may become "I will give my team the meaningful feedback they deserve."

Thinking about your word choice can help you rethink your purpose. And how you think and speak about your time and efforts will in turn change how you actually spend your time and efforts.

What language do you choose to rethink?

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