Words are powerful. The words we speak, and think will determine the quality of and outcomes in our life. Does that sound like a big and audacious statement? If you don’t believe me, great author, speaker, and leader Skip Ross calls it ‘the principle of command’ and says it this way: everything you speak out of your mouth will happen, so be careful what you say. That being the case, I have decided there are some words I need to banish and delete from my vocabulary.

Let’s have a little fun with this before we get into the meat of the blog. As we come out of the last two years where COVID has dictated so much of our lives, I want to start by banishing some worn-out and overused words. If I ever hear the word ‘pivot’ again, I think I may hurt someone! If anyone ever speaks the phrase ‘unprecedented times’ again, I will stick my head in the toilet! The phrase ‘social distancing’ is not only inaccurate because it’s not social, it is physical, but also incredibly annoying. Finally, the expression ‘anti-vaxxers’ is not only really bad spelling, but insulting to people who have the freedom to choose what is put in their body. So, my request is, if you are ever talking to me, please refrain from any of those words or phrases!

Now, on a more serious note, there are three words I believe are dangerous, very dangerous, and if we keep using them, they will debilitate our lives. I have chosen to eliminate these words from my vocabulary. The first is ‘busy’. What’s wrong with that word? You may be asking. Firstly, and forgive my directness, I feel like it is just a thoughtless word that we throw out there and use as an excuse as to why we don’t ever truly fulfill the dreams we have in our hearts. Ouch! Now, if when you use the word, it is because you are busy doing things that are moving you towards your best life, then, you are excused. If, however, you use it to justify why you can’t get in shape, write your book, spend time with your family, build your wealth, invest in yourself or anything else that is important to you, then maybe you should consider banning it as well.

I used to use the word busy all the time. I am so busy, was my go to phrase, and I actually wore ‘being busy’ as a badge of honour. I thought it meant I was important. I have since learned that it means I am wasting my life doing things that don’t inspire me. Now, when asked how I am, I say, I am on purpose. Don’t get me wrong, my life is full, but I choose to only fill it with things that are purposeful for me.

The next word I have banned is the word ‘failure’. Why? Because in mind, there is no such outcome as failure. There are lessons. There are realisations. There are different perspectives. There are opportunities. But there are no failures. It is important to realise that, when you start out in the pursuit of achieving something meaningful in your life, there are only two possible outcomes, and failure is not one of them. The first is success, the second is quitting. If you don’t get it the first time, you haven’t failed, you have just found a way that doesn’t work. So, learn from it and go again. The question I often get asked by aspiring authors is, how many times should I submit to a publisher when I keep getting rejected? My answer to them is simple, when you get a publishing contract, no matter how many submissions it takes. There is no such thing as failure, the word is banned!

The final word I have banned is ‘impossible’. The moment we use the word impossible, is the same moment we switch our minds off to even the slightest shred of hope and possibility. Trust me, there is always a possibility. I believe anything is possible when we focus on what we want, take simple daily steps, and persist until it happens. As soon as you start taking action, something that may seem impossible all of a sudden seems possible. With more action, course correction and modification it moves from possible to probable. With more focus and determined action it moves from probable to certain. When you get to that point, it is a done deal. Once achieved, you will look back and it will all make sense. In fact, it will fit Phillip Yancey’s definition of faith which is: trusting in advance that which only makes sense in reverse. Banish the word ‘impossible’.

There you go. The words and phrases I have banned from my vocabulary, and I encourage you to do the same. In my podcast this week called Empowering teen voice, with Jarred Kellerman and Kelly Murphy, we discuss the power of words when communicating with young people. This is a powerful podcast that will impact many lives. As you move forward in your life, please know that the words you speak will come true, so please only use words that will bring to reality the amazing life you want. Ban the words that don’t!