Pay attention to the words you use. They can be your undoing

You Are What You Say

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Words have meaning. An interesting concept isn’t it. The funny thing about this is that many people forget that concept. When a person hears words they first take them to be literal. No, I’m serious, and the person who believes the words the most is the person who utters them. There is the saying above all else to thine own self be true. Ever ask why that is? There is a couple of reasons for this. You are the easiest to lie to, is one reason. The other reason is that you buy into your own lies. You start believing all of the garbage you tell yourself.

Often people use words that hinder their goals and objectives without even realizing the meaning of these words. They invariably shoot themselves in the foot without even realizing they have their finger on the trigger. This happens every time they speak. No, I’m not saying people are using $10 words that they don’t understand. I am meaning they are using common words without realizing that the meaning has an effect on their own psyche.

How would you like it if you were being hamstrung even before you had a chance to start? People with victim mindsets often do this very thing. Then blame others for their shortcomings. They don’t even realize that they are their own worst enemy just for talking.

The Mindset

You can tell a person mindset by how they talk. Now I am not just refereeing to Debbie Downer. Yeah, you can tell a pessimistic mindset by their words and actions. They don’t think they even need to try.  They already know they are going to fail. So I am not meaning them. The people I am refereeing to today are the glass is half full types. Many times they are the ones who are killing their enthusiasm without even noticing what they are doing. This is a mindset that you will notice when you are listening to other people. Those who are successful versus those who are trying to be successful.

Our biggest problem is what we say. I want to bring this to your attention so that you can start making the needed mindset shift by changing your vocabulary. That’s because you are what you say. Like your health, if you want to be stronger and healthier then you want to change your diet. In this case, your diet is your vocabulary. So there are some junk words that you may want to avoid.

The Junk Words

I believe that these junk words have such an impact on your mind is because of your unconscious mind. Your subliminal mind is always listening. It picks up on hidden messages and then acts on them. You have seen the subliminal messaging tactic advertising companies have used in the past. There is the study that when people were shown popcorn and cokes in as little as a single frame of a film at 30-second intervals people bought more cokes and more tubs of popcorn. With that same line of thinking when you say “you can’t” unconscious mind takes that message and starts working to make it fact. Your unconscious mind doesn’t really know the difference between a figure of speech and fact so it just goes with the notion that you must be making a statement. Therefore you don’t really want to find a solution to your problem.

Can’t or Cannot

When you were young or if you have kids this word was often very quickly corrected. If you heard your child say they can’t you may have jumped at the opportunity to correct that form of thinking. Yet when they are talking to themselves people often will use that very word they refuse to allow their kids to utter, though it is for the same reason. The reason why this is a mindset killing phrase is best summed up in the saying, “Whether you say you can or you can’t. You are right”. This is often uttered at the moment of despair. It is also often said when a particular problem is showing up and you are not able to find the immediate answer. I am guilty of saying, “I can’t find the reason for X” or “I can’t seem to find out why this isn’t working. The funny thing is that I was right I couldn’t find out why while I am uttering these words.

Yet if I change my vocabulary just a little bit and instead of “I can’t” state something a bit more constructive or healthy for instance “I will…” or “How will I find a solution?” Surprisingly discover what I am missing and I am able to make another step to my objective.

I have to

Ever find yourself talking to someone and you say something to the nature of “I need to go I have to get this project started”. Even notice what type of emotion that dredges up? I personally picture a slave oarsman who has to row this boat. They get no choice in the matter. They have to do it.

Hearing something like this is why, “I have to,” is a bad mindset to start with. Most people rebel against doing stuff they HAVE to do. Well, at least I have the tendency to do the opposite of something when I am told I have to do something. Maybe it is my personal attitude but I am more likely to put off or find something else to do if I say I Have to get this project done. It is as if I am saying no I don’t have to do that I can try to find the end of my Facebook newsfeed. I personally am more likely to be a bit aimless when I have to do something.

You might try to use the term, “I get to”, “I am going to”, or “I finally have the opportunity to” all three of the statements have an air of declaration which your subliminal mind can’t ignore. These statements have the ability to energize you for the task ahead even if it is the accounting portion of your business.


Another word that has many of the same impacts on your motivation is Got, No not Game of Thrones though that always impacts my productivity too, but got as in “you got to get these emails answered”. Again this has the impression of a schoolmarm dictating what you are or are not allowed to do. You got to work on your multiplication tables. When in reality you want to do anything other than.

So with this let not use got let use Get this opens up the avenue of an opportunity. It breathes some fresh air into the task at hand. It allows the project to be a privilege instead of a burden. Your business is anything but a burden and if it is a burden then you might be in the wrong industry.


When my son was young I wanted to teach him that there is no limit. I wanted him to have the attitude that anything is possible. So we kind of made a game of it. He would state what he thought was impossible and I would state why it is possible.

For instance, he said it was impossible to walk through a solid wall, and I relayed with the Kool-Aid man was able to do it. Or he would point out that it is impossible for people to fly and I would point out that people fly in airplanes all the time. His retort would be people can’t fly without airplanes. So I would show him a clip from space, and ask if they were flying.

I have always pushed the phrase where there is a will there is away. Anything that is stated as impossible is said at the point of failure. Everything is possible and that which is thought to be impossible is just a problem still looking for a solution.  Stating something to be impossible tells your brain to give up. That is because why would you want to keep doing something that is impossible. It has the same effect as stating that you “can’t”.


There are 7 days in the week. They are Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday and finally Sunday. None of those days are Someday or soon for short. There are many people who like to say someday we are going to go on a trip, or Someday I will get my business to the point that I can take off. Someday never arrives. This is for the same reason that you give your dreams deadlines. Giving your dreams and aspirations a deadline does something magical it makes these dreams change their state of being. They go from a flimsy insubstantial thought to a goal. That dream now has a purpose, a target, or a reason for being in the world.

Mindset-wise, someday keeps you sitting where you are. You don’t have to do it tomorrow because someday means ways down the road. The act of setting a deadline says that tomorrow will be here before you know it.

If you ever find yourself saying that someday you will, whatever, remind your subconscious that you want it to be done and set a time limit. It doesn’t have to be tomorrow or by the end of the year. Make it 5 years down the road. It just matters that you put a time limit on the dream.

Too Hard

You ever give up before you ever start? Stating something is too hard is just that, you are giving up. You just barely started trying to find the solution to a problem and you give up. “It’s too hard”, is the motto of the person who gives up. This is the person who actually fails. The true failures utter these words. They say it as an excuse as to why they don’t even want to try. Yeah, the obstacle in their way may seem insurmountable. Yet, it is not impossible. Remember nothing is impossible. It is just a problem looking for a solution. You may have to work harder than ever before to be able to win at the particular challenge in your way.

While trying to find the solution to your problem you will likely not find it on the first try nor on the 5 tries. You will find it and each of these little failures gives you a small clue to the solution. Each of these small failures are also preparing you for success later down the road. So don’t give up, especially if it is difficult. There is a reason for the difficulty and you can solve the problem. Now it is ok to state or even proclaim that the issue at hand is hard, it’s a great and terrible challenge, but it isn’t too big of a challenge for you.

These seven words wreak havoc on not just those who are not able to succeed, but even those who have succeeded. Those who have reached a new level in their business had to fight an uphill battle to get where they are. Just because you make a big discovery and get a shift in your mindset doesn’t mean you can coast. Know that there are more mindsets that are trying to hold you back. We are always faced with limiting beliefs that want to keep us comfortable.

This limiting mindset is a problem that creeps in on a person should have a name. I really haven’t been able to think of a good name yet but it should have a great descriptor. It the name for it should be as scary as The Plague. Not only because it can infect anyone like the plague if they aren’t diligent but because it is just as damaging to dreams and your mindset as the black plague was to people. The biggest difference is that the cure to a bad mindset is knowing that you have this mindset and you actively take steps to change it.

How do you overcome the mindset altering words? Do you have a name for this type of mindset? Please share your thoughts in the comments below

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About Bryan Goodwin

I like being able to help people find their "why" and achieve the personal freedom they desire. Besides writing for Relaxed Male I also am a life coach. By helping men find the leader that is found in each and every one of us. I do this by encouraging men to get outdoors and find the balance they are missing. Realize that they need to be in contact with the outside as often as they can. It is not only good for them but for their families and relationships.


  1. This is a very powerful article. People often sabotage themselves without noticing it or completely denying it.

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