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Watch Your Language


If words have power (they do) and our thoughts create (they do) then we should pay much more attention to both. Therefore I think it’s high time we change our verbiage. We label almost everything as a war or a fight, and because of our language, we do battle, daily. There is a war on drugs, a war on poverty, a war on women, a war against obesity and a war on crime. We fight heart disease. We fight illiteracy. We fight cancer. We fight the traffic.

We casually say we “hate” most everything, or we’ll say that something is, “to die for.” And without a second thought, we say about a headache, backache, or allergies, they’re “killing me.” We take possession of things we don’t need and don’t want, by saying, “my problem is…” or “my bad knees.”

As a means of complimenting something we envy, we say that we’d “kill for it.” Really? This negativity is built into our everyday language, and we’re putting it out there hundreds of times a day! Yet we don’t even know we’re saying it, because we have become unconscious of it. I know I was, until my therapist pointed it out to me. Then I did two things:

  1.  I began to pay attention to all the times, and all the things I said “I hated.”
  2.  I stopped saying that and began to reframe my thinking. Did I really hate this thing? How else could I express myself?

Let’s find other words to use.
Let’s use our words to affect a positive change.
Let’s focus on what we DO WANT instead of what we don’t.

Let’s CURE illness. Let’s INCREASE literacy. Let’s REDUCE poverty. Let’s CREATE a decrease in crime and drug dependency. We can FIGURE out our feelings for food; ENLIGHTEN our educational system, and MOVE toward wellness.

How many more negative, everyday words can you think of?

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Donna O’Klock spent 35 years in the beauty business, talking, teaching, and learning. These days, she’d “rather write than talk. It’s better that way because I can edit.” She writes two blogs, and, and is the author of  Sick and Tired & Sexy: Living Beautifully with Chronic Illness.

Austin, Texas, has been her home since 1978, but she and her fiancé have downsized and are traveling the country in their RV.

3 thoughts on “Watch Your Language”

  1. Wow! You nailed it! I just realized how I let those words seep into my daily conversations. I am going to do as you and begin with one word, hate. I have great expectations that with the change in my daily verbiage it will not only change me but change those around me as well. I know it will be subtle but it has to start somewhere. Thank you for this inspiration….

  2. Fabulous post, Donna! I too believe that our words – and how we use them – can be so powerful, and that we really can change our reality by changing the way we speak to ourselves and others. Also, your post reminded me of how my siblings and I were never allowed to use the word ‘hate’ growing up, so it’s one word I already find myself avoiding. My Dad was also a stickler for using positive language which used to make my teenage eyes roll, but now I see his point! Funny how we forget these things. Esther xx

  3. So insightful, Donna! We should make up our own words for each of these, and start using them on social media. The Millennials switched from LOL to HaHaHa, which offends me. HaHaHa was always a derogatory way of digging at someone, like “Ha, ha, ha! I told you so!” I may look like an old fart, but I’m still using LOL. xoxox, Brenda

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