Exploring Gender Identity

Weak Words to Eliminate

on September 13, 2017

While Plato says, “words are but symbols of symbols. They are thus twice removed from reality”, we still must use them to communicate. By using powerful words and making your point directly & clearly, communication is maximized. How well you use language, in our case, the English language reflects not only how educated you are, but empowers you to master your life.

Weak words sneak into our vocabulary rather insidiously without us even knowing. We think since others are using these words then we need to use them as well. This is simply not so. Be conscious of your words. Think before you speak or write. As any English teacher will tell you, use active tense, not passive. This takes practice! I can assure you from experience! Life is a work in progress, so let us consider these 8 weak words and how it benefits us to eliminate them.

“Do or do not. There is no try.” (Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back) The first word to eliminate is “Try” and all its forms (trying, tried, etc). I invite you to experiment with how the word feels. I suggest doing this with all the words you use. Notice how you feel saying the word and using it in a sentence. Context is of course important. Doubt is a killer! Think carefully about this word. Try implies failure! Why would you ever wish to fail? So, why would you ever use this word!! Trying denotes fear and sets the very thing you fear into motion. Words are prayers! If you say it mean it and know it will be your experience. Just because something you say does not appear immediately have faith that it will in time and with your continued insistence. In my experience it could take years or happen in an instant.

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda! The next word(s) to eliminate are these three. Again these are doubt words. Often used interchangeably these words are different and thus are to be used differently. They convey doubt, regret, and weakness. If this is your intention then go ahead, they are perfect. If not, avoid using them. Instead be direct, honest, and open. If you intend on doing something, then just do it, don’t say you should do it or you would do it, if…. Take responsibility in your language and how you use words. To do this consider the meaning of the word and look deep. Not only look the word up in the dictionary, but find the root word and consider where the word came from and how it was used originally. Feel the word and the energy it conveys. Instead of using “should, would, could”, substitute “shall, will, can, respectively”.

“Never say that you can’t do something, or that something seems impossible, or that something can’t be done, no matter how discouraging or harrowing it may be; human beings are limited only by what we allow ourselves to be limited by: our own minds. We are each the masters of our own reality; when we become self-aware to this: absolutely anything in the world is possible. Master yourself, and become king of the world around you. Let no odds, chastisement, exile, doubt, fear, or ANY mental virii prevent you from accomplishing your dreams. Never be a victim of life; be it’s conqueror.” (Mike Norton) The next word is “Can’t” and this quote sums it up. Any negative is dis-empowering. Careful here not to make this a bad thing. There is no judgment here! Sometimes we need to ramp life down a bit when it gets overwhelming. Be aware this is the power of this word. Be awake and aware!

Words of separation have their place in our language, however be mindful how you use them and the effect they have on your intention. “Life is but a dream” In this sentence the word “but” separates life and dream. The word “but” is technically a coordinating conjunction which separates two clauses or ideas. This is helpful to convey meaning at times, if you intend separation! Try substituting “and” instead. The word “and” connects instead of separates. By using “and” the intention is to connect, while using “but” separates. I always use “and” where I used to use “but”, unless it just does not convey my intention. Always remembering that which is behind communication… the intent!

There are many useless words in the English language and one [that] I have eliminated is “that”. The word is over used and often useless, so just remove it from your sentence as I have demonstrated above. I often have to review my writing to find my usage of this superfluous word. Next time you write something of any length do a word search for “that” and consider whether the word adds anything to the meaning you are conveying. Notice how often you use this word. Notice how often a good (relative, I know) writer uses this word. The word [That] is wordy and distracting!

In conclusion, many words in the English language are weak, vague, and useless. Be mindful how you use them and be clear in your intent! One last point to consider. Words used for emphasis often do just the opposite. Words such as “very” and “really” do your message no favors. Eliminate them! Punctuation is used for the purpose of conveying emotion and emphasizing your message. Writing is a skill which is developed over time like any other skill, so the more you write the better you will become. Of course reading is required as well. Notice how others use words and then question your own word usage. Find what works for you and then notice how this changes over time. Notice how your life changes as well!

Sequoia Elisabeth


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