Print Posted by Transition & THRIVE with Maria; a division of SafeHarbor Coaching, LLC on 06/18/2015

The Power of Words

The Power of Words

A friend shared a powerful message with me this week and I want to share it so others can benefit.  It’s a wonderful reminder of the power of words.

It was recently published on’s site and originally written and shared by Susan Jeffers in her book “Feel the Fear … and Do It Anyway” about 20 years ago.  It’s still as powerful as the day she wrote it.

I thought it was interesting that Prevent shared it, because I don’t often think about words as causing disease or being a disease … but, as I thought more deeply about it I recognized that some words can be toxic — to ourselves and to those who hear them.  And toxic things can cause disease, especially when they are repeated over and over again.

The Power of Words

Do you think words have power?  Do they come with their own energy?  Positive energy or negative energy?  We all know words can hurt … and they can leave scars.  We also know that words can bring a smile and warm our hearts.

What about the words we say to and about ourselves — can they have the power to keep us down or allow us to move forward?  Can they keep us in pain or let us feel more empowered?  Let’s see what you think about this list from Susan Jeffers’ book:

The Pain-to-Power Vocabulary

From Pain … to Power

I can’t

I won’t

I should

I could

It’s not my fault

I’m totally responsible

It’s a problem

It’s an opportunity

I’m never satisfied

I want to learn and grow

Life’s a struggle

Life’s an adventure

I hope

I know [or I believe]

If only

Next time

What will I do?

I know I can handle it

It’s terrible

It’s a learning experience



A few additions …

It’s too difficult

It takes time

Why me?

It’s my journey of learning

It’s too painful

I’m altering my perception


The words that come to mind for me as I read the Power column are “choice,” “control” and “chance.”  When we use the phrases in the Power column (admittedly, this takes practice), we have chosen to take control and we have a chance to make our lives better as a result of taking that control. 

When we use phrases in the Pain column, we relinquish our power … we’re in a weakened state of mind … that’s when we worry and lose sleep.

Baby steps 

I like to suggest to my clients to take baby steps as they practice, because course correction is easier if we find we’ve ventured in a direction that doesn’t feel right.  When we take a giant leap and it doesn’t work out, it can throw is back into the Pain Column … we start thinking we can’t or we shouldn’t or it’s a problem.

Think about what can happen when you stay in the Power column … think about it in terms of your Comfort Zone.  We all have a comfort zone.  When we stay in our power and use the perspective it offers us, we can step beyond our comfort zone a bit more each time. 

What happens then?  Our comfort zone expands and we’re feeling more comfortable doing things that caused us fear or anxiety in the past.  As we keep stepping out, learning, growing and experiencing, we feel confident and we trust our intuition to guide us.  We make better decisions.  We can allow things to happen and know [believe] that everything happens for a reason.  There is great comfort and peace of mind in this belief.

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