two words sabotage wellbeing

Believe it or not, my husband and I made up a new word the other day. It’s “inhibling”. Basically, inhibling means when something enables poor behavior and inhibits positive growth. The reason why we found a need to create this new, and dare I admit fun to say word, is because we needed to be able to describe an even better word discovery. You see we figured out there are two words you say all the time which sabotage your wellbeing.

The funny thing is I can’t actually tell you what your’s are. This is because they are unique to you as well as what you are going through right now. I can explain where to find them by sharing how we stumbled upon ours.

You see my teen daughters have pretty full days…

5:15 Wake Up Alarm
6:30 Race to School
7:00-2:30 Back-to-Back Classes
3:00-4:30 Sports/After School Activities
5:00 Dinner
6:00-8:30 Studying, More Sports, Social and Relaxation
9:00 Bed

My husband’s schedule and mine matches theirs along with the added weight of household duties on top of it all. This is life! And we love ours. However, I became concerned when I heard the girls saying, “I’m too busy” or “I’m too tired.” You hear about those kids who are doing too much. Getting burned out. After some research and checking in with other families, I found our girls’ schedules to be absolutely common or less than. And those kids weren’t complaining about being tired or busy.

In seeking out the root cause I began watching my language. You guessed it, those nasty little two words were sprinkled throughout my daily conversations. They picked up this self-defeating talk from me. I wasn’t alone though. My sweet hardworking husband was just as much of a culprit. Once I shared my newfound insights with him we quickly came up with a plan to remove these poor behavior enabling and positive growth inhibiting two words from our every day life.

What are your two words that “inhible” your wellbeing?

Surprisingly to us, this task of removing the words tired and busy has been incredibly difficult. You think sugar and gluten are hard to remove from your diet try taking out your two most self-defeating words. These two words were not merely crutches, but evil new limbs, we used regularly to give us excuses for not doing something or not being happy. To interrupt our addiction to these two words we began with replacement phrases, such as:

Too Tired

  • “I don’t have the energy.”
  • “Just need to rest my eyes.”
  • “How about we watch a show instead?”

Too Busy

  • “I didn’t prioritize that today.”
  • “Just wasn’t able to get to that.”
  • “Not happening, I am overwhelmed.”

Seems innocuous enough, but really we just applied different semantics to the same inhibling talk. Now if we were to adjust these to a growth mindset voice we’d say instead:

Too Tired – Growth Mindset

  • “I don’t have the energy.” -change to- “I’m taking a deep breath to re-energize, then moving forward.”

Too Busy – Growth Mindset

  • “I didn’t prioritize that today.” -change to- “I haven’t completed that yet, but will.”

Needless to say, we are admittedly a work in progress. The great news is we are already seeing some change in our girls. Ultimately, my larger goal is to refocus our words to energize us to live with more meaning and purpose. Lucky for me I have an in-living-color role model that keeps me on task to transform in this space.

My close friend Dot is one of those people that not only has something always going-on but also continuously has the space to do more. Shocking! She is head of community committees, does social work, is a leading scientist in a new business venture, belongs to countless clubs/groups, has two kids, plans friend get togethers, travels avidly, exercises daily, takes personal growth classes regularly, supports local events, et cetera… et cetera… et cetera.

When I shared with her my new wellbeing discovery and told her our two inhibling words, I suddenly realized she doesn’t say them… ever. Really! How is that possible? She agreed that tired and busy were simply not part of her vocabulary. What I loved about this is it further reinforced my belief that–when words are not part of our common vocabulary they aren’t part of our lives.

This works because our personal narratives drive how we perceive our world. The language we use acts as a lens we see the world through. We actually have real palatable control over this. Which means we have within our power a wonderful way to change our surroundings simply through word choice.

Below is a list of common inhibling words you might use.
Are any of them your two words sabotaging your wellbeing?

  • busy
  • tired
  • stressed
  • can’t
  • sad
  • quit
  • should
  • don’t care – yep it’s two 🙂
  • pain
  • weak
  • stupid
  • hate
  • fat
  • lost
  • overwhelmed
  • not interested
  • afraid
  • someday
  • anxious
  • lonely
  • worried
  • never
  • failed
  • can’t afford
  • try
  • whatever
  • have to…
  • ugly
  • bad

*Add yours to the comment box below so we can make this list even more useful for others.

Any of these ring a bell! Here’s a simple process to remove these pesky words that don’t serve you from your life and to feel the difference this makes.

First, pay attention to the words you use over the next week or two. Ask a friend or loved one to watch your speech as well to find your two self-defeating words.

Next, write down in detail exactly how these words make you feel then rank your happiness level on a 10 point scale.

Over the month, closely monitor the words you say and work hard to eliminate any form of your inhibling words from your day to day life.

Finally, check your happiness level at the close of the wellbeing exercise. Is it better? Do you feel different? Has your wellbeing steadied?

For my husband and I, this wellbeing exercise was fun to do together. We added a lot of humor to it calling each other out and laughing at how we each tried to maneuver around the “hot” word but say the same thing in a completely awkward way.

We hope this helps you and yours find your inhibling two words to eliminate from your vocabulary and free yourself. When you do… POW! You can use the Power Of Words to strengthen your wellbeing.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.