where women celebrate their ageless authenticity

Words Matter

Journalists can summon outrage in five words or less, an inspiring speech can unite or divide nations, and shouts of encouragement can get us across the finish line. As powerful tools of expression, words matter.

Digital marketing experts estimate we receive around 10,000 messages each day. And when you think about how mass media, social media, and advertising use words of persuasion to influence us, the phrase “don’t put words in my mouth,” really rings true. We get propelled into feeling a galaxy of emotions and conflict. But what’s most surprising of all, is we don’t even notice it happening, that is, until we suddenly find our stress levels going through the roof.

So it got me thinking…

How much are we influenced by words in the conversations we have with ourselves? I mean, we all have an internal dialogue going on. Maybe, with awareness, we can choose our words more wisely.

stacked pile of wooden letters


How does one even begin to take command of their own narrative? Turns out, to limit our negative self-talk, our approach plays a key role in granting us a way in…

According to social psychologist Peter Coleman of Columbia University’s Difficult Conversations Lab, there are some ways to create space for constructive conversations if we just pay attention:

  • We humans are complicated, so being mindful of our own contradictions helps us be more tolerant of others and how we engage with ourselves.


  • We see what we look for. We pay more attention to information that supports what we already believe to be true. We all have “confirmation bias,” but if we can recognize it in ourselves, with humility and honesty we can become more open to viewing things from different perspectives.


  • It’s emotional. Much of our inner turmoil is reflective of the current divisions in today’s society. It’s as if we’ve turned up the heat so we can no longer see that both sides have a point. By viewing difficult topics as multi-layered, we can move beyond pro/con to a place where we’re more open to listening and asking questions.

Splatter of wooden letters


 When was the last time you listened to your inner monologue as you would listen to a friend?

  • Stop self-judgment with just two words.
  • Actors who study improv are taught to create motion as they enter a scenario by using “Yes” “And.” Yes, acknowledges what happened. And offers a way through, opening up a flow of possibilities for something new. It’s where they get to be playful with what they bring to the conversation. These two simple words can be great reminders to treat ourselves with compassion. I road tested it yesterday when I dropped a light bulb that shattered all over the floor. Oops, yes, it broke, and now I’ll get a broom to clean it up. Didn’t leave much room for my typical default — “why are you such a klutz, here you go creating yet another mess.”


  • Consider a word swap.
  • Try replacing should with could. Whenever I say I should do something it comes with a sense of dread that weighs me down. I’m not quite enough, or at best, incomplete until it gets done. Acknowledging I could do something puts me in charge of making that choice and keeps me open to trying something new, when I’m ready.


  • Give journaling a try.
  • What is not expressed is often depressed. We need to let out what is in rather than pushing it down until we feel so small we’re invisible. I’ve been journaling for a few years now and I find it’s a great way to give voice to my thoughts and feelings. Some days the words just flow, and on others I may not have much to say, but it helps keep me connected to living my life more directly. When I revisit earlier journal entries I’m reminded how things are always changing, and just how far I’ve come.


Words can transport us to faraway lands and bring us back home to ourselves. They are most honorable when they bring people together for good. Hopefully, for you, these penned words open a path of deeper understanding. I’m humbled to be able to share my curiosities in this amazing adventure we’re all a part of. Please know that your words matter to me. I’d love to hear what this article brings up for you, so feel free to share your voice at intentfullyfit@gmail.com. I’m all ears.


My Takeaway:

little girl is lifted up by her father


We all get to where we are with the help of those who came before us.

Though my father and I butted heads on many things, I still carry his sage wisdom with me wherever I go. His mantra to “live by your word” continues to make me a better person. It works for me because it gives me choices and holds me accountable. It’s especially handy when I say I’m going to do something, because giving up when things get tough just isn’t an option. By honoring my word, I honor myself and stay on the path to discovering what I’m capable of, even when I can’t see it for myself. Like I said, it works for me.  Thanks dad…