New York Times bestselling author, slow cooking expert and mommy blogger next door
  • Subscribe to newsletter
  • Follow me on Pinterest
  • Follow me on Twitter
  • Become a fan on Facebook
  • Follow me on Google Plus

Totally Together

day 55–change your vocabulary

February 24, 2010 by  

it sounds too easy to be true, but if you simply change the way you word things you can have a profound effect on your day to day living.


I once listened to an Anthony Robbins book on CD—-I know, I know. The guy is a bit much and probably sort of bonkers, but some of his ideas are smart. I think it was “awaken the giant within?“—-anyhow…

he discussed the notion of changing your vocabulary as a way to change your experience. He suggested using the word “challenge” or “struggle” or “perplexed” instead of really negative and debilitating words such as “overwhelmed” or “stressed out.”

I liked this idea at the time, and wrote about it in a journal I was keeping at the time. I was looking through this journal a few weeks ago to find a quote, and read my notes. I still think it’s a good idea.

I’ve noticed the Duggar Family uses this idea. The kids and I have been DVRing the recent shows about baby Josie, and I’ve noticed that when Michelle talks to the camera she never uses the word “hard” or “difficult” or “stressed” or “overwhelmed.” She’s trained herself to use the word “struggle” or “challenge.”

Struggles and Challenges can be overcome. They are just predicaments, not life sentences.

So! If you are finding yourself using negative words to describe your thoughts/feelings/actions throughout the day, try switching them up a bit. You might be surprised at how quickly your mood improves.


work on changing your vocabulary

daily 7

speed dust and vacuum

yesterday: when to call in reinforcement

Post a comment · 9 Comments »


9 Responses to “day 55–change your vocabulary”

  1. Sheryl on February 24th, 2010 6:21 am

    I love that. You are right about Michelle Duggar. I was watching the show last night. She is such a role model for women.

    Thanks for your post.


    • Stephanie on February 24th, 2010 7:14 am

      she’s a neat lady! When I first heard that the show was going to continue with baby Josie in the hospital, I was upset. I immediately jumped to the conclusion that the family turned “hollywood money hungry” or something else equally evil. But through watching the past few episodes, and being able to pause the recording to discuss what’s happening with my own girls, I’ve quickly realized that the Duggars are providing such a gift to families everywhere.

      and! I need to not jump to icky conclusions.. 😉

      have a great day, xoxo steph

  2. auntjone on February 24th, 2010 6:41 am

    Well. Thank you for the smack upside the head. I am feeling incredibly challenged right now. I’m not facing anything that any other working mom hasn’t faced but for some reason I am wallowing in self-pity lately.

    I’ve figured out that my attitude…my perception…my “self-talk” has a HUGE impact on my life and happiness. I’ve overcome some obstacles (or ob-STACKLES if you’re an Oh Brother Where Art Thou fan. And I am!) just by changing the way I think/thought about a situation. Your post really brought it home again and reminded me that everything is what I make of it.

    Thank you!

    • Stephanie on February 24th, 2010 7:10 am

      reminded me that everything is what I make of it

      that’s such a good line. I need to remember to bring that up with the kids—it’s such a valuable lesson to learn at an early age.

      I hope today is a better day, actually—I know it will be! :-)

      xoxo steph

  3. Jackie on February 24th, 2010 7:14 am

    Timely. We’ve been trying to teach our 9 yo son to use less negative words in order to make challenges seem more doable. As I’ve wondered how he got to such a place at all of 9 almost 10 that day to day life has seemed so impossible, the light bulb went on when I caught myself talking the same way about our schedule, or keeping up with the house, or some of the other many daily demands we have. He hears it from me! So we’re trying, but like all bad habits, it’s a hard one to break, but I’m confident we’ll get over this particular ob-STACKLE. (Loove that movie!)

  4. Liz on February 24th, 2010 12:51 pm

    This works in the office too. I once had a boss who always said that business was “tough” rather than “bad” or other NSFW words my coworkers and I might have chosen when sales were down. A very subtle way to make us feel like we had some power to make change.

  5. Jenn on February 25th, 2010 6:45 am

    Thanks for the reminder about self-talk, I really needed it this morning. It’s easy to fall into that habit of doom and gloom but perspective is HUGE when it comes to your attitude.

    I love your daily updates, they really help me keep my head in the game. Thanks!

  6. beth on February 25th, 2010 1:23 pm

    on a related note – we went thru a few years where all my kid did was complain. about every. thing. made dinner a misery. so, one night, i started asking him to tell me the best thing about his day, and going around the table asking that. once each of us had a ‘best thing’, then the doors were open for other conversation. made it easier to feel like the other things were manageable.

    • Stephanie on February 25th, 2010 6:10 pm

      oh that’s wonderful! what a fantastic idea.
      oxox steph

Leave a reply