Watch Your Words: 8 Ways to Choose Your Words More Carefully

Note: This is a guest post from Caz Makepeace of y Travel Blog

As parents we are always monitoring the words our children use and do our best to steer them onto a better path with their word choices.

A path where words are chosen that reflect “good manners”, “kind words”, “happy thoughts.”

“Watch your words” or “Use your words” is the advice what we often repeat to our children, demonstrating the fact that we understand words are powerful and communicate what we desire and how we are perceived.

But what about the words we are choosing to use ourselves?

Are we monitoring them? Are we aware of the message they may send out and what we may bring back in as a result?

What we think about we bring about.

Words are so powerful and reflect our thoughts. Here are 8 words commonly used in our everyday conversations with ourselves and others that we need to monitor and change in order to bring about the future we really desire


“I’ll try to get it finished by…”I’ll try to catch up with you on Saturday”

Whenever I hear someone saying this, or even myself, then I know that they are not serious and it is not going to happen.

Try is a wishy washy word that is devoid of commitment, leaving wide open the space for excuses to creep in and get in your way. No one created the life of their dreams and positive results by trying. They got theirs by doing and making it happen.

Make a clearer commitment instead by saying “I’ll have it done by…” “I am free at this time and I can meet you then…” or if need be, “I can’t promise anything but I will do my best to ….”

2. Wish

Wishing is sitting on your couch daydreaming, waiting for your lotto ball to drop or the fairy godmother to appear. Wish removes yourself from the equation and tells you that you have to rely on the powers that be.

Change wish to “I will…” “I am…” I’m determined….” “I deserve…” “I desire”

3. I am

Be very careful how you use the term I am” to define who you are. You are not angry; you are not depressed, you are not happy. All of these things are temporary emotions that come and go. If you define yourself as being this way than that identity can have a tendency to stick and what will follow will be excuses such as “I can’t do this because I am depressed” “There is nothing I can do about it, this is who I am.”

A better way to say it is “I feel angry. I feel depressed”

This lets yourself know that it is a temporary feeling which could quite easily change.

4. If

How many times do you mutter, “If I get that promotion then…” “If the money arrives then…”

If” always presents the element of doubt. Doubt and insecurity don’t bring you what you want, certainty and confidence does. So instead of if”, simply make it “when”

“When I get that new job…. “

When signals that you are serious and committed and you believe that what you deserve is on its way to you.

5. Should

Again a wishy washy promise word. “I should call my mother more.” “I should go to the gym tonight.” Should is rife with feelings of guilt and complacency.

You know you are never going to do it and by somehow saying that you recognize you should makes you feel better. It doesn’t really; the only thing that makes you feel better is doing it.

Should can be turned in to “I will…” or “I am going to…”

6. I can’t

This is one of those words that can be debated. We’ve all heard there is no such thing as can’t. Well there is really, I can’t sing. I really can’t. I’m dreadful. But you know what, I can try or I can learn.

As soon as your brain hears you say the word can’t, it goes on a holiday. It shuts down and celebrates because it no longer has to find a way to do it. “I can try” means that you open up a creative space for learning and exploring that may just bring you new ways of thinking and doing.

When my daughter says “Mummy, I can’t,” my response is, “Maybe, but you can always try first and see. Let’s have a go!”

7. Desperate

When we really want something there is a tendency to attach the word desperate to it, as if this word will hold some power to bring it to us faster.

“I am desperate for him to call me” “I am in desperate need of a transfer.”

Desperation breeds more things to be desperate about. It is not an attractive word.

Instead say “I am so excited that he is going to be calling me tonight. “I really desire a transfer and am ready to go!”

8. Luck

Ugh. This is my least favourite word. I really despise it as I often hear it said to me, “You are so lucky to travel like you do.”

I just want to scream. Luck has nothing to do with it. There has not been some genie in my backpack. I have travelled the world for 14 years because I made the decision to do it and then I took action. Luck has never played a part in it.

And luck never will play a part. If you always fob other people’s success off as luck, you are doing two really bad things

1) Not recognizing and appreciating all the hard work they have put into bringing about the life they desire

But more importantly

2) You are saying that it is not possible for you. So you give up before you even start creating the life you want. You think it will only happen to you if a genie appears. This is such a lie. You can have whatever you desire as long as you are willing to do what it takes to get it.


Choose your words carefully and you’ll soon learn that you can be, do, and have whatever you want.

Caz Makepeace has been living and traveling around the world since 1997. She is co-founder of the popular “y Travel Blog” where she shares tips, stories and inspirations on world travel. She also shares mindset and success tips for putting the mojo back into your life at her blog “Mojito Mother.”

Photo by aussiegall


  1. Definitely agree about the luck one:

    “The Harder I Work, The Luckier I Get” – Samuel Goldwyn

  2. Words have different meanings for different people. This girl that I knew who was from another country told me that her Dad “striked” her. In America that would mean that he hit her.

    The real meaning of that was that her father withheld allowance/money from her.

    • That’s pretty instresting. I can see the connection since “strike” in the U.S. can also mean to withold services.

    • Yes, definitely. It is really interesting to hear what other words mean in different cultures. It’s gotten me into trouble sometimes and given me some funny stories

  3. Very timely article! I’ve been really monitoring my thoughts and self talk to the more positive side and I’m definitely seeing a shift in my world for the better! Thanks!

    • You are welcome. It is incredible how one small act can make a difference. But it is our words that help tell our brain what to believe and how to act. Help it work in your favour

  4. I love this post, Caz!

    I was actually thinking about writing an article that would have been very similar in tone, covering almost the exact same words, only less eloquently. 🙂 Now I don’t have to write it. It’s been said now … quite masterfully!

    Thank you for such an important post. I’m a high school teacher and am seriously considering making this required reading for my seniors!

    Thank you so much for the wisdom and warning!

    • Wow! Thanks Ken, how awesome to share it with your teachers. This is the type of things students should be learning.
      I think you should still write your article and I’m sure you will say it just as eloquently!

  5. This is great stuff Caz. I particularly like #6 because I try so hard everyday to live a positive life of be unstoppable that I find myself forgetting that there are things that I actually can not do. Such as I really can’t physically move mountains, but I can remove limiting beliefs.

  6. Wonderful words! Thank you!

  7. Hi Caz,

    Great article! I agree, words are very powerful. And the ones you listed are particularly dangerous to use. I find that the most challenging and most important thing to do is catch yourself and interrupt your patterns. Then, you can replace those words with more empowering ones.

    It starts with awareness.

    • Absolutely. It is so important to catch yourself using these words. It always helps to have someone to help you with that as well. My husband and I always catch each other out.
      We have a few sponsorship proposals out at the moment with big brands. Whenever one of says “If we get the proposal” and the other will immediately correct.. “excuse me.. When we get the proposal” Certainly makes you change the energy you put into it

  8. Precision with words I believe is a good practice.

  9. Brilliant article, Caz.

    It’s so interesting to think about all the little things we say (and have been saying since we were kids) and how they affect our life.

    It’s kind of like the chicken and egg question. Does a flaky person use the word “try” a lot, or does habitual use of that word alone create unreliability?

    Language is fascinating, that’s one thing for sure.

  10. This is a very good article especially for me who always go by the word if. Luck. I know this article will go a long in changing my choice of words. Thanks Caz

  11. I went over those 8 words three times so I can remember not to say it 🙂

    It was a really nice reminder, Caz.


  12. Caz,

    Great pointers..I feel like most people are not aware of the words they are using and it happens at an unconscious level when they say them..If they become more aware of what they are saying and work on choosing the correct words they will attract more success and quality people into their life also:)

    Also, it’s great you brought up point 4 because many people think that for something amazing to happen they have to wait 5-10 years..Everything happens in the present moment…It is the ego making excused to wait for something to occur…

    Thanks for the post…


  13. Wow…this article is so inspiring
    thanks for help us to organize our LIFE

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