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Little Words/Big Change

Updated: Jan 21, 2023

I don’t need to convince you that words matter.

A news headline that scares, a tweet that shames, a comforting phrase, a quote inspiring action, or an argument with a loved one are all ways we're momentarily jolted into recognizing the power of words.

Each one of us makes meaning with our words and each of us holds meaning for those specific words differently inside.

This is one major reason why communication can be so difficult.

And, the ways in which you talk to yourself matter as much as how you speak to other people, if not more.

Just as words you say to yourself (a.k.a the “inner critic”) can damage the relationship you have with you by sapping your energy and setting off a storm of doubt and shame, there are also small words that can do the opposite.

These small words can make a huge difference.

Consider them mice that roar.

Imagine using these teensy powerful words when you're talking to others at home, at work, interviewing for jobs...words that will build your resilience and perseverance. And, words which let others experience your generosity of spirit.

Here are 10 of my favorites (in no specific order):

  • Now

  • Yet

  • How

  • Can

  • Yes

  • Wow

  • Why not? (These 2 must go together!)

  • You

  • Try

  • Will

I lied..."Now" is my favorite.

Since we know that words can hurt, heal, motivate and deflate, isn't it a good idea to pay attention to how we use them?

Start this moment by making small tweaks to your inner dialogue. It’s the beginning of a powerful practice that, when applied often enough, yields big rewards.

Illustration by Risa Horiuschi

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