The voices in our heads often determine the actions we take, and while the voices may point us in right directions – sometimes they whisper words we need to avoid.
What are some of these negative words – specifically the SIX words we need to avoid?
What If …
The “What-If” questions are usually based on fear.
- What if I don’t get the job?
- What if he leaves me?
- What if it’s cancer?
Some of these “What if” questions are valid responses to a circumstance in our lives. But sometimes we allow those “What If” questions to keep us from something good.
We respond to the fear generated by the “What-Ifs.”
- What if I want to move to a new place but I’m afraid of taking the risk?
- What if I need to see a Counselor or a Coach but I don’t want to be vulnerable?
- What if I want to try a different job? What if it doesn’t work out?
For many of our “What-If” questions, just taking a step forward might answer the question. Most of the time, the things we fear never happen. And even if they do, we may discover more strength and faith than we ever imagined possible.
The next time you hear yourself asking “What if,” stop and examine your situation. Maybe it’s time for a change in your life that careful planning and an accountability partner can help you figure out.
What’s another word to avoid?
This is such a tiny word, but it wields incredible power in our lives. The “but” response may also be based in fear, but often it’s just another way to make an excuse.
- But I don’t want to marry again because I’m afraid he’ll hurt me just like the last guy.
- But I’m not sure a job change is the best direction for me right now.
- But I can’t make enough money if I really follow my passion.
If we allow too many “buts” in our lives, we may never accomplish the things we were designed to do. Or we may live our lives doing only the necessary and urgent things rather than really living the abundant life.
The “buts” of life are easy excuses and usually not valid reasons why we should make an attempt or risk something.
We can talk ourselves out of anything just by using the “but” word.
Instead, we can make a list of all the positive possibilities that might come from a particular choice and take one step at a time.
Again, it helps to have an accountability partner to help us sort through the reasons and/or excuses we’re using that keep us stuck. Partnering with a coach at GateWay of Hope can help you get unstuck and move forward.
What are the last three words to avoid?
I Should Have …
These three words have possibly caused more damage to women than any other types of verbiage. We constantly guilt ourselves with the “I should haves.”
- I should have married someone else.
- I should have finished my education before I had children.
- I should have used my inheritance for more retirement savings.
- I should have kept Mom in my home instead of moving her to a nursing home.
- I should have stopped after one cookie.
The reason to avoid these three words are because they are based on regret and often – false guilt. They keep us from moving forward because once we are listening to the “I should haves” then we replay them into the mindset of regret.
When we constantly guilt ourselves for a past decision, we begin hating ourselves and our lives. We no longer live with joy nor can we find that abundant life we’re looking for.
The truth is:
- Life is filled with opportunities to make a mistake.
- We can learn best from our mistakes.
- Our mistakes often strengthen us and give us the wisdom we need for the next choice.
- We cannot undo the past; we only have today and this particular moment.
- Nobody is perfect and nobody makes perfect decisions all the time.
So…stop guilting yourself. You did the best you could at the time with the information you had then. You can’t go back and undo anything. Learn from it and move forward. Stop living in regret.
These powerful six words can make a difference in our lives. So let’s avoid thinking about or speaking about the “What Ifs,” “Buts,” and “I Should Haves.”
Instead, let’s find something to be grateful for today and enjoy being the women God made us to be.
©2016 GateWay of Hope – Hope, Healing and Wholeness for Women