Friday, May 1, 2009

Freelance writer, "shouldn't" you be a master of your words?

We'll see if...
Have to.
Ought to.
Need to.

Hey, I can go all day here. Wondering what this list is all about?

These are what they call "compliance words" - words that say:
  • Hey, my heart's not in it, but I'll do it anyway
  • I really don't want to, but...
  • I know I have to do this, but...
  • It's really hard, and I'll hate every minute, but...
Get the idea?

These are the words people use when they'd really rather not, but they'll do it because they feel like it's expected of them. It happens in work, in your family life, your health, your spiritual life... and it's a verbal habit that's got deep roots.

When I come from a place of compliance, POOF! all the joy of life is gone. Writing's a chore. Even having fun becomes another item on my to-do list. So...

I'm banishing them from my vocabulary!

See, you can easily gut it out and go the next however many years you've got to live - and each day will be largely a copy of the day before, based on probability. You can live life as a "responsible" adult, doing what's expected, day after day.

Or, you can come from a place where you're doing what you do because you consciously choose it. (And you may, in fact, be doing exactly the same things!)

For the past couple of months, I've had more clients than ever who are in the personal development industry - that, plus I finished Samurai Camp in late March. And the combination of these two things have done nothing if not make me more aware of my word choices.

Not to get all "woooo woooo" on you, but it's made a huge difference in my life and in my business. I can't even tell you some of the names I've been working with over the past few weeks! Or the opportunities that are just falling into my lap.

In our house - at least between my hubby and me - we've got "Word Police" in action now. There's no fine (yet), but we definitely notice when we're using compliance words and when we talk based on probability (as if how it's always been is how it always will be). With two growing businesses under one roof, we "can't" afford not to watch what we say.

(Oooooohh! "can't" is another one of those words... banished!)

So here's the challenge, if you choose to accept it: Come up with your own list of compliance words. Hey you can even post it here. And then choose to make them off-limits for yourself. Then watch what happens.

1 comment:

moonmama said...

I had a life changing professor at CSUS that did not allow any language that indicated that we were not in complete control of our own life. It was surprising to me how many people in his class got upset, even angry at being asked not to turn in any papers with the words can't, have to, should, etc. It was challenging, inspiring and, in the end, life changing for me. It has been 20 years since then and I occasionally need a reminder... Thank you!