Start, Stop & Change: words

Your words are so powerful. Your words are prayers. Your words are affirmations. Your words create your reality.

I want to share a few words and phrases I don’t say. Notice which words you’ve been using and consider how they’ve been affecting your vibration.

I don’t say No problem when someone thanks me.

  • I open the door for someone and they say Thank you. I say You’re welcome.
  • I run an errand for a friend and she thanks me. I say You’re welcome. I don’t say, No problem.

I’ve noticed this phrase so much lately, particularly when Hans and I are out at a restaurant. We thank the waiter or waitress for something, and the response is very often No problem. And the bubble over my head is: Hmmm…. I didn’t think there was a problem. I was thanking you.

One reason I don’t say No problem is because from an LoA perspective there are no problems except the ones I create in my mind.

Aside from that, I don’t find the vibration of No problem at all the same as saying You’re welcome. When I acknowledge someone’s act of service or kindness, and they say You’re welcome, that feels really high vibe to me.

No problem just doesn’t have that same high vibration. It introduces something lower vibe into the mix.

No worries.

Someone apologizes for keeping me waiting or not being able to fulfill a request, and I would say in response to their apology, No worries.

When we say this we mean, Don’t worry about it. No big deal. But it diminishes the apology and introduces worry into the mix—even if a somewhat different flavor of the word.

I decided to be intentional about how I would respond when a situation came up where I would typically have said No worries. Immediately after setting the intention, I had a couple opportunities to practice.

I was at the library to pick up a book I’d requested, but it wasn’t on the hold shelf. When I asked the librarian, she apologized the book had been mistakenly reshelved. I would need to re-request it and it might take a few more days. In the past I would have said No worries to acknowledge her apology and convey it wasn’t a big deal. This time I said, Thank you for your help.

Right after that encounter I was at my eye doctor and they had significantly overcharged me for my yearly supply of contacts. When I brought it to their attention, the office manager offered a sincere apology for the mistake and issued a refund. When she apologized I was about to say No worries when I remembered my intention. Instead I said, I so appreciate you making this right.

Now all that might seem like a big deal about such a small thing. In fact, you might be thinking: Is saying No worries really that big a deal, Jennifer? No, probably not.

But I’m excited to experiment with anything that tweaks my vibration up a notch, even if it’s just a little. I don’t begrudgingly do this; I experiment because it’s fun and fills me with positive expectation—and it is super cool when the experiment results in a lift in my vibration.


This one seems pretty straightforward, right? Do we really want to be using the word hate?

But many of us do use this word.

I hate my hair, body, clothes. I hate my house and high property taxes. I hate my commute, co-workers, job. I hate the weather.

Don’t hate anything.

If you are hating, you are pushing against, and therefore activating the vibration of what you don’t like. Meaning: Whatever you are hating, whatever you are pushing against, you are activating that end of the stick.

You might think you’re doing just the opposite. But it’s a flawed premise that if you push hard enough against unwanted things, they will go away.

“Anything you give your attention to becomes bigger. So the harder you push against what you do not want, the more specific or the harder you push against it, the more vibration is activated within you about it and the less likely it is to go away.” —Abraham

I can’t.

  • I can’t stay on task.
  • I can’t do that yoga pose.
  • I can’t find the time.
  • I can’t have a civil conversation with her.
  • I can’t get enough clients.
  • I can’t get up without hitting the snooze button.

I’ll bet if you pay attention over the next couple days, you will hear yourself say I can’t. Because there is an epidemic of I can’t going around.

Here’s my take. When you say I can’t…, you almost certainly seal the deal. You are right. You can’t.

Because you are expressing a belief about your capability. And your reality always reflects your beliefs. When you say I can’t find the time, you unwittingly create a reality where there’s not enough time.

Here’s what helped wean me off I can’t as part of my vocabulary. I started saying I’m unwilling instead of I can’t.

  • I’m unwilling to do that yoga pose.
  • I’m unwilling to find the time.
  • I’m unwilling to stay on task.

Unwilling is about choice, not capability. So right away there’s a shift in energy and belief. Now, I’m not suggesting you stay at unwilling. From this more energetic place of choice, you can then choose to be willing.

You’re wrong.

Oh my! This is one where I probably don’t say the words out loud, but in my head I’m thinking, Hans, you’re wrong. And I am right.

Making others wrong is not a high vibe energetic state. Making others wrong usually means we are complaining and blaming and judging, which, of course, are vibrations that attract gunk, not the good stuff.

What if you stopped making others wrong? Would your vibration lift? Remove the phrase You’re wrong from your vocabulary. Give it a try and see what happens.

Should and have to.

Ewwww—can you feel the low vibe?

My shoulders slump when I should myself.

  • I should file those papers.
  • I should eat better.
  • I should call more often.
  • I should be more patient.
  • I should clean out the closet.
  • I should volunteer.

When you should yourself, you create friction and resentment. When you should others—He should do this; She should do that—you are trying to control, which again is friction-filled and lowers your vibration

Bottom line: Don’t should yourself or others.

Related to should is have to.

  • I have to go to that networking event.
  • I have to bake cookies for the bake sale.
  • I have to call the insurance agent.
  • I have to carpool the kids.

When you really stop and think about it, you don’t have to do anything. Really. All those things you “have to do” are really choices you are making.

Now if you don’t do some of those things, there will be consequences—sure. But that still doesn’t mean you have to.

Consider the vibrational difference between I have to and I get to. It’s a small change in phrasing, but there is a vibrational difference.

The problem is…

Do you start sentences and conversations this way?

  • The problem is we won’t be able to get tickets.
  • The problem is my boss will never say yes.
  • The problem is it’s too expensive.
  • The problem is he’s always running late.
  • The problem is the flight will be booked.

There are two things going on here, neither of which work to your advantage. First, saying something is a problem makes it a problem—right off the bat. Second, the problem is a different vibrational frequency than the solution.

I invite you not to characterize circumstances as problems, and always be headed in the direction of solutions, in the direction of what is wanted. You’ll know whether you are headed in the direction of a problem or a solution based on how you feel. Because heading in the direction of a solution feels good while the other does not.

It’s taking forever.

I’ve noticed a number of my clients saying this about something they want to manifest. The relationship, the new job, money in the bank. Whatever it is they are wanting, they say, It’s taking forever.

When I point out this language and what it’s creating, my client might say, But I’m just telling you how I feel. I’m just telling you how long it’s taking.

If something you want is “taking forever” to manifest, take your attention off what-is and stay focused on what you want. Because the story you are telling about it taking forever is not serving you.

Change is hard.

If you believe change is hard, then change is hard. These words are self-fulfilling.

You don’t do yourself any favors by using this language or holding this belief. Just imagine, instead, you say and believe change is easy. This change I want to make will be easy.

Why is the one—change is hard—so acceptable and commonplace to believe while the other—change is easy—is viewed as living in la-la land, unrealistic, delusional, wishful thinking?

I think change is hard because too many of us believe change is hard. Our reality always reflects our beliefs. If you believe change is hard, then that is the only reality that can show up for you.

What would be possible if you believe change is easy? Or if not easy, at least not walking around all the time talking about how hard it is to change, how hard it is to show up differently in your life.

It comes down to this: Does believing change is hard serve you in any way?

I’m worried about…

Worry is on the lower half of the emotional scale. When you feel worry, when worry is the vibration you offer, you attract more into your life to worry about.

Bottom line: There is no upside to the habit of worrying.

When your own language points to the fact that you are engaging in this low-vibe habit, it’s an opportunity to redirect your thoughts. When you hear yourself say, I’m worried about…whatever it is, that’s your signal to redirect.

I am… followed by something negative or unwanted.

I am stupid. I am clumsy. I am old. I am fat. I am lazy.

I am affirms who you are. I am is powerfully creative language. Think of it this way: Whatever you say after I am—when it is said with feeling as in an activated thought—becomes true.

Think of all the things you could affirm with I am that serve you. I am whole. I am complete. I am well. I am in flow. I am abundant. I am resourceful. I am joyful. I am love.

There is an endless list of positive things you could affirm with I am.

Then think about all the things you may actually be affirming with I am throughout your day.

  • I am always sick.
  • I am indecisive.
  • I am a perfectionist.
  • I am taken for granted.
  • I am hard to please.
  • I am always running late.
  • I am a pushover.

Can you feel the low vibration? Can you feel the creative power creating unwanted?

When it comes to I am…, my language is pretty clean. I have become, since my obsession with all things Law of Attraction, intentional about my use of these words.

But here’s one I noticed the other day that I’ve continued to say: I am just not good at math. When the bill comes and I’m calculating the tip, that’s the thought in my head. And sometimes I even say it out loud.

Why am I affirming that? I know that example probably sounds silly. It’s not life altering if I’m good at math or not. But why affirm anything that is not a reality you want to create?

I encourage you to watch your words when it comes to I am. Notice what you are affirming. Is what comes after I am really what you want to show up in your life?

Phrases with a similar theme: Violence.

You might not think you use violent phrases or words. I certainly would have said that I didn’t.

But then the other day Hans and I were talking about a trip we’re taking next year to Paris. In our conversation, I said, Let’s think about when we want to go, look at flights tonight, and pull the trigger. Meaning book the tickets. But as soon as the words were out of my mouth, I felt what I can only describe as discord.

Pull the trigger. It’s a violent expression. And totally unnecessary. Why not just say: Let’s think about dates, look at the flights, and book the tickets. There! There we go. No violence. No disharmony.

This started me thinking about other violent expressions, like You’re killing me. I love him to death. I just need to bite the bullet and do it. I don’t have a dog in this fight.

There are many of these violent, negative idioms. Again, just start noticing. Consider whether this is language you want to use.

I invite you to start noticing your language and embrace a spirit of experimentation. 

Start noticing the words you use and what they do to your vibration. Sometimes it’s easier to begin this process by noticing the words others use.

Don’t pay attention to the language of others in order to judge. That’s not high vibe. Noticing the words others use can be a pathway to noticing your own language more readily. So don’t judge, just notice.

I would say this: Most people don’t want to be corrected. Just because you’re feeling gung-ho about upgrading your language and being more intentional with your words does not mean others want to be corrected.

If you have a friend on this LoA journey and you both agree to point out opportunities to reframe language, that’s great. Otherwise, I would just use the world at large to sharpen your ear toward language, but then turn inward to work on your own words.