Words aren’t just scrawled on paper, typed on a screen, or spoken. They hold power. The words that you use everyday matter. Without realizing it, the words you choose to say, write, or type could be diminishing your message.

The words you choose could be stripping you of your personal power. There are plenty of words you can pluck out and hold up to say this is negatively influencing my life — words like just tend to diminish what comes next. Just downplays importance. I think is your way of protecting against an attack from someone who thinks differently. I’ll try belies insecurity about your skills. Sorry becomes instinctual, you apologize when you don’t need to.

The point is that seemingly ordinary words throw you off course, undermine you, and strip you of your personal power. The words we highlighted above are just part of the problem, however, there are three in particular that are stripping you of your personal power.

  • Can’t
  • Impossible
  • Helpless

Personal power is your influence – it’s the source of authority you have over you and your life. So, as we look at these three words in more detail, keep the idea of personal power in mind and imagine how each word influences that personal power.


I can’t.

I can’t.

I can’t.

If you say it often enough and long enough, then you might just believe it. That’s the problem, isn’t it? When you say you can’t do this, you can’t do that, you can’t, then you convince yourself that you can’t and you reach a point where you don’t even bother to try. It’s not the most empowering of methods, is it? No, it’s stripping you of your personal power.


“Oh, no way, that would be impossible.”

“No chance, it’s impossible.”

“That? That would be impossible.”


Why are you deeming anything impossible?

If you want it enough, if you’re prepared to work for it, if you set goals and take action, then nothing should be impossible. When you use the word, you should only use it for literally impossible things alike, you can’t raise someone from the dead, you can’t hold your hands over someone and heal their illnesses. Those are impossible things.

When you say impossible, you’re talking about saving money for a new house. You’re talking about pursuing your dream career. You’re talking about pursuing your purpose.


“I’m helpless in this situation.”

“I can’t, I’m helpless.”

“I’ve never felt so helpless.”

What is it that makes you feel helpless? If you’re someone who uses words like can’t and impossible, then there’s a good chance you feel helpless an awful lot. You feel helpless when faced with a problem that you have decided you can’t solve.

You feel helpless when faced with the idea of change. You feel helpless when dealing with difficult people. When you feel helpless, your automatic reaction is to turn to someone else you think can take care of it for you. Where’s the personal power in that?

These Three Words

Start paying attention to the words that you use on a daily basis and if you find the words can’t, impossible, and helpless sneaking into your vocabulary, correct yourself.

You can if you try, if you’re prepared to work hard enough.

Nothing is impossible if you are prepared to take action and put yourself out there.
You don’t need to feel helpless, you are capable of doing amazing things if you just put your mind to it.

Do you see now how damaging words can be if you don’t pay attention to the ones you use and how you use them? Be kind to yourself.