When you were young, your parents probably taught you to watch what you said – don’t say “bad” words, don’t call your brother or sister stupid and definitely don’t ever talk back to them.

But as adults, we need to watch our words in an entirely different way.

Often, when speaking about an issue or condition, we will say “my.”  Even if it’s not something we want or enjoy.  Things like “my anxiety,” “my weight problem,” “my depression” or “my addiction.”  It’s most likely not even something you do consciously, but just a knee-jerk reaction.  You’re the one dealing with it… so of course you should say “my” when speaking about it right?


Words have a lot of power, so it’s important to watch your words and not take ownership of something that you don’t want to continue!  Just because you are or have dealt with an issue does not mean it is part of your identity.  You may be struggling with anxiety or depression but it is not yours.  It does not belong to you.  And it is NOT who you are.

Our words lead to thoughts which lead to emotions which lead to behaviors and beliefs about ourselves.  You may think it doesn’t matter how you speak, but it does.  Because even if you’re not paying attention, your sub-conscience is.  If it hears you referring to an issue, a bad habit or even a disease as “mine” over and over again, it will incorporate that into your consciousness!  And before you know it (and usually without even realizing it), you will believe THAT is who you are.

I used to do the same thing when I would refer to the anxiety and panic attacks I used to suffer from.  Or even when I would refer to bad habits like indecisiveness or running late.  Until I realized the power of my own words.  Yes, there was a time that I struggled with anxiety, but it was never an actual part of who I am.  Which means it was never “mine.”  Same with the bad habits… if I am constantly saying “my indecisiveness” or “my tardiness,” then I am taking ownership of something that I want to change.

You can still acknowledge the issues and talk about them when needed, but make sure you do it with more general words like “a/an” or “the.”

Perhaps even more important, is watching your words when referring to labels that others have tried to put on you.  Just because a negative friend or family member unloaded their issues on you and called you lazy, stupid or incapable, does NOT mean that you are.  So don’t take those labels on as your own!

Be mindful of what you take ownership of and how you talk to yourself.

Remember, the inner YOU is always listening… so watch those words!


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