Sometimes it may look like we’re taking a step backwards, especially when life throws us difficult twists and turns, bums us out with bad news, shows us our inconvenient bank statement while presenting a growing to do list that costs and costs.

Sometimes it’s not easy. Sometimes it seems downright impossible.

As I was dealing with my own difficulties the last few months, I spoke to a dear friend and learned a fantastic distinction from her.

She said:

While our lives might be challenging, we need to remove the idea that it’s hard.

I sat with it, feeling into the words. At first they didn’t seem different, “hard” and “challenging.” But then slowly something about the word “hard” began to sit badly with me. I realized it was true: painting situations as “challenges” felt more inviting.

Hard felt like it welcomed failure.
Challenging implied a gold star once it was overcome.

Hard seemed endless.
Challenging seemed fun.

Hard was old and dreary and withered and tiiiiired. Challenging felt young and spritely and new and cool.

I sat staring at the wall a moment in silence.

“Hello?” She said.
“I totally f***ing agree with you!”

I was instantly enlivened, rejuvenated, inspired to prove my ego wrong and move forward. It changed the way I’ve seen every challenge from that point on.

Words have Weight.

They carry, packed inside them, entire universes of meaning we hardly ever inquire about because we assume we know what they mean. But do we? How do certain words feel to you?

Play with these pairs for a moment:

  • Happy / Content
  • Fantastic / Good
  • Lonely / Alone
  • Heartbreaking / Truthful
  • Idealistic / Co-creative

Each of the words has its own vibration and energy, its own meaning.

I notice this a lot with people I work with, as they put together their slogans and service packages, as they organize their about pages and home page offerings.

We have to deal with words A LOT, so we talk at depth about what their clients want. We look at what they offer, what they enjoy offering. (Those are different things.) And when I notice a word that smells funky, I offer an alternative. This can often make a world of difference!

Because each word is a world.

Because what we say and write is what we ultimately believe about ourselves and our world.

And it’s hella important to know how we’re framing those realities.

  • Laura Wood

    ALWAYS love your blogs….they stay with me for days:) xo. Ps Loooove what you are doing with Ann’s site. I feel like a branding/ website Cupid! teehee

    • Kat Tepelyan

      So glad!! I’m loving Ann’s site too. Well done, Cupid!

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