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Are Your Words Toxic? by Janet Daughtry

Jul 27th, 2009 | By | Category: Wellness Coaching Guest Posts

The Power of Words

This is a guest post by Janet Daughtry of

ponderingtheconversationThrough the years, as believers, we have heard the benefits of fasting for our spiritual and physical health. We know that backing away from the table can be a good idea not only for our waistline but our spiritual well-being. Moving away from the constant need to process and assimilate food not only gives our bodies a much needed rest but builds a deeper spiritual life. I believe we can apply the principle of fasting to other areas of our life as well and see huge benefits.

What would happen if we applied the principle of fasting to our conversation or words? What would be the benefits? What would happen if we were intentional about eliminating toxic words from our vocabulary? I believe our lives would radically change. Words are seldom trivial or meaningless. They move us, inspire us to action, comfort and encourage us, bring healing or they can crush us and devastate us. We are changed either positively or negatively simply because of words, and not just words spoken by others. We are even impacted by our own words.

On most days we are either encouraging or discouraging ourselves with our own words. So, it would seem to me that one of the most effective ways to help our clients live a rich and meaningful life is to help them overcome toxic ways of talking and communicating. What positive or negative belief system might they be reinforcing by their own words?

Here are three ways we can help our clients get control of their conversation:
1. Tune in. What are you saying? Tape yourself or ask friend, parent or spouse to stop you when you are speaking negatively. Listen to yourself more closely.
2. Start a Toxic Word Journal. What are your toxic words? How do you limit yourself with your words? How does your conversation become an excuse or even blame? Examples: “It’s too difficult”, “It’s hard”, “I can’t afford”, “If only I had more money”, “If only I had more time”, “I can’t”, “I am so stupid, “I shouldn’t have to”, ” If only I”, “If only you”, “You are the reason”……
3. Go on a Word Fast. See if you can pick three negative words that you say often and eliminate those words for a week. Find a substitute word or phrase to use instead. Words are powerful. The writer of Proverbs declares the tongue has the power of life and death. Maybe you and I, along with our clients, need to rethink what we are really saying. With a little time, effort, and intentionality; all of us can take charge of our lives and our future by changing our conversations one word at a time.

janetdaughtryJanet Daughtry is a Breakthrough Life and Leadership Coach, Author and Speaker specializing in helping women overcome limiting and sabotaging thinking. For more information about her coaching and latest product, “7 Keys To Unlock Your Life’s Potential”, visit her website at

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