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“Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me,” is a saying that many of us remember form our childhoods.  It is interesting that when I was around sixteen I wrote a whole long report on the power of words, and the impact they can have on us.  It was a report I was extremely passionate about and poured endless hours and dedication into.  I guess that without knowing I was already paving my path for the future back then. Contrary to then vs. now, we now know all too well that words hurt, and it’s a phrase used much less these days. Today we know not only that they hurt, but words can do harm that can shape a person into adulthood, brainwash them or even make them act on things they wouldn’t normally do.

When I was eighteen I remember sitting for the first time in a therapist office with my parents. I remember the therapist ask my father if he loved me. He was enraged and thought the question was futile and silly.  He didn’t want to answer it. But the therapist kept pushing (I think she figured out who my father was), and he finally responded: “Of course I love her, what kind of stupid question is that?”. She then proceeded: “do you ever tell her?”, he replied, “she knows I do, there is no need for that”.

As I am sure you can imagine, I craved to hear those three simple words “I love you” throughout my childhood. I desperately wanted to know he loves me, but it was something that was hard for him to do, and I think that in that session it was one of the very few times I heard him say something loving and kind.

Words are very powerful, and choosing your words wisely in any situation, both on a personal and professional level can have significant impact. Both positively and negatively.

Below I have mentioned some common scenarios where words can penetrate the mind of any human being and how powerful they can be in all stages of life.  


These words and examples aren’t just meant for you to recognize “red flags,” for yourself, but can also be used as a tool to remind yourself when your words are cutting too deep.  It’s easy to get angry and say things we don’t mean, but we fail to realize the significance of the words we use, how we use them and when we let them out.


When someone says:

“I Love You,”  – This is not a phrase that should be taken lightly, but also a phrase that can never be said enough.  These 3 words are meaningful and it’s always a good idea to remind your loved ones of this. Showing your love is just as important, so don’t forget that part! It is one I learned to use a lot (I didn’t want my children to feel what I felt), so they hear it all the time!

“I Hate You,” –  These 3 words are just as powerful as saying “I Love You,” backwards.  In fact saying “I hate you,” is so strong of a word, that many families forbid the word in their homes.  To “hate” someone or something, is equivalent to wanting that someone “dead.” so think about that next time you use that “h” word.  

“I’m Proud of You,” – No, you don’t have to be 5 years old learning to ride a bike without training wheels to hear this phrase, but that’s the feeling you will have when you hear it!  Tell your spouse you’re proud of them for something they did at work, or that you’re proud of them for doing something good for someone, or even proud of them for achieving small micro goals.  It’s a simple phrase that play so much weight into feeding confidence, so say it proudly!

“You’re Stupid,” You can only tell someone they are stupid before they too will start to believe it.  And what do you think happens once they start to believe it? They become a fraction of the person that they could become due to lack of confidence and self esteem.  They settle for less in life and allow negative opinions shape them as a person. This “S” word probably made it’s debut early in life if you have siblings. You may remember saying such things to your brothers/sisters and it just felt natural, as it was a way to defend yourself from the “picking” they might have been doing to you.  We aren’t kids anymore though, and it’s important to brake this childish habit. Instead, just don’t say anything at all.

If you had a reaction to any of the words listed above take a moment and check in with yourself. Do they sound familiar? Are they perhaps some of the things you heard while growing up? I often talk about “affirmations” and how important they are. The thing is that most of us don’t realize that we actually use affirmations all the time automatically. Pay attention to how you talk to yourself. For example, do you sometimes say “I am so stupid”, “I am such an idiot” to yourself? Even if you messed up with something these aren’t words you should be using towards yourself. They are abusive, and debilitating. They won’t help inspire or motivate you in any way.

It’s never too late to un-shape your past, so if you were raised in an emotionally abusive environment or suffered from mental abuse from an ex-spouse, know that you can heal, and start being mindful of the words you use with yourself and others.   The way to fight through this negative self-talk, is to consistently practice healing within yourself and recognize where any damaging talk is coming from and eliminate it!  It’s work, but anything that you learned can be unlearned and re-programmed. I know that if I could do it so can you!

Start boosting your confidence today through a FREE 5 Day challenge!

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How do you feel about the word vulnerability? The other day a client of mine told me, “I hate being vulnerable, I think it’s just simply weak”. Actually, it is the exact opposite! We all feel uncomfortable feeling vulnerable, almost like exposed! But in truth life is in and of itself vulnerable. To be alive is to be vulnerable. Isn’t it? Most of us experience vulnerability daily, while others can’t remember the last time they felt vulnerable for the mere fact of them not allowing themselves to feel such emotions.  So, what is it that makes some of us so terrified of it?

The truth is that the answer may be different for every single person, but I think a lot of people learn to shut down their vulnerability through negative experiences and emotional hurts. It can be a simple childhood experience in school with friends, to a devastating heartbreaking divorce or betrayal.  Most of us have had some experience that has left us hurt and vulnerable and that feeling can at times really suck!  It can hurt so bad that without even realizing it we start to build a wall. We mistakenly think that by keeping our emotions in and having a barrier between our heart and the thing or person(s) that we love the most, we are protected.  Although this protective coping mechanism may serve us for a while, it usually does not work long term, and eventually can become a serious problem. Keeping yourself sheltered from hurt, life, and experiences will keep you stuck and lifeless. To live is to take risks! 


In allowing yourself to feel vulnerable, you open more doors and it actually fuels the connections and relationships you have. I might even go as far to say that it’s a nutrient that is required for a healthy relationship. People can sense when you have a guard up, thus discouraging them from wanting to be closer to you because they can sense your “wall,” and that lack of authenticity serves as negative energy that they don’t want any parts of.  


Authenticity goes hand in hand with vulnerability.  When you are authentic you allow yourself to be vulnerable to be open, but you are also the happiest  because the only person you have to be is YOU.  We all have issues, we are all human and we all have feelings. Being able to let your guard down means you welcome love and embrace it.  It means you share your deepest thoughts (both good and bad) and that you are true to yourself, just as much as you are to those you interact with.  

If you are someone that is fearful of vulnerability, I challenge you to try and uncover what makes you guarded and address it.  In tandem, I challenge you to break down those barriers and see how much better you will feel, as well as how your relationships may change.  It’s almost guaranteed that your energy will be shift and pick up.

Having a guard can prevent you from loving relationships, friendship, business growth and even a job.  How? Because people are people. You can try to fake your way through, but eventually your guard becomes overpowering and people will start to distrust you and question your motives.  They will wonder what it is you have to hide and this will prevent them from getting any closer. They don’t have a key to the barrier, only you hold that power. They are “knocking,” so let them in!

I encourage you to journal about your emotions, share your fears (out-loud), even if it’s by yourself, but get that built up, negative energy OUT of the soul and start training your mind (and heart) to make it disappear.  Yes, the world is scary, yes, you risk getting hurt, but guess what? You benefit so much more from life by being vulnerable, over having a shield around you. You might as well be walking with caution tape and chains.   

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The pressure that some feel to be “perfect” can not only come across as “fake” by others, but the amount of stress it can put on you personally is immense!  Women are more common to feel the need to be perfect, and typically, perfectionism takes over more than one aspect of your life. I know this all too well. Perfectionism is my middle name, or shall I say WAS my middle name.  It was something I picked up at a young age from my father who is a perfectionist himself, and imposed a lot of pressure and control on us through it. For years I thought that the way I was is normal and kept on living a life filled with stress and unrealistic expectations of myself. Honestly it really destroyed me.  If I didn’t have enough of a broken self-esteem the constant pressure to be perfect and to perform to unrealistic expectations imposed by my “I should’s” was just, well insane!!

I was constantly stressed, felt drained and tired and most of all never felt happy or accomplished with my achievements.

The best key to determine if you are a perfectionist is to see if you can relate to any of the scenarios I’ve listed below. Once you determine whether or not you possess these qualities, it’s imperative to start the journey of welcoming and appreciating who you ARE, instead of trying to kill yourself to attain an image or goal that will not result in happiness.

Home Life:

  • Do you find yourself constantly cleaning because your home always has to be perfect?  
  • Do you lose sleep because you work outside of the home and you obsess over every little detail?  
  • Do you feel pressure to ever compete with the homes of your neighbors?  

Family Life:

  • Do your kids have to look perfect all the time?  
  • Do you stress about their clothes, hair, etc?
  • Do you obsess over the extra curricular activities that your kids participate in? They have to be in the best sports, with the best teams and be the best participant.

Personal/Work Life:

  • Do you change your outfit a bunch of times in the morning?
  • Do you lose sleep because you’re so dedicated to work and you want to be an overachiever?
  • Do you constantly look at yourself in a negative way or possess negative self-talk?
  • Do you go out of your way to be a person that you don’t really think you are deep down?  


Of course these are only a few examples of some ways that a perfectionist might relate to.  If you see yourself in any of these scenarios, it’s important to understand why you are this way.  Is it because your parents were perfectionists? Do you feel like appearing “perfect” is the only way fo you to feel confident in your day-to-day?  Or maybe you surround yourself with other perfectionists and you constantly compete with each other, while not even realizing it.

Over the years I have learned that many perfectionists really suffer from a damaged self-esteem and pursuing perfectionism is not the answer to this problem. Quite the contrary, it will actually fuel the negative self talk and keep you stuck in your low vibe, lack of self love and acceptance.

You may not realize this, but appearing “perfect,” gets you nowhere.  In fact, it deprives you of sleep, starves you of valuable connections, altars your confidence and limits your happiness.  A Perfectionist’s work is never done. There is a constant desire to do more, do better and over achieve. This isn’t meant to be confused with passion and drive.  Usually with a perfectionist, the contrary holds true. The only thing that’s driving a perfectionist is being “perfect. . . “ correction, appearing perfect! A perfectionist will tend to have fake conversations, and not opening up to be their most authentic self.  This puts their ability to have more friends in jeopardy. While you might think that a perfectionist would be full of confidence, that’s only what they want you to think. Deep down, those that appear to be the most perfect, are the ones hurting the most inside.

So, what do you do if you’re a perfectionist?

  1. Boost your confidence – do things for YOU only! Things that bring you joy and peace of mind.
  2. Rest more – take time to just BE, you are a human BEing NOT Doing.
  3. Practice letting little things “go.” – I always tell myself it’s not perfect and I am perfectly fine with it. (then smile to yourself)
  4. Stop worrying about what others think of you! It is none of your business.   
  5. If you are easily influenced or triggered by social media, stop scrolling through your social feed for a while. (I had to do that for a while after realizing that it would trigger my insecurities and push me to strive for unrealistic goals)
  6. Accept your authentic self – Get to know it, embrace it and love it.
  7. Give yourself permission to understand that not all things are meant to be under your control.  
  8. Choose your battles – don’t sweat the small stuff. I always ask myself will this matter in a year from now? It usually doesn’t.
  9. Learn to ask for help (help around the house, help packing lunches, help at work, etc). – Yes you heard right- ASK FOR HELP, something perfectionists hate doing. You do NOT need to be able to do it all on your own. You are human!!!!
  10. Start Journaling.  If you can’t open up to others, start by opening up to yourself.  Write down your thoughts, struggles, emotions, or bullet journal a to-do list and prioritize the most important things, and let go or re-delegate the things that really don’t matter, or that can be postponed.  – Journaling was and is a lifesaver for me.

I also read a lot of books that were really helpful.  You might want to read in Pursuit of Perfect. I really enjoyed it.

As soon as you come to the realization on whether or not you are a perfectionist, start making a change.  I know it was a hard thing to change and work on, and I will be the first to admit that I am constantly working on it, but the rewards you will reap from it are PRICELESS. You will finally start living an authentic life, and trust me there is nothing like it!

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