A Positive Vocabulary

Vocabulary is something we very rarely pay conscious attention to, yet it can give away a host of information about us to the perceptive listener.

Like appearance, vocabulary and speech form part of that important 'first impression' we make on other people. While the tone and timbre of our voices creates either a pleasing or grating effect on the listener, our choice of words conveys both our educational status and our emotional stance. We will focus here on the effect of words on our own and others' nervous systems, in other words, on the relationship between vocabulary and emotion.

Words And Emotion

When you describe an emotional state or use words to express an emotion directly, you reinforce that emotion.

If, for example, you say, “Damn!” when you make a mistake, you reinforce the anger you feel about the mistake.

If instead you say “Oops!” you're conveying to your subconscious mind that the mistake was minor, something not worth getting too excited about.

Modifying your vocabulary is one way to reduce the number of times you experience strong stressful emotions like anger.

The same principle applies to positive emotions.

Have you ever asked someone how they are and they answered, "Not too bad, thanks."

What if they'd answered instead,

"I'm excellent!" or

"I'm feeling great. Thanks for asking!"

How would that affect the person's attitude towards his or her life?

Anthony Robbins, in his best-selling book Awaken the Giant Within, suggests writing a list of words you'd like to change in both positive and negative situations. For example, you might replace a lukewarm positive word like “happy” with “ecstatic”, and change a negative word like “depressed” to “less energetic”. Tony also advises getting leverage on yourself by asking three friends to pull you up when you slip back into old language patterns. This is another opportunity for you to utilize the help of your support group.

Figures Of Speech

How many times do you lament something that's missing from your life?

While affirmations are meant to counteract declarations of lack, there are times when you'll find it necessary to tell the truth about a situation as it currently stands.

So if you're forced to admit you haven't reached your financial goals or you still have 20 pounds to lose, you can temper the statement with two very useful qualifiers, "yet" and "so far".

"I don't have 10 million in the bank…YET."

"I haven't lost the extra weight…SO FAR."

Both of these phrases presume that the situation is temporary and is subject to change in the not-too-distant future.

Jealousy And Envy

When you have a desirable goal that you haven't yet achieved, it's important to avoid feeling envious of people who already has it. Envy derives from an underlying belief that if another person has something you want, you can't have it as well – there's not enough for everyone.

Use your jealousy or envy as a signal from your subconscious that you really want that goal.

Look at the person who already has it and say to yourself:

"I'll have some of that, thank you!" or

"That's for me!"

Or you can use the immortal line from the film, When Harry Meet Sally:

"I'll have what she's having!"

You've just turned envy into an affirmation.

As a final measure, take a look at the person who has it. Is this someone you can model?


When replacing your former 'negative' vocabulary, you may find many of the new words a little weak in comparison to those you used before. A word like 'drat' can never take the place of words beginning with 's' or 'f' in conveying emotions such as frustration, disgust and fury. But then again, the point is to experience fewer emotions of that magnitude.

One way to get satisfaction from choosing a new word is to select something with a humorous bent. Words like 'feeble', 'peevish' and others that suggest dialogue in an Oscar Wilde play may help you overcome the loss of your favorite epithets.

And if there are occasions when you wish to use a really evocative word, keep two things in mind:

Do it consciously. And do it with relish!

Your Next Step:

  1. Read the Positive Affirmations page.

  2. Return to the Wealth Mindset page.

Disclaimer: This site is purely educational and we make no claims or guarantees with regard to the information presented. Please consult a certified NLP practitioner for individual coaching in the use of NLP techniques. We strongly advise consulting a financial industry professional before embarking on a wealth creation journey.