Words – a path to limitless thinking

By 10th April 2015MIND

Are you limitless?

If not, how would it feel to be limitless?

Don’t worry, you aren’t reading cult material encouraging you to jump off a building to be saved by Jesus. We’re breaking down barriers with the aim of being more lightweight in mind.

This blog post takes a look at how words can either help us become limitless, or shut us inside a box. First, let’s understand more about ‘limited’ and ‘limit-less’ thinking…

What is limited thinking?

It’s the ugly sister of limitless thinking. It’s the voice in your head which says you can’t do stuff. It’s the goblin on your shoulder that says it’s too difficult – so there’s no point in trying. It may be the voice of your mother, father, or friends. They told you things weren’t possible, that you wouldn’t succeed. That you’d never make it.

The problem wasn’t with what they said. It’s that you believed them.

You adopted these words in your own voice, and they became a part of you. The words crept unnoticed into your mind, like ivy growing into the crevasses of an abandoned building. They bedded in like a leech, sucking the ‘I can do anything’ feelings which you had as a child.

You have become limited in your possibilities.

What is limit-less thinking?

It is the belief that there is a way. Trusting in your own power. It’s knowing that failure is a good thing and not something to fear or avoid. It is the possibility that you can change direction and achieve more than you—or others—previously thought possible. You feel superb on a daily basis if you are limitless in your thinking.

We are limited only by ourselves. That means we have the power to regain some of that limitless, lightweight thinking back into our lives!

Words are powerful, and are a tool we can use to become more lightweight. Let me explain…

Follow the light

You may know Thomas Edison’s quote: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

This is a prime example of limitless thinking. Edison’s belief spurred him on to invent the lightbulb – a feat which others thought was impossible. He thought about his progress in a far more positive way than his naysayers, and his words reflect that. The result? Edison reached his goal, brought us light, and made his way into the history books.

Thomas Edison holds a lightbulb

Wise and inventive – Thomas Edison

Get rid of the phrase ‘I’ve failed’. Instead use ‘I’ve learned something’. The only failure is giving up.

Here are some other phrases we could banish for a more limitless life…

From zero to hero

‘I’ll try’

Do you ever say that you’ll ‘try’ to fit something in? Notice the negativity in that. Behind every ‘I’ll try’ lies ‘but I probably won’t manage it’.

Where did that come from, and how could you feel more positive about what you are agreeing to? Either say no, you don’t have time, or say yes, you can do it!

‘I’m disappointed

Swap the word ‘disappointed’ for ‘underwhelmed’.

Notice what it changes in your emotions. It downplays the thinking which locks you into negative, unhelpful states.

Anthony Robbins uses this technique. I’ve tried it myself and feel he’s onto something. To read more, I highly recommend Awaken the Giant within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Life. Chapter 9 is dedicated to changing vocabulary for more positive results.

Other suggestions from Anthony Robbins:

Banish the word ‘angry’ and instead say ‘slightly peeved’. If you’re ‘exhausted’, say ‘I’m re-charging’ instead.

‘I’m fine’

When someone asks how you are, what do you say? ‘I’m fine’ is typical. ‘Good thanks’ is another. How about ‘Not bad’? It’s probably a stock answer which rolls off your tongue without conscious awareness – am I right?

What does this all mean anyway? It’s normally followed by more meaningless blah blah blah, which gives nothing to the person who asked.

‘I’m bordering on the fantastic’ is my favourite answer.

How often have you heard that one? And how powerful will it make you feel to say those words? The look on people’s faces alone brings me closer to that fantastic feeling.

What if you’re having a rotten day? It’s best to be honest, but if you keep having bad days, do something about it so you have better ones. Why spend your whole life being miserable?


Nicole Matthews urges us to see the words ‘I’m possible’ when we look at ‘impossible’.

This powerful word play is just one way Nicole has changed her own thinking to achieve incredible outcomes in her life. Her book, Permission: Stop Competing and Start Creating the Life You Want to Live is excellent. It’s full of personal and insightful stories, sharing the secrets of a woman who understands how to create her own destiny.

‘I should’

Get rid of the word ‘should’ from your life and you will instantly feel more limitless!

This is something to pay attention to. If you find yourself in a situation where you feel heavy with ‘shoulds’, and you don’t need to do these things – don’t. Your life will be more lightweight for it.

What are your limitations?

What do you tell yourself you can’t do?

  • Do you have a fear which you don’t think you can overcome?

  • Can you be honest with your partner about what you really want?

  • Would you drop a friend who always makes you feel bad?

I have plenty of limitations I’m working on. Goblin voices became part of who I thought I was. Other people’s words—which were spoken from jealousy and fear—froze me like a scared animal. I’ve worked hard to remove these voices from my thinking.

And now? I’ve learned that being lightweight in mind becomes easier with practice. I know that unconformity is good, whereas I used to beat myself up about it and try to fit in. The words I said to myself were part of the problem, leading me to think in a less productive and helpful way.

Change your words

Why not make a list of the limiting words which you use, and swap them for other, more limitless possibilities? It’s not to say you can’t ever have a moan, but giving it a positive spin can neutralise some of that negativity.

Feel invincible – take control of your limiting words. And why not share your insights with us in the comments below?


  • Craig Reeves says:

    Great article. I also think we need to take responsibility for the words we use with others. Are friends, our partners and perhaps more importantly children. Children are like sponges and sock up the world around them and unfortunately it’s at this age we develop limiting beliefs that can be much harder to remove as we get older. People often spread there limitations on to the children around them. Remember the old saying.
    “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”
    This is one of the biggest lies there is. Our bones can be broken and heal. The limiting words we use the words leave wounds you and I cannot see. The good news is that we can break the habits often created as children and learn to as you say “Feel invincible” but what a great would it would be if children grow up already knowing they were invincible. Keep up the great posts.

    • Janine says:

      Hi Craig,

      I only considered the effect words have on our own thinking with this post. But as you say, they have a massive effect on those around us – kids are sponges indeed!

      You make some really excellent points, thanks for sharing your ideas!

  • Thank you so much for including a nod to my book, Permission: Stop Competing & Start Creating the Life You Want to Live! I’m so delighted it resonated with you!

  • Rocco says:

    All very true, i know from experience (trust me)

    Also worth a read is Sane new world from Ruby Wax

    Coming from Ruby its written in a completely different way which makes this a good read from those who may shy away from conventional self help material

  • Garreth W says:

    I’m very highly attuned to people “shoulding all over me”. Nice thoughts!

    • Janine says:

      Hi Garreth,

      I didn’t notice this message when you wrote it, sorry for the late reply. I’ve been silently chuckling to myself all morning after reading it 🙂

  • Rocco says:

    Also very interesting, sir Richard Branson also touches on the subject of words and how they are used…


  • Mary says:

    “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” —-> YES! That’ll be my mantra this week…

    • Janine says:

      Hi Mary,
      What a powerful mantra to adopt. As we’re not used to thinking about failure in a positive way, it may take some reinforcement. I appreciate your reminder. Thanks for the comment, and let us know how you get on 🙂

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