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  • Writer's pictureAlex Young

How to reframe negative words into empowering ones


'The limits of my language mean the limits of my world'

Ludwig Wittgenstein



The words we use to describe our situations have impact. Not only do they inform others around us as to how we view ourselves and our expectations but they also form part of our personal identities. When we tell ourselves that there is something negative going on, we surrender to it.


When we instead approach something with realism, acceptance and aim to frame it positively, we can equip ourselves with a better mindset as we hear the words we speak! It takes some training and is definitely easier to implement in certain situations that others but it's definitely something to bear in mind if you're looking to improve your personal empowerment.


Here are 20 negative words / phrases, reframed into positive ones to get you started:


Failure ➜ Learning


Exhausted ➜ Playing in overtime


Disappointed ➜ Delayed


Stuck ➜ Exploring new angles


Overwhelmed ➜ Temporary imbalance


Down ➜ On route to a turnaround


Embarrassed ➜ Aware


Rejected ➜ Misunderstood


Nervous ➜ Energised


Lost ➜ Searching


Hate ➜ I prefer


Sick of ➜ Want to cleanse from


Stupid ➜ Looking to gain further knowledge


Destroyed ➜ Set-back


Drained ➜ Need time for recharging


Afraid ➜ Uncomfortable


Furious ➜ Passionate


Sad ➜ Sorting my thoughts


Have to ➜ Get to



Which words do you habitually use (whether self-talk or vocalised to those around you) that create negative feelings in your life?


If they didn't make this list, you can come up with your own alternatives - note them down (mentally, in written format or even tell your loved ones about them so they can help you) and then see how you can reframe them to be more freeing and uplifting!

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