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Over the last couple of years we’ve put various words we all use on a daily basis under the spotlight. And shown that they don’t quite have the meaning – or effect – many people think they do. Want. Need. Hope. 
Not forgetting those two seemingly innocuous little words, “I am (fill in the blank)”. And how what comes after them is so important, as it has the power to literally shape our own little world.  
In a positive way: “I am happy.” “I am fortunate.” 
Or, all too often, in a less helpful way: “I am fed up.” “I am so unlucky.” 
Well, recently, we’ve come across another little word that can have equally disastrous – and unintended – effects. It’s only four letters long but has the power to transform whatever comes after it into an uphill battle. 
Can you guess what it is? Go on have a go… 
Give up? 
It’s the word “hard”. As in “It’s hard to do (fill in the blank)”. 
“It’s hard to be happy.” 
“It’s hard to change old habits.” 
“It’s hard to find a new job / house / partner / (fill in the blank). 
Before we go any further, just read through those sentences again. Slowly. Even better, say them out loud. 
Can you see how contradictory they are? The mixed messages they send out. Both to yourself and those around you. On one hand saying you want to do something; on the other that it’s going to be hard to do. Talk about setting yourself up for failure before you start. 
Now you’ve seen this anomaly, the obvious question to ask is whether this approach is helping you do whatever it is you want to do or not? 
And the answer has to be a resounding “no”. 
So can you now see why all those good intentions and new year’s resolutions were doomed to fail? 
But it’s not all doom and gloom. There is a very simple way to make your life much easier. And that’s to ban this word from your vocabulary. Yes, we know it sounds radical, but it really is that simple. 
Then, instead of saying something is hard to do, saying the opposite. That it’s easy to do. 
“It’s easy to be happy.” 
“It’s easy to change old habits.” 
“It’s easy to find a new job / house / partner / (fill in the blank). 
Now we know what the little monster in your head will be busy shouting as you read this. “What rubbish” he says “how can simply saying – or thinking – something is easy make it easy?” 
Well, he’s quite right. Simply saying it’s easy, without having any confidence that it will be, doesn’t work. 
The good news is that there is a “work in progress” solution. Saying that it’s getting – or becoming – easier to do. In one easy step you’ve pacified the little monster in your head, while at the same time moving your focus to it being easier to do. 
“It’s getting easier to be happy” OR “It’s becoming easier to be happy.” 
“It’s getting easier to change old habits” OR “It’s becoming easier to change old habits.” 
“It’s getting easier to find a new job” OR “It’s becoming easier to find a new job.” 
Instantly your focus has changed from all the ways in which something is hard to do; to all the ways it’s easier to achieve. And, as we all know, as soon as we come up with one reason to do something then lots more will quickly follow. You’re on your way. 
Then, one day, you’ll suddenly notice that whatever it is has become easy to do. You’ve practiced doing it so often that it’s become automatic. A part of your default programming that you don’t have to think about. It just happens. Life really can be that simple. 
Words are incredibly powerful, particularly the ones we use every day without ever thinking about them. And, yet, they can become deadly traps ready to catch us unawares. Scuppering our dreams and desires. 
So isn’t it time to notice the words you use every day? To pause for a moment and see whether they’re actually helping – or hindering – you? 
As always, the choice is yours. 
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