Three Words That Are Holding You Back From Success

Have you ever been to a party, chatted with someone amazing, and then posed the question, "Why don't we hang out more?" 

This question is usually followed up with a phrase I have come to know well, "We should get together soon." 

Then you both leave the party with the best of intentions, life gets busy, and another year goes by without either of you having followed through on plans. No one is at fault here. It's just that the the choice of words was wrong. 

Was there coffee or champagne in this cup? I'll never tell...

Was there coffee or champagne in this cup? I'll never tell...

At the beginning of the year I realized I too was very guilty of this. So, I made a promise to stop creating situations like this for myself. It's important to me to live in my own integrity and having positive intentions with no follow through never got anyone anywhere. 

So, I sat down and thought about the patterns I kept seeing and realized there are three key words that are to blame: SHOULD, SOON, and SURE. 


When you tell someone you should do something together what you're really saying is that this is a good idea in theory, but not in reality. Look at this difference here:

"We should take a trip somewhere." vs. "Let's take a trip somewhere." 

Doesn't the word should make it seem flighty and disconnected from a reality? 

Now, let's talk about the word soon. This word is probably my least favorite word ever. The underlying message of this word is flaky and non-committal. How many times have plans actually been followed through on when the word soon has been used? Probably not very many. Now let's look at some examples: 

"Let's have lunch soon." vs. "What day are you free for lunch?" 

Okay, you might have lunch at some point but I'd be willing to bet it's several months later if you go with option 1. 

And, finally, the most underwhelming word of all time: sure

When someone responds with sure after you ask them to be apart of something with you, how does it make you feel? And, looking at it another way, how do you feel about something when you answer with sure? Probably not very pumped. Let's review: 

"Do you want to collaborate with me on this project?"....."Sure." vs. "Do you want to collaborate with me on this project?"...."HELL YEAH!" 

What you're bringing to the table needs to have great energy and excitement, not half assed indifference. 

I'm not going to sit here typing this and say I'm not totally guilty of doing all of these things, however, I have definitely noticed a change since I stopped using these three words. Not only are my plans actually followed through on, but I feel more positive and excited about them as well.

Success is the difference between being a dreamer and a doer and the words we use reflect that intention. 

Photos by Christine Chang

Photos by Christine Chang