Watch your language: Three easy ways to be a better storyteller


The words you choose - consciously or unconsciously - shape your story. 

When you're writing, talking, or even thinking, what kind of story do your words tell? What do they say about you, and your role in your own life?

Do your words inspire you, invite creativity, make you feel excited to keep on going? Or do they make you feel limited, overwhelmed, or, well, kinda bored?

How do your words make other people feel? Do they feel lifted up? Or do they want to give up on life and go back to bed?

Are you the hero or the passive observer in your own story? Are you an explorer or adventurer? Or are you locked away in a tower, peeking out from those teeny concrete windows, watching the adventure take place outside?

By changing your language, you can change the way you see yourself. You can change your story and what happens next. 

Here are three ways you can make yourself feel more empowered right now, just by changing the words you're using (whether you're talking, writing or even just thinking.)

Bonus: start making some simple swaps in your language and you'll become a better storyteller. You may open up some new creative ways of looking at and describing your circumstances. And your story might even have a better ending!

Simple language swaps for better storytelling

1. Turn passivity into action

Instead of... passivity

"what ended up happening..."

"it turned out that..."

"it just happened that way..."

Try... action  

"I decided..."

"We discovered..."

"I chose to..."

Journaling question: What are you doing today to shape the outcome of the story you're in now?

2. Turn avoidance into addition

Instead of... avoidance 

"I don't like..."

"I don't do..."

"I stay away from..."

Try... addition

"I prefer..."

"My life includes lots of..."

"I'm driven towards..."

Journaling question: What good things do you deliberately include in your life?

3. Turn obligation into intention

Instead of... obligation

"I should..."

"I'll feel guilty if..."

"They told me to..."

Try... intention

"I choose to..."

"My focus today is..."

"I prioritized this because..."

Journaling question: what is one thing you intend to do today, and why is it important that you do it?


See the difference? I suggest you try out these three techniques for a while. Even if you don't make any changes, simply being more aware of your language can help you tell a better story - and write a better future.


Camille DePutter