Fun with F Words

Words matter. The words you say to yourself inside your head most of all.

Choosing to use “challenge” instead of “problem” shifts your mind into solution mode. Deciding to use “I feel anxious” instead of “I am anxious” can help you realize that a feeling can pass and that you don’t need to let the feeling into the core of your being. For the creative among us who are prone to exaggeration (guilty!), you may be more comfortable than the rest in using terms like:

  • Extraordinary
  • Devastating
  • Absolutely
  • Fury
  • Giddy

We might be well served to pause, reflect, and ask “Is this the right word for this situation?” Especially in the negative range- who wants to talk themselves into feeling worse than a situation calls for?

In my quest to be more accurate in my word choice, I decided to pull out the most meaningful words that have taught me valuable lessons over the last year. And then of course, to share them with you.

I came up with three- and they all start with F.

Freedom– I’ve come to value freedom as a guiding force in my life. However, over the years it has held different meanings. It has evolved. I thought I wanted the freedom to do what I wanted when I wanted. And my behaviors and outcomes in attaining THAT freedom left me wanting. But as I grew, I learned that true freedom is being able to accept, love, and express myself. It is the freedom to use my gifts to make a meaningful difference in the world. It is acceptance. It is contribution. And it is courage.

Find– Such a mundane little word, isn’t it? But it opened my eyes. You see, last year I was seeking. I went through a lot with a big move, my mother’s illness, and more. I was seeking good in the world. And in the seeking – through conscious awareness- I found humanity. The Finding Humanity project I put out into the world gave me peace. The feedback I got in response, gave me hope. Through the stories that people sent me and all I found in my own observations, I created a Finding Humanity checklist. Sharing it with you here with anticipation that you will FIND what you seek.

Faith- I am not a religious person; this is not a word related solely to that context. However, I’m certainly a proponent of that if it gives you meaning. Because for me the primary aspect of Faith being on my list has to do with meaning. Transitioning from an ego-based acquisition lifestyle to a belief that there is more to life. That contributing to something meaningful and bigger than you can give you purpose, focus, and confidence to continue. And when times are difficult, I have an inner conviction without the need for external assurance, that it will be ok.

I would love to hear what your words are. Those 3 words have helped to define your last year and send you into the next in anticipation of something beautiful. I’m interested in your journey. The world needs your voice, your energy, and your action.

Please share in the comments section below what you learn and do with the Finding Humanity checklist here


Heather Hansen O'Neill
Heather Hansen O'Neill
Hansen O’Neill is an international keynote speaker, behavioral expert, author of Find Your Fire, Teams on Fire! and co-author of the new Amazon bestseller- Where’s the Office? Moving Today’s Leaders from What IS to What CAN BE. Heather is also a 2x TEDx speaker, host of the popular podcast From Fear to Fire, and creator of L-FOCUS (Leadership For Our Children’s Ultimate Success). She stimulates vibrant energy, focus, and action for those who want to collaborate effectively, lead change, and achieve massive results. Heather’s mission is to open leaders’ minds and hearts to the possibility within them. She believes strongly in the power of choice to seek moments of humanity and use your gifts to make a real impact on the world.

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  1. Loved your inspiring checklist. I think these are all great and although. I’m sure I do some on an unconscious level. I’m going to jot them down and do just what you said. I’m certain it will make my day go better. Thanks

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