The Power of Words: Using Etymology for Healing and Empowerment

etymology language words May 17, 2023

Have you ever stopped to think about the origins of the words you use daily? Words like "control freak," "perfectionist," "leader," and even "bitch" are often used to describe ourselves and others, but have you ever considered where they came from and what power they hold?

For me, the etymology of words has been a tool for healing and empowerment. By examining the roots of common words and phrases, I have found ways to reframe what they mean to me. I can now use them to connect with myself and the world around me more deeply.

This practice has helped me understand my relationship with myself and my relationship with language and systems. After all, language is a system; if we want to lead effectively, it's essential to be intentional with our language.

But why does this matter? 

We think and speak to ourselves all day long. Often the words we use when thinking of ourselves are not kind, not valid, and not even consciously chosen. We usually don't share those mean thoughts with anyone else. Leaders, all of us, suffer in silence because of the words we think about ourselves.

We can take back control of the language we use. We can turn it into a force for good! By understanding the etymology of the words we use, we can reframe them in a way that empowers us rather than keeping us stuck.

The power of words is real, and by examining the origins of our words, we can start to use them in a way that empowers and uplifts rather than belittles and tears down. So the next time you find yourself using a word that hurts, take a moment to look up its origins and see if you can reframe it in a way that empowers and heals. Your relationship with yourself and others will thank you for it.

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