“Change” or “Choose”? (word swap!)

Photo by Letizia Bordoni on Unsplash

The word “change” shows up a lot in conversation.

We are encouraged to change ourselves, our communities, our opinions, you name it.

Is “change” a word in your daily rotation?

Notice whether you use “change” frequently in your talk with others or in your self talk.

In my practice with coaching clients, I pay very close attention to word choice. It’s a treasure trove of information, observing what people say, what words mean to them, and how certain words make an individual feel and why.

So, today I offer you a simple word swap to amplify your own self-awareness.

When you notice saying “change”, consider substituting the word “choose.”

  • “I really need to change how I’m thinking about…” becomes “I can notice my thinking and choose something on purpose.”
  • “I know I can’t change my partner, but…” becomes “I choose to accept my partner as is, and decide what to do from there.”
  • “Things never change at work, it’s the same old [bleep], different day…” becomes “I can choose how I show up at work. I can be an example of the change that I value.”

It sounds like positive thinking, “fake it ’til ya make it” garbage, doesn’t it?

Sure, I know, it might…!

But find a few “change” thoughts to practice this for yourself. Use what I offered as a jumping off point.

Notice how asking or hoping for change can feel ever so slightly disempowering. (Or, sometimes, straight up disempowering!)

Stepping into “choose” is — bam! — super powerful.

Hoping for change is future tense.

Bemoaning lack of change rarely, if ever, results in effective, lasting adjustments to behaviors or culture today, when your choices matter.

Choose what you can decide for yourself right now.

Choose pivots you exactly where your control is…in deciding how to show up for yourself on purpose.

  • Want to see change in your health? Decide what to choose for yourself today, then choose your plan for tomorrow.
  • Want to improve your friendships? Choose who you want to be close to and choose feelings and actions that move you closer.
  • Want to have a more romantic partnership? Choose an attitude of romantic partnership and how that version of you shows up for you and your partner.
  • Want to enjoy work? Choose to list the top 5 good things about your work every day. Create evidence in your mind of what you do enjoy, no change required.

The world does not need to change.

The people in your life do not need to change.

You do not even need to change.

You simply have the opportunity to choose…and choose again, over and over.

Make your choices intentional.

Choose…how to show up for yourself today.

Choose…what work is meaningful for you and choose when and how to do it.

Choose…how you want to care for your body today.

Choose…what you give your attention. (And thanks for choosing this article!)

Choose…how you show love.

Choose…who you follow.

Choose…how you decide to lead.

I challenge you to find your “change” thoughts this week and consider thinking a “choose” thought on purpose.

Run the experiment for yourself and see what, if anything, shifts in how you feel about your life.

Let me know how it goes — I’d love your feedback on what a change to “choose” creates for you!

P.S. Please click here to sign up for my free mini-class “3 Ways to Reduce Stress TODAY!”



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Lisa Schwaller

Lisa Schwaller


Stop overworking! I help professional people find work-life balance so you can have less stress & more fun. https://lisaschwaller.com