The "C" Word
When I recently watched The Gentlemen starring Matthew McConaughey, I was a little stunned as to how many times the C word was used—beyond what I could count. But I’m sure in the internet land—some man has done the fun math.
The first few times it fell from an actor’s lips into my ears, I was like, okayyyy, I am a grown woman, I can let go of that judginess for this great movie experience. And then, because it was said sooo many times—and in such great accents—I actually started to giggle throughout the movie each time it was continually said. Who knew!
Now I won’t be spouting the word anytime soon or singing it into a nifty tic-toc, but it did help me to see that word from a different angle.
At the beginning of Covid—I wasn’t giggling at all. It wasn’t easy to hear the word, much less navigate through the two years + pandemic. Much like that movie, now that we are mid-2022, the word Covid has lost its hardness, the mystery, or even the darkness that it once held so strong over me.
At one point during the pandemic, I started to encourage people to have an entire conversation without saying the C word. Covid that is. And it was challenging!
We are more than halfway through this year of 2022 and (way back in January) instead of coming up with that old-fashioned thing called a resolution, I came up with a great self-empowerment word at the start of the year.
And my friends, I am here to tell you that the word I chose is another ‘C’ word: Challenge!
But—for this C word I wasn’t aiming to use it. My intention was to eliminate it. To question its purpose and intention, to reflect on what I think it really means, steps into ‘some kind of’ knowing, and remove it from my personal vocabulary.
I’m happy to declare that I have been removing (and remembering to remove) the word challenge since the start of January—even though it has been one of my great go-to words for many years.
When I was in my late 20’s, several years ago working as a manager in a hair salon, I remember our entire management, stylists, customer service, and spa professionals all took great pride in removing the word “problem” from our conversations and replacing it with the word ‘challenge.’ We were quite lit with such grownish enthusiasm!
I have been proud to be applying that very tactic to many situations, for many years, until now.
So, here’s the thing.
The reason I personally wanted to eliminate this particular C word, is because I believe we create our own reality! Hello!
And what I want IS to create a blissful everything in mine—with a capital B!
Simply by removing the word challenge—dare I say—and even the word Covid—I believe I am removing any (and all) illusions of obstacles.
I know things are easier said than done. But removing the words, and carefully selecting the language that better represents my thoughts, feelings, or experience, what I am doing is saying to the Universe—very boldly I might add—that I trust in every single, itty-bitty, mediocre, colossal, solitary thing, moment, interaction, situation, person, relationship, etc.—that there are in fact—no challenges or obstacles at all.
Everything is an illusion! It’s all an illusion. And we create whatever illusions we want. Good or bad. Vague or clear. Comfortable or uncomfortable. Miserable or miraculous.
You may be hypothetically asking by now, ‘what prey tell will this illusionary removal do for me? How on earth will that help my mental health, my confidence, or simply my outlook on life? Is there even a point? Will I even see any real (or illusionary) results?’
What I can say is this; I can only speak for my experience. And by removing this particular C word, the removing process has helped me to know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I am exactly where I am meant to be. That every stone, walk, path, dirt road, detour, pivot, a shift in perception, etc. is, in fact, divine.
Sure, it’s an ‘opportunity’ to get curious, think, and reassess, before taking that next glorious step.
But what I’m saying goes further; the steps I see placed in front of me—are from me creating and placing them there myself.
There. I said it.
Don’t get me wrong. We all have stuff. But we also don’t have to declare said challenges as some type of conspiracy that life is working against us.
No one wants you to suffer. No one.
And does it give us more power by, in fact, calling it anything a ‘challenge?’ Am I deflated or inflated if I declare the said challenge? Am I moved? And does declaring anything delay the desired opportunity or outcome? These are all good questions.
I am really beginning to understand this a whole lot more as I dive even deeper. That to acknowledge a challenge—ie. Label it, call it, pick an alternate word that means the same thing, etc., etc. that is me telling The Universe that I have absolutely no trust in the process—or the outcome.
What I’m saying to the Universe is that I have no faith. So, I’m going to control this instead of you. Because you suck. And you won’t get it right.
To pour my energy into a challenge isn’t surrendering either. Aren’t we just feeding a tiny monster and giving it ginormous legs? I think embracing any ‘challenge’ feeds it.
And what I want is to surrender. To let go. To be free. To let my life, unfold the way God has intended it to be.
I do believe there is a God. And I believe God has a plan greater than anything I could ever dream up. God’s plans are way cooler than anything I can even think of!
His plan is simply the most direct path to getting me from where I am; to where I am meant to be.
So yes, I am continuing to work at removing the C word ‘challenge’ from my vocabulary. And may I reveal that it does keep working its way back in. But I keep remembering. And I see it. And sometimes I catch it before it falls from my lips.
I love language.
I love looking at words with a new perspective and increasing my vocabulary with better words that help me to become a better human.
There are so many words I want to replace! And the process of searching for new words is where I’m finding the most treasure.
Maybe you can get curious each time the word challenge appears.
Perhaps curiosity can be your new C word? Perhaps there is no new C word.
Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable is about growing.
Through this pandemic (which is now really an endemic) we’ve all had to do and be and live differently than what we were accustomed to. It put a wrench in our chain for sure.
But this is our chain gang.
Here we are in quarter three of 2022, getting further and further away from the early months of 2020.
What we’ve all done together—is crush our fears. We’ve done what we’ve needed to do, and we’ve done it all perfectly. Yes, even if we did indeed call our personal experiences ‘challenges.’
I’ve dropped quite a few C words in this blog to add to your cognitive awareness: beginning with the traditional one, jumping into Covid, walking over to challenges, peeking into curiosity, and even acknowledging a bit of control.
So, I want to leave you with these final two questions:
What kind of courage does it take to cease using the words that no longer serve me? And under what circumstances would I have the capacity to circulate language that counts?
Author, Radio Show Host, Spiritual Coach - Nicole Perry
As the creator and radio show host for Powerful Women Revealed, my mission is to support women entrepreneurs and women in business who are just like me; They have powerful missions, a deep burning desire to support their community, and they want to use their voice to make a difference.
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