#16 The danger behind loaded words

When you hear the word success how does it make you feel? What is your definition of success? Did you know that how you define certain words can hamper or help you achieve something—especially in business? We call these words “loaded” and Megan O’Neill joins me today to discuss what they mean for you and your business.

Megan is a Core Belief Engineering Practitioner who works with entrepreneurs. She works with her clients on a deep level to help them overcome their negative mindsets, including around a person’s beliefs behind loaded words.

Loaded words carry more meaning then their dictionary definition. People need to understand that there are words that are really loaded and that how they define these words can impact their business and how they work toward their goals. 

What are loaded words?

Loaded words have a visceral response to them; sometimes this response can be negative. If there is a word that automatically gets your back up then there is a belief within you that needs to be examined and your beliefs around it need to be changed.

The question becomes, how are you operating around the beliefs of this word? Meaning is your definition of a certain word or words preventing you from doing or achieving something? Many people have mindset blocks around a number of words that can impact how they perform in their business - loaded words such as rich, ambition, success, hustle, and busyness.


How do you feel about the word ambition?

For Megan ambition is something to strive for; it’s an attribute. It is something you want to have in order to be successful. For Lara, ambition can be a risky path and does not always mean success - it's loaded for her with fears of too much work and sacrificing the joys of life.


What do you feel when you think about success in your business?

Many people don’t define success for themselves, but instead they end up using society's definition of success, or what they've witnessed and believed to be successful around them in their lives. 

It is only when you start seeing what you truly want versus how someone else sees success that you can start breaking through your beliefs around a loaded word. For example, just because someone else has the desire and ability to vacation in St-Bart’s twice a year, doesn’t mean it defines success for you if that isn’t something you really desire to do. If the idea of being successful in your business feels overwhelming at all, it may be time to write down a new definition of personal success. 


Do you want to be rich?

While one person may think being rich would be perfect, another person may hate the idea of ever being rich because of what they believe having money will mean to them. Some people think that being rich makes you cold and disconnected and therefore don't want to ever be rich. That definition has a lot more meaning than just having lots of money.

Our definitions of loaded words form when we are children. Maybe it is from movies we have seen as children where the villain was rich, or perhaps it is from our parents’ belief that people with money are evil.

You need to learn that your definition of a word can put a lot of needless pressure on yourself. You also need to understand that these beliefs can be blocking you from achieving success. You could be viewing the definition of a word through a lens that is not giving you the true picture of your situation. If your definition of a word does not match your true beliefs around something then you need to take another look at the definition.


There are two camps on what the word hustle can mean: If you’re hustling you’re working hard to be the best at your job, you love what you’re doing versus it sounds pushy, hard work, always in someone’s face, and never taking time for yourself.

Some people load it with positives, and some load it with negatives. Which camp are you in, or do you feel neutral about the word?


Busy has become a synonymous with success. There is a belief that being busy is positive for a lot of people because they are always taking action ad are always doing something. The other side could be that they’re not taking time for themself, their family or for the things they really want to do. Instead they are doing the things they have to do and not what they want to do. Being busy does not have to be a bad thing.

What are your loaded words? What kind of unconscious beliefs are you running around these loaded words? You can change a definition around words at any time, you just need to get a new education regarding a word to change it and move forward.

Resources & Links

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Megan O'Neill's website

Megan O'Neill on Facebook

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