Ep 83 – Leanne Shelton: Using empowering words for yourself and others

Jan 10, 2022

Empowering yourself and others through words

As a copywriter and content marketing trainer, I use words all the time.

I use the written form to communicate messages for my clients and for myself.

I use the verbal form to teach new information.

And there’s another form as well. That inner dialogue that’s happening continuously in my mind.

Today’s episode is all about using empowering words.

That is – watching the words you use with others as well as the words you say internally. All of these words affect your overall sense of self.

This isn’t a heavily scripted episode, but I felt inspired to share my thoughts with you. Feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn or Instagram if anything in particular resonates with you.

Let’s get started!

Words we tell ourselves

Playing Big by Tara Mohr

  • Borrowed from the library months ago before it closed for refurbishment – then I finally started reading it. Wow…
  • Imposter Syndrome – ‘Inner Critic’. 

Harsh, rude or mean, you aren’t ready yet, black and white thinker – you’re always bad at this stuff, you’re a fabulous friend or a terrible one, constant self-critical thoughts around body image, like an audio tape – the same sayings go over and over in your head – a replay of the same negative thoughts over and over. Irrational but persistent – it still has power over us.

May take inspiration from people in our lives who have critisised us in the past.

But then – there’s the ‘Inner Mentor’. And I absolutely loved this concept. As women, it’s almost ingrained in us to seek advice and mentorship from others. I’m personally guilty of this. And often have thoughts like ‘I just want someone to come in and tell me the right things to do!’ As though I can’t trust myself to make the right decisions. 

But I KNOW the answers lie within. Because if someone else came up to me and asked for advice – the best actions to take would straight away come to mind. So why can’t I take advice from me??

So you probably have 2 voices in your head – like the angel and devil you see in the movies…The inner critic and inner mentor. Tara recommends giving them names so you can dissacoiate them from yourself.

I’ve named mine ‘Roseanne’ because Rose was my favourite name as a kid and ‘anne’, well, cos it’s like Leanne. I also think of the TV show Roseanne and I automatically think of a whiny character…

My Inner Mentor is named Honey – but I actually didn’t consciously name her.

I did a visualisation recommended by Tara and that name just popped up. 

It’s about picturing your future self – 20 years from now. And asking her for advice.

Honey – ‘Something of significance’.

(Insert link to the visualisation – www.taramohr.com/pbbookmaterials)

Tara’s book then goes into actions you can take to play bigger – by listening to your Inner Mentor. I recommend checking the book out!

The Surrender Experiment

  • All about trying to ignore that internal chatter – Just accept the flow of life.
  • Mention Michael A Singers’ life briefly.
  • You are safe. Life has your back.
  • Meditation as a way to quieten this inner voice.
  • Don’t become a victim to it.

Words we say to others

Inspired by Sarah Keen – Women with Altitude Hills/Parramatta Chapter

I hope you don’t mind me asking, and if it’s too much trouble don’t worry, but do you use apologetic language ?

Do you downplay your message and your voice subconsciously in order to avoid rejection, offence or failure?

Things like:

Sorry if I’m rambling

I’m probably overthinking this

I hope this is ok

I’m just thinking out loud here sorry

I’m probably wrong about this, but…

Sorry to bother you again

I know you’re really busy

No worries if you can’t

Only if you think it’s a good idea

If you get just a moment free today

Sorry if I’m asking too many questions

I hope this all makes sense

If you could maybe try to…

Sorry if this sounds awkward

I had a thought but it’s still a bit rough

If it’s possibly ok, could you…

Sorry I can’t be more help

I don’t know if I’m right on this

Sorry I just had another idea

I don’t know if this is the right moment

Sorry if anyone’s already said this

No need to reply straight away

I’m not an expert on this

Just wondering if you’ve had a chance

It’s probably not my place to say

Do you know what I mean

If I can just make a small suggestion…

I’m probably talking too much now

This sort of goes without saying

I haven’t read everything on this, but

It’ll literally just take a minute

I’m not sure if you can help me, but….

I’m probably just repeating myself now

I only wanted to mention…

I don’t know if I included this before

I thought I would just reach out

I don’t know if you’ve got time, but…

In actual fact, I think this is…

I’m sure you know better than me

I know I’m taking up your time

I am guilty of using phrases like this but until I started reading about apologetic qualifiers, I didn’t realise how much I don’t need to say them.

Yes it’s definitely one thing to be polite, but it’s another to leave people questioning whether you know what you’re talking about, or you lack conviction in your own beliefs or the importance of your request.

I’ve set myself a challenge for a week to not say “just” or “only”, and to be extra aware if they are said to me. If someone says “Can you just…” “It’ll just take a minute to…” “How about you just…” “Are you happy to just…” “I’ve just got a few questions…” …whatever comes next could be trivialising your time and what you have to offer.

Will you join me on this challenge?

How could you rephrase one of the statements in the list so that it doesn’t sound apologetic?

Many women commenting that they’re guilty of doing this! 

Saying they use ‘just’ in nearly every sentence.

Saying they do this to be polite and not forceful.

Personally, I aim to be conscious of this stuff and haven’t used ‘just’ in an email for a long time… But probably still say it in real life!



Throughout her career, Leanne Shelton has gained vast experience in journalism, marketing, communications, events, and B2B sales. She has worked in both corporate and not-for-profit roles, but since starting Write Time Marketing in 2014, Leanne has found her true calling.

A self-proclaimed English nerd at heart, Leanne is extremely passionate about the written word and loves working with Health & Wellness business owners to prepare effective content marketing strategies to best suit their target audiences. Even though she has dabbled in all forms of copywriting, Leanne specialises in business blogging as she loves the capacity to form ongoing relationships with her clients.

While some business owners choose to outsource their blogs to Leanne to write, others prefer to take the DIY approach and learn about the art via training opportunities online, face-to-face, and her podcast ‘Marketing & Me’.

Outside the office, Leanne enjoys dancing, reading, listening to inspiring podcasts, and spending quality time with her husband and two young daughters.



Playing Big by Tara Mohr – https://www.booktopia.com.au/playing-big-tara-mohr/ebook/9781473505193.html

Inner Mentor visualisation – www.taramohr.com/pbbookmaterials  

The Surrender Experiment by Michael A Singer – https://www.booktopia.com.au/the-surrender-experiment-michael-a-singer/ebook/9781473621480.html



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Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/leanneshelton247/

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