Mental Health

The 14th Curse Word

June 8, 2020

The 14th Curse Word

We all have had moments in life where we let words slip out that we regret. Words come out that are designed to bring us and others down. Often called “four letter” words or curse words, these are those words that we speak out of anger, frustration, pain, and even apprehension. These words carry enormous weight. We often carry the impact of these words long after the reverberations leave the air and the conversation has turned into a distant memory.

According to some very “official” online research, it appears that there are thirteen universally agreed upon words that we can state are curse words. I am not going to take pause to list any of these words at this time and in reality, it is not these words that I want to even focus on for this conversation.

I want to instead propose another word, a 14th word, to add to this list.

The Word that Sneaks In

I feel that there is another word that sneaks into our language and interrupts our lives more than any other. That word. That one little, six letter word. You may not realize what it is, but I can optimistically presume that it is a word that you are VERY familiar with. So much so, that you probably use it several times daily with little to no thought of its significance. In fact, if I were to take a bet on it, I would bet it all with full confidence that I would come out on top.

Now that that I have piqued your interest, I will let you in on what I dare to say, should be considered the 14th curse word and that word is simply, the word ENOUGH.

Are We Enough?

Many of you are thinking “whoa now. Wait a second.” Enough may be a little word and it may only contain six letters, but it is definitely not a curse word.” Let’s pause for a moment and consider this. How many times in our lives do we question, are we smart enough? Pretty enough? Kind enough? How many times do we consider, are we strong enough? Successful enough? Brave enough? How many times do we stop pursuing our goals, question our identity, and cease living our lives fully because we let that sneaky six letter word derail good intention that we had for our life and our purpose? How many times? To me, too many.

I know it is not fair for me to speak for everyone. However, I do think that everyone, at least at some point in their lives, have experienced the defeat of this word. Let’s be honest. I know that has been me and if it is not you now, then it was you at some point in the past. And if you cannot admit it to yourself yet, be prepared for it to come. Be prepared also to watch your parents, sibling, neighbor, coworkers, and friends to experience the same. No one is fully immune to the consequences of this word, the proposed 14th curse word. The potentially destructive word: enough.

More than Enough

Let this reading be a reminder to you that you are not this word. You are not defined by a word that limits your capabilities, restricts your ambitions, impacts your ability to be content with daily living. Believe in yourself, dare to dream, and know that you do not have to be weighed down by, what I consider to be, the 14th curse word. Because you are, and always will be, more than enough.

Coping Techniques for Self-Doubt

For those of you grappling with issues of anxiety and self-doubt, know that you are not alone. Please consider some of the following strategies to help.

  • Post a list of affirmations in a prominent place or places and read them aloud each time you pass by. Affirmations are positive statements about yourself such as…
    “I am smart. I am kind. I am beautiful. I am worthy of love and affection.”
  • Speak to family members, close friends, or other caring individuals who hold a special place in your heart about your value. These close relationships can offer you a different perspective and be supportive of your strengths when your doubts want to take over.
  • If you believe that these unwanted thoughts may be holding you back personally, in relationships and/or professionally, consider speaking to a therapist. With their training and experience, you may be able to learn how to create a more optimistic and positive self-view that will allow you to move beyond what burdens you.
  • Create a gratitude journal and make a list of five things each day that you truly appreciate. Challenge yourself to identify something new each day. This allows you to see the positives in your life instead of the perceived negatives.
  • Introduce yourself to meditation. Meditation can be very calming and can center your life. This is especially important if you feel you live in chaos and your fear is casting doubts on your dreams.
  • Set goals for yourself. By setting some short term and long term goals, you set a direction for where you would like to go. This allows you to see today as a stepping stone for tomorrow and not a final destination.

Visit to connect with a CHI Health mental health provider. We offer in-person and virtual therapy sessions with our team of licensed mental health therapists.

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