Sarah Morgan

Healthcare Geek.
Professional Communicator.



I’ve had a year blessedly full of work, but that volume has caused me to let my own blog mostly lie fallow. To make up for this, I’m going to try for a post a day in December. About just about everything. Funny. Serious. Anything goes. Here is Day 11.

“I’m so stressed.”

“I just want closure.”

“I have a lot of anxiety.”

Sound familiar?

Lately I’ve been try to phrase feelings with simpler expressions. Not because I don’t believe in concepts like these. I’m an enormous proponent of therapy (as you know). But pseudo-clinical terms can distance us from what’s really going on. And what’s really going on is often easier to get to the heart of with simpler terms.

I might be stressed. But really? I’m worried because I have a lot to accomplish and I don’t want to disappoint or upset my client, and at the same time I’m a little angry with them for putting me in a difficult position, and a little angry with myself for not avoiding this difficult position.

See? The simpler terms are more visceral. More descriptive. More true. 

They also sound less self-important, which is another point in their favor. Being stressed sounds like you’re a terribly important person. Being afraid to disappoint, frustrated – that doesn’t sound so fancy. It sounds like something you should fix. Which it is.

A lot of people these days think “stressed” is a positive description. It isn’t. It means you’re doing something wrong.

One of my first bosses once told me that if I were working overtime all the time, either I was bad at my job, or she was bad at her job. I was to find out a lot more about her, but that philosophy is one I have always kept.

I want to be a good boss to the subcontractors who work with me. I want to be a good coach to the athletes who work with me. And I want to be good to myself.

And so, in 2019 – fewer fancy modern catchphrases. More simple words that get to the heart of what’s really going on.


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