E-Squared:  The 10-year anniversary edition (with a Manifesting Scavenger Hunt!!) GET IT HERE

Just because credentialed experts say it’s true, doesn’t mean it is

“You have to decamp from normal reality.”—Eric Weinstein

I am happy to report that, while it took me awhile, I finally replaced the word “thong” with “flip-flop.”

When I was growing up, rubber beach shoes like havainas were called “thongs.” Sometime in the 1990’s, the word thong took on a different connotation. My daughter cringed whenever I mentioned I was donning a thong.

“Ooo, gross,” she’d say.

So I decided to teach this old dog a new trick. I decided to rewire my neural pathways that have associated beach shoes and the word thong for five decades.

And that’s what I’m doing now with the word “hard.” I’m changing it to “unfamiliar.”

As I’ve said many times, the word “hard” is the most dangerous four-letter word in the English language. It’s especially damning when combined with something you’re trying to do: lose weight, attract money, get a hot date.

Because our beliefs are so powerful, literally sculpting our lives on a moment-by-moment basis, to believe (and especially to say out loud) that something is difficult is counterproductive.

Still, even those of us who know about (and happily use) the power of our thoughts sometimes speak that ugly word.

“It’s hard to change old habits.”
“It’s hard to find a better job.”
“It’s hard to empty my mind when meditating.”

I noticed yesterday in my power posse, it was said 18 times.

So, yes, it might be unfamiliar to get up and dance your way to the bathroom or to pretend to exude confidence when giving a presentation or to give up your fears to the universe, but it won’t be unfamiliar for long.

Being hard could last forever.

Because I occasionally still see limitations, still believe the headlines, still believe in old school conditioning, I’m much better off going for unfamiliar and turning things over to the big guy.

I’ve discovered the less I do, the better things turn out. The more I hand over to the universe (the field of potentiality that is SO much smarter than me), the better my life becomes.

Pam Grout is the author of 17 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality and its equally-scintillating sequel, E-Cubed, 9 More Experiments that Prove Mirth, Magic and Merriment is your Full-time Gig.

65 Responses

  1. Similarly, my New Year’s resolution is to change the word “but” to “yes and…” I catch myself a lot. I’m sure a lot more slip by. Still, it’s an attempt to shift energy and every little bit helps, right?Good luck!

  2. Hi Pam,

    Vilma here. I was just reading your post. And yes, I have re-wired my words too… I do not use the word “hate” I have replaced it with “Not particularly fond of”


    Wanted to share that!!! Keep doing what you do, for you are an inspiration to a gazzilion.

    Hugssss, Vilma

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. Yep. Mine has been to respond to comments like “That sucks!” with “well…. it’s not my *favourite* thing that’s happened this week.” This also leads me naturally into thinking about what actually was my favourite thing that happened during the week.

  3. Good one and very interesting. Look forward to read the next one. I send you a hug full of blessings. Bobby

  4. This is wonderful. I loved “E Squared” and as I tried (too hard) to drag the love of my life to me (a man already known to me) small things I did not want to see kept showing me that he is not ready for me. It was a long haul. Now on the other side, and after reading your readers’ stories about love from last week, I am determined to give things a second chance with someone else. He came back into my life as I was humming and hawing about wishing the primary object of my affection a Merry Christmas. This second man, was reaching out to me after months apart, with an honest apology. Maybe platonically, maybe romantically. As I work on doing less and giving the Universe my hand, these uncharted waters can be less scary and more unfamiliar instead of the four letter word you are discussing here! Thank you for being so real in your journey of abundance and gratitude. You feel like one of us, not someone on a pedestal that has everything down to a bunch of absolutes. Thank you for your journey and how you write. A friend of mine and I say often, together, ‘It’s okay.’ And how that has helped!

    1. What a fab compliment! I love hearing that I’m not someone on a pedestal that has everything down to a bunch of absolutes. Absolutes suck! Thanks!!!

      1. Thanks, Pam. 😀 You made me feel all squishy. Here’s to a wonderful rest of your week!!

  5. Inspiring and insightful as always. Thank you for the reminder to be mindful in my thoughts and words. I love your work!

  6. I really got a kick out of this post. I too grew up wearing “thongs” and it has been quite a challenge to call them something different (flip flops). Whenever I see a pair, I still hear the word thongs in my head. And there is a bit of nostalgia attached which brings a little sadness when I have to call them something else. 🙂
    Your posts always make me smile. Thank you!

  7. Great reminder! I have kept “hard” out of my vocab as much as possible, but reminders are always welcome. I also like the above suggestions by other readers. One that I have been playing with is keeping “should” out of my conversations. Each time I might use that word, I stop short and think of a different way to phrase it that has a higher frequency, and does not feel like a burden, the way “should” usually does.

      1. How about changing “should” to “could?”……then you have a choice.
        Luv you all!

  8. Thanks, Pam, for the important re-frame. I believe that it is so important to re-frame EVERYTHING. Love to you and to all you offer. Your superb reminders allow us to let go and embrace TRUTH. We are truly free…

  9. Dear Pam, I am always excited to receive your posts because I’m never sure what titbits of wisdom you’re going to share.

    I love coincidence and synchronicity and yesterday I was just talking about that very same word about thongs with a friend of mine who is Australian where they use it widely.

    Have a question for you Pam I’m very interested about having a positive reinforcing screensaver on my phone. have you any recommendations so I can keep the magic with me from moment to moment basis during the day?

    With appreciation James

    Sent from my iPhone


  10. Hey Pam- I’m so glad you are addressing this directly! As a hypnotherapist and creativity coach, I hear people ‘argue for their limitations’ constantly, then punish themselves for acting smaller. Please keep reminding us that how we talk about ourselves is what our sweet subconscious minds use to guide our behaviour! My two ‘worst words to use’ are “Try” and “Problems”. “Try” particularly, is scientifically proven to weaken muscles when we say ‘I’ll try to do that….’ Try implies failure. That’s why Yoda is my guru!
    Thanks again Pam, great post-

  11. Yes, my daughters cringed at thongs too! Great message. We must have grown up around the same time and read the same books as we seem to be on the same path. Thank you for all your blogs and your books. Would love to meet you one day. Larry D

    Sent from my iPhone


  12. Ah, what a great idea to change “hard” to “unfamiliar”! I’m going to adopt that.
    But I still call those rubber sandals “thongs.” 🙂

  13. Today is the day i set for getting my gift from the universe it fp. From your book e squared. I have requested the most bodashasis gift I do no know what to expect but i know i am to receive it by 6:30 pst today

  14. Hi Pam
    Blessings to you and your readers . I often wonder about the word I Am Sorry, you know how powerful the words that come after I AM. We tend to say I’m sorry for any little thing and I’m trying to train myself to say “My Apologies” when I feel the need to apologize to someone. Any thoughts on this, would love to know.

    Blessings and thank you for your amazing posts 💜💜💜

  15. Well, I remember back in the 60’s when thongs/flip flops were called “zorries.” I still say that once in a while just to mess with people.

  16. Brilliant! I had a conversation about my son with my BFF just the other day, and she pointed out the exact same thing to me: how many times I used the word “hard” when talking about my son’s experience with school, historically. But as I’ve been doing a lot of healing work on myself and some with my son, our paths of potential has shifted quite a lot, and so has his school experience. In fact, it’s actually good lately (a miracle)! I am working on changing that word when talking about past experiences that truly sucked, but are very much the past and are done and over.

    Changing “hard” to “unfamiliar” is brilliant. I remember when my son was in first grade, if a kid in class did something that was unwanted, it was labeled as unexpected. It was so cool to see the kids’ language change how they thought about things. “Wow! That was unexpected!” Giving it that label didn’t lay judgment on it, or the child. And it gave the child freedom to change what they did or said.

    Being mindful of language is so, so, very important. A big thank you for this reminder today!!

  17. Pam,Some times you just say things that have me laughing out loud.So I love the Thong story, and no I didn’t know they used to call flip flops that( certainly not in Ireland:-)So you go from Thong to “Hard”And then you took about the “Big guy”God between us and all harm, but you had my imagination working overtime.Ok so that’s it, I love your emails btwOliver

    Date: Mon, 18 Jan 2016 16:51:12 +0000 To: omckenna@hotmail.com

  18. How about “challenging” as yet another alternative to “hard?”

    Sent from Rose Tomlin’s IPad. My novel “Duel of the Heart” is available at Amazon & major book stores. For a signed copy send $25 to: Duel, PO Box 1837, CharlestonSC 29402; includes shipping.


  19. Hi Pam, I just love you emails and they are always the first I open when they appear in my inbox. You are a burst of inspiration, so please keep them coming.

  20. Got to admit — I too was a “thong” child. I haven’t thought about that for a long time – what a great laugh to here it today! No more “hard” — I have had way too much of that spinning around in my mind lately, especially when that word is thrown around the media 24 hours a day. “Unfamiiar” is a much more gentle approach to what we may believe is difficult. I love it! Thank you, Pam!

  21. Thank you, Pam for these wonderful shares. For me however, there’s been so much of negative conditioning that getting out, many a time becomes extremely “unfamiliar”… I could probably be a case study for you, as my deluge of thoughts out of nowhere, over powers me most of the time – how can you help – or, how can I help my self.

    Warm Regards, Shiv (Sivakumar)

    1. First thing is to say, “it’s okay” to having all those thoughts. That’s what brains do. They create thoughts. We don’t have to build shrines to them. We don’t have to take them seriously. It’s all okay. Everything. Every single thing.

  22. I just wore my ancient thongs yesterday. I do “try” 🙂 to say “flip flops” around others…sometimes. And I will embrace “unfamiliar” as I “play” with it in entering a year’s worth of business expenses into a brand new app next weekend and continue to learn to dance with a whole host of new apps for a new business. Unfamiliar, unfamiliar. Makes me realize that I meanwhile SEEK OUT unfamiliar roads to run on–now stitch that road-running experience with the unfamiliar software! Thanks, Pam!

  23. Just the other day, my wife and I were discussing the prevalence of the term “hard-earned” when it comes to money. Even sources promoting abundance often refer to investing, or spending “your hard-earned money.”

    So, does money HAVE to be “hard-earned” – as though that somehow makes one more deserving of having it?

    “Easy money” sounds like a more fun choice. Or is there something inherently wrong with fun?

    1. Love this comment. Really, why don’t we say easy-earned money? Why are we conditioned to think money has to be hard earned. I loved Pam’s idea (mentioned somewhere, don’t remember where) of earning with ‘ease and grace’. That stuck with me. Even though I haven’t manifested it yet in my reality.

  24. I live in Australia and we still call them thongs 🙂 the other item of clothing is referred to as a g-string or anal floss.

    I love the reframe of words, I have a few things that I am unfamiliar with, but I’m looking forward to becoming familiar with them.

    Thanks for beings such an awesome encourager!
    Love & appreciate you Pam

  25. Hi Pam! I live in Burgundy, France, and just love your work and inspiring posts. Your words are sun-filled: you should see the smile on my face! Thanks for sharing

  26. Good morning, Pam!

    Your post was EXACTLY what I needed to read this morning. It’s a lovely confirmation of the path I am traveling right now.

    Yesterday afternoon, after several hours of exploring & processing, I made a simple shift in my understanding, which opened up a whole new path for my work.

    It was astonishing to me that the answer, when I finally arrived at it, was as plain as the nose on my face, still felt so “hard” to do. (Although I must admit it’s not as “hard” as the path it allows me to leave behind!)

    Meanwhile, trusting my belief that “every obstacle brings a gift,” I let it be totally OK that I felt less than stellar about where I was in my journey and simply stayed present to it. Last night, I slept like a log… and woke up ready for the new adventure of today.

    That’s when I got the email from my sister with your post. WOW. Exactly what the Doctor (The Universe!) ordered.

    Now I have another simple shift — AWESOME. And the great news is that the more you stay present to the Unfamiliar the sooner it becomes Familiar. What a great word — and a truly inspiring post! Thank you.

    PS: we used to call them thongs, too…

  27. Im from South Africa and we call them ‘slip slops’! When is your next book coming out? I can’t wait!!!! X

  28. Pam! Awesome post as always! Up until now, I actually forgot that a thong was also footwear! Now whenever a negative thought pops into my head… I will catapult it out of my mind via that old nasty thong! You will have to imagine which one I’m using!!

  29. Hello Pam:I bought your new book, E Cubed.  I love it.  One of the reasons I love it is that anyone can read it and benefit. I will be 75 next month.  In those 75 years I have lived in San Jose, CA, Port Washington, WI, San Francisco, CA, Fairfax, CA, Piedmont, CA, Cyntiana, KY, Pacifica, CA, CdA, Idaho, Palatine, IL, and in rural North Idaho, just outside Spokane.  I loved every one of these wonderful parts of our great country.  I met fascinating people everywhere.  I was so fortunate to have gone  to college and sung in coffee houses and night clubs in San Francisco, during the  60’s where the crack in time occurred and hippies flooded into my city.  It was an exciting time.  We believed we could make a difference, and we did.  I met people from Kenya and Persia, Yugoslavia and Pennsylvania in that little San Francisco State College which had such great teachers, and was the best Political Science school at the time.  Sheiks, political leaders from countries around the world sent their sons there.  We demonstrated for freedom for blacks, women, and people of color.  We stood up against  idiotic, politically based wars.  We sang with John Lennon when he crooned “Imagine” We stood up for women’s rights.  We who were women had no rights at that time.  We fought for the right of women to be educated and work.  We sang with Pete Seager when he sang “I want to be an Engineer” which was not about him but his sister. Pam, none of us stopped there.  We who are “elders” went on past our college days to make a difference in this beautiful world.  We travelled the world, supported environmental organizations, had babies and raised amazing kids, became musicians and scientists, political leaders doctors, lawyers, civil rights leaders, artists, authors, etc, etc. etc.  Now I am 74.  When I look into the Internet and Facebook, I see nothing about elders, especially women.  Well, nothing isn’t quite true.  Mostly I see ads for retirement homes, drugs, in-care help, and the like.  We who are still very much alive and vital seem to be invisible.  Is this me?  Is this what you are calling “the way I see thing”?  I just looked through Facebook trying all kinds of word patters like Vital Elders, Active Elders, Vibrant Elders, etc., and found two sites, one in India and one in the UK.   I have one friend who is 82 and painting beautiful oil paintings.  Another is skiing as I write and another is an ex-senator still writing for the Inlander about civil rights and environmental preservation.  The list goes on.  I bought my first kayak at 73, and snow shoes at 72, and have a ball with each.   I have some ideas about what I want to do with this information, thanks to your book.  I tried the first experiment.  No surprise that I didn’t see a beach ball, considering the mountains and fields around me are snow covered.  The #222 was easy, as was an elder in a fashionable hat.  Here fashionable hats are in season.  The baby smiling was great fun, and that one started a conversation in the checkout line in our local grocery, including about 5 people.  The one that really hit me was the billboard speaking directly to me.  There are few billboards where I live and those that are visible are specific signs for car dealers and oil lubrication shops.  Then I saw it I saw and  I was stunned.  Time stood still for the first time in my life.  I was in some limbo space where cars, lights, even my own breathing slowed and I knew that space outside reality where everything is silent.  Just for that moment I was there. I could tell you so much more but I have marmalade cooking on the stove.  What I want to say to you is thank you.  I am grateful for your all inclusive writing style.  So much is geared to the young, and that is wonderful.  However there are so very many active, vital, alive people in this country over 65 and in the 65 to 105 group and up who need to be acknowledged, recognized, and most encouraged to add to their skills, share their skills, knowledge and wisdom rather than be shoved into the background and be made invisible, mostly I believe by corporate America.  I know you might disagree with this and if you ever choose I would love to see what you have to say. Until that time, thank you again.  I am grateful for your energy and style, and for you all inclusive approach to energizing and encouraging growth through the Force. Jaquith Travis – Art by Jaquith “A mind once stretched by a new idea can never go back to it’s original dimensions” Albert EinsteinChange fear to open-mindedness and relaxation.  Live every day fully as if it were your last day on earth.  It just might be. – Great love and great achievements involve great risk The Dalai Lama

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