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Mindset StrategiesSelf Care

Why I don’t call myself a “burns victim”

By August 16, 201817 Comments

Hey champ,

Here’s something you need to know about me:

I’m “different”, not “disfigured”.
I’m a “burns survivor”, not a “burns victim”.
I’m “strong-minded”, not “pushy”.

Can you see the difference in the words I choose to describe myself with?

Early on in my recovery, I decided that the words I used to describe myself would not be negative. Not then, not ever.

The word “disfigured” makes me feel limited, so I never use it. And if other people use that word, I gently remind them that no, I’m not disfigured, I just look a bit different.

I wanna know – are you taking the same approach?
Are you choosing the words you use to describe yourself?

The words we use have so much power. Whatever we think – our brain creates. So if you’re constantly using words that bring yourself down, well guess how you’re gonna feel? (Hint: it’s not up!)

The reverse is also true – using more positive words to describe ourselves is gonna make us feel a hell of a lot better.

Today, I want you to really think about this.
And here’s an activity that will help you do that.

  1. I want you to think of a word you use to describe yourself that has negative connotations to you.
  2. What’s a different, more positive word you could replace it with?
    For e.g. Are you lazy or thoughtful? Are you dumb or learning? Are you overwhelmed or in demand? Are you out of shape or curvy?
  3. Get replacing! Write it out on a piece of paper, pin it to your wall. Repeat it in your mind over and over again.

Realising that you’re in control of the words you use to describe yourself, and choosing to empower yourself with words that make you feel good is one of the greatest acts of self-care out there.Tweet it!

It has an immediate effect.

So give that strategy a go, and then I want to hear what words you’re gonna start swapping!

Let me know in the comments below.

Together we can create an epic list of self-talk swaps!

And, if you want to level up your self-talk spin, check out this guide I created a few weeks ago. It might help you bust out of a self-talk rut.

Turia x


  • Gianna says:

    Great post Turia, thank you :) well I always berate myself for being too fearful (ok the word I actually use is “gutless”!). So now it could become…cautious, prudent, careful…. :)

  • Amande says:

    I switched “fat” to “full of stored energy”. Because that’s what it really is ! It made me laugh and I already feel better. Thanks a million Turia !

    • Mandy says:

      Ha ha – I love that one and would like to borrow it – well done Amande – the world is full of possibilities when we harness our stored energy!

  • Emanuela Desensi says:

    I used to be called dumb? that affected me right through my teens, Listening about your story Turia I realize what a strong women you are, you are an inspiration to all of us what I was going through in my teens is nothing what you have been through and for that you are a true hero, you should be very proud of yourself. Along with you beautiful Husband and your beautiful boy kind regards xx

  • Andrea says:

    Thank you I needed this today. I describe myself as fearful but I am changing that to careful.

  • Shannon says:

    I love this; the definitions we choose are defining in themselves. I’m replacing ‘deformed’ with ‘unique’ and ‘anxious’ with ‘hopeful’. :)

  • Cat says:

    What could be a good positive alternative for ‘weak’? I see myself as ‘weak’ in terms of many things, such as willpower, confidence, motivation, resilience, bravery… How could I re-frame basically feeling like a weak person?

  • Olivia says:


  • Ms. Turia Pitt — you are an athlete! You fought back the naysayers that said you would never run again and did an Iron Man. That’s guts and strength of spirit. Victims had things happen to them. Survivors rise from difficulties and move forward.

    I’m a survivor of a difficult beginning in life — I like to say that I was looking for rescue and rescued myself. I’m tough and can manage disappointments by giving myself a little time to mourn then coming back with a roar. If I can’t move the boulder in my way, I find a way around it.

    I love your inspirational e-mails and spirit. I’m so glad you have love in your life and a beautiful son. You are making a difference in the world.

  • Felicia McKay says:

    I am always sick physically

    My swap !!! -my body is getting stronger with each choice I make and I CAN be well

  • Annie says:

    I am multitalented, not underqualified.

  • Hayley says:

    I have very smiley eyes, some people would say I have crows feet but I definitely prefer smile/laugh lines.

  • Norelle says:

    I have swapped indecisive to cautious.

  • Chelsea says:

    I will now recognise myself as petite and not skinny!

  • Jill says:

    thank you. I am not broken, I am healing. I am not paranoid, I am cautious. I am not terrified, I am brave and vulnerable.

  • Rosangela says:

    I am not shy but “focused” . Your texts are always inspirational ✨

  • Mel Chappel says:

    I’m not “hot-headed”, I’m “passionate”.

    I’m not “blunt”, I’m “truthful”.

    I’m not “emotional”, I’m “empathetic”.

    I’m not “stupid”, I’m “unaware, with a willingness to learn”.

    As a wiseperson once said, “I’d rather be the person who smiled than the person who didn’t smile back”.