Oops As A Power Word

I love the word “oops.” It just feels good. And it sounds kind of funny — like comic book-y funny, doesn’t it? Oops!

Even a little musical with that upward lilt at the end.

I was thinking about what power there really is in that tiny word. Choosing oops as a response sends you in a direction that opens up. Like, “Oops, I goofed. Time to move on. What’s next?” I love the lightness I feel when I say that.

That’s so different from getting stuck in being mad and self-critical about what happened. And it’s definitely a shift away from going all dramatic and tragic about it. With oops, you don’t close in on yourself and stay stuck in looking at what went bad or how you were wrong. Oops keeps you open-hearted.

“Oops! Not what I want to do” automatically leads to thinking of what options will work – what you DO want to do. It lets you easily look for new possibilities. You don’t shut down with negativity. Your creativity and intuition stay afloat and at your service. Oops keeps you open-minded.

“Oops, I forgot – I’m not doing that anymore” registers on an emotional level as a simple mistake – not the end of the world. The gentleness and lightness of it encourages you to do the new thing instead. Oops keeps you open-spirited.

It may seem subtle, but oops has a lot of power in it – power to keep you moving in the direction you want to go, in a forward trajectory. It eliminates:

  • the urge to crawl into a hole of self-blame
  • the need to uncover your huge underlying personal problem behind your mistake
  • feeling deadly serious about everything that goes wrong
  • temptation to add this to the list of your other wrongs (how can you accumulate oopses?)

And oops is a great overwhelm reducer. I mean seriously… oops and overwhelm don’t even belong in the same room together.

Maybe it’s not trendy, but I think it’s a powerful four-letter word. What do you think? Leave a comment!

If the goof-up was a biggie and you’re feeling stuck, here’s tapping help with Forgiving Yourself. Go ahead and let yourself out of that prison.

  • Oops .. my new favorite 4 letter word!

    Love this post Janet! So often I have gotten stuck in self-blame and taking myself way to seriously. Love the simple shift that just saying OOPS brings. Gonna try this next time I’m feeling stuck.

    Thanks for sharing!


  • Thanks for chiming in, Paul. OOPS really does bring down the old seriosity level, doesn’t it….

  • Love the OOPS effect so much freedom in it, would you like to talk more with me about all the work you do?

Previous post:

Next post: