I was told a long time ago that words have meaning. I have always loved words whose meanings contradict one another. These are called contronyms or Janus words. Janus is the two-faced Roman God and these auto-antonyms are named after him.

Here are a few:

Fast: It can mean to stay put or to go quickly

Sanction: Can mean approval of something, or to restrict

Strike: Can mean to hit something (like knock down all the pins in bowling), or totally miss something, (like the ball in baseball)

And, one of my favorites:

Cleave: You can be bound together or divide

Now, when I give you the next contronym just register how it feels to you:


Did you jump to feeling nervous or hesitant? Or did you go to wanting something very much, determinedly wishing for something?

Most often, I hear the term anxious used as in anxiety, someone hesitant about what the future will bring. Well, we don’t know what the future will bring, but we do a great job labelling it either bad or good.

Recently I heard someone talk about being anxious for an event coming up, and they weren’t filled with anxiety, they were truly looking forward to the event and their perception was that the event would be fun, positive and they would get out of it what they wanted.

This person had already labeled the future event as good, even though it hadn’t happened yet. But, do they know that it will be good? No, they don’t. Events may not unfold as they thought, though I hope they do.

Events not unfolding as we thought. Hmmm, does this sound familiar to anyone?

It sounds like what we experienced so far in 2020.

Yet, things are as they should be.

And, we can choose to play the victim and be upset about what is happening, or we can be an agent. We can look for how we can use what is happening now to enrich our lives.

If you are facing challenges in 2020, you can choose to ask the question: “How can I get through this?” and know that as you traverse the curves thrown at you, YOU are becoming stronger, more resilient.

What you learn in 2020 will help you in 2021, 2022, and so on.

If you could use some help navigating 2020, schedule a call today with one of our Client Experience Guides who can take you through what is available.

We can help you to go from victim to agent.

You got this!

Dr. Paul


“Anxiety happens when you think you have to figure out everything all at once. Breathe. You’re strong. You got this. Take it day by day.”– Karen Salmansohn