I have always heard the phrase, “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me”. I understand the concept behind that phrase but I know it to be very untrue. Words have power; the power to hurt or to heal and we have to be so careful how we use them.
The other day, in a referral group I belong to, we did an exercise. We each wrote our name at the top of a blank piece of paper. We then passed that paper to the right for that person to write down one descriptive word about the person whose name appeared at the top of the page. They then passed the paper to the right of them and it continued through the circle until the paper had gone to each person.
As we each looked at the list of our descriptive words, it was interesting the reaction each person had to their “words”. Since, of course, most of the adjectives were positive, I asked, aloud, to the group, do you believe those words to be true or do you find a reason to negate the positive thing someone has said about you?
We all have “tapes” playing in our heads. We all have descriptive words, about ourselves, going around in our mind and in many cases those descriptive words are negative. Too short, too tall, stupid, slow, clumsy, ugly, fat, too skinny, buck toothed, shy, old, overbearing, failure, loser, poor, unworthy, etc. etc. etc. So, when we get a list of positive words thrown at us, about ourselves, we begin to attach “yeah, well, but you don’t know this about me” instead of taking in those positive words as truth, We are inclined to believe the negative things, about ourselves, that we “learned” and have taken on as truth as we have gone through life.
Take some time today to write down the negative beliefs you have about yourself and get them out in the open. Take the time to think about some of the positive things people have said about you (hopefully you have allowed some of those truths to stay instead of dismissing them all) and begin the difficult but necessary process of replacing those negative words with positive words. The words other people say to you can have power but the words you say to yourself have the most power. Those words can propel you forward or hold you back.
Today, choose to look at who you really are. If you are breathing, you have purpose and negative thinking just impedes the progress to doing what you are designed to do.
Words have power. Now go use some words – positively and powerfully!