The power of words
Words Are Power
Humans often consider the power of speech and written words as the defining quality setting us apart from the rest of the animal world. With the exception of some animals specially trained to communicate, humans alone possess the demonstrated ability for the ongoing use of language. There is little denying the power of words. We all have memories of times when words cut us to the bone and left us to bleed. Theory says it takes 100 positive words to make up for one negative word. Sometimes, words imprint on our psyches and become the filter through which we experience our lives. Words can damage us forever and often the person doing the wounding has no idea they have hurt us or changed us in some significant way.
Likewise, hearing positive, uplifting statements can bring our whole day into the sunlight. We thrive on hearing good things about ourselves and the experience can dramatically change our attitude. Words are power and with them, we hold the ability to create and to destroy.
Information is Power
Information, conveyed by the written or spoken word, is also power. It is a very profound moment when you know something that will change another person’s life and you stand poised to make the big reveal. Sit with the words below for a few moments and think of the impact, positive or negative, they create. Different circumstances result in vastly different reactions to the exact same words:
I am leaving now
I am pregnant
The test was negative
Like energy, words are neutral until processed through human filters and like energy, we can use words to help or to hurt. The designation of “bad” or “good” comes from within us and responds to our inner conditioning. Our own interpretations bring the power to the punch. “I am pregnant,” for instance, can mean something different to a couple struggling for years with infertility than it does to a sixteen-year-old girl telling her mother the exact words in the same configuration. The words themselves are neutral. The impact is individual.
Words Define Us
Journals help us work through what goes on in our lives. Lists bring organization to the world. Looking at words in print makes them more real and vital. Contracts are binding and we convey that same permanence when we put promises, goals, and wishes into print. Writing words by your own hand creates an intimate and personal act, which is why an autograph from a famous person has great value for some people.
As humans, we love our labels and the words we use to identify ourselves greatly influence our relationship with our authentic self. The labels I use for myself are not always ones in which other people see value but I draw tremendous power and comfort from them. We all have our words we use to define who we are to the world.
The nouns and adjective we use in self-talk can create a self-fulfilling prophecy. “I am so clumsy!” “How could I be so stupid?” “I swear, I am the unluckiest person alive!” It is said, “If you speak a fact to The Universe about yourself, The Universe will believe you and reinforce your statement.”
Humility Can Hurt You
Humility can take away from the accuracy of our self-image, both internally and in the world, just as much as an overzealous ego. Society teaches us that self-effacing speech is a virtue, but there is no shame in taking a compliment with grace and appreciation. Imagine the difference in replying to, “You look amazing today!” with “Thank you, I feel great today!” instead of, “Ha! You must need glasses!” Too often, social games such as these diminish our value and create a false depreciation of our worth until that humility becomes fact. The more we embrace our positive attributes and use complimentary terminology in our self-speak, the faster we get in touch with our own authentic identities and the truest gifts we bring to the world. When we devalue and diminish who we are, we detract from what we have to offer. How empowered we all could be if we worked to be self-aware and if we stood in our own truths and owned not only our struggles, but also our talents and our successes. How often do we think, “Nailed it!” or something equally complimentary when we successfully complete a project? Too often, we think is, “Whew! Thank God that is finally over.”
One of the basic tenets I use as a life coach is Know Thyself. When we align with our authentic self, we are clearly aware of the personal assets we offer the world. Cognitive dissonance creates walls to effective energy flow and it is especially tragic when we create our own dissonance or accept erroneously negative impressions from others as our own truth when in reality, we know better. The more tightly we wed our self-image to who we truly are in the world, the stronger our energy flow and the more powerful our Divine connection regardless of the spiritual path we choose..or that chooses us.
The words we speak define and accentuate how our spirits translate who we are, which in turn tells the world how to see us. Our words, written and spoken, are the clearest and most immediate indicators of the power we wield and how we manage it. Use them with tremendous discernment and care. Show yourself the same courtesy and respect you would extend to someone about whom you care deeply. Honor the gifts you bring to the world and do not devalue them for even a moment. Do not make yourself smaller so that someone else looks bigger.
There is no denying that words have power and we have the ability to shift the reactions we have to the words of others and to reprogram the words we use to ourselves. This is why affirmations work so well, even though the premise is so goony.
I challenge each of you reading this to leave a comment sharing three positive attributes about yourself. And…go!