Words. Have you ever wondered at the power of words. How they can create or tear down; build up or destruct; inspire or demotivate? Words you have heard spoken to you or overheard spoken about you, that you have believed even subconsciously, have helped form and shape who you are such is their power.
Are you careful with your words? Am I? I know words have changed what I did for a profession; changed how I thought about myself; changed attitudes and behaviour. They can give life to your dreams or crush them in their infancy. I wrote a poem about it once in my more dramatic days.
A friend of mine often says that we were give 2 ears and one mouth so we ought to listen twice as much as we speak. I would go even further than that and say we also ought to ‘think’ before we speak – is it True, is it Helpful, does it Inform or Instruct, is it Nice and most of all is it Kind? I can’t help but think an awful lot of the nastiness out there could be avoided if we all just applied the think test before we spouted off.
I have wondered recently how differently I would have turned out if not for 2 short 4 word sentences I heard frequently that changed everything I thought about myself. I made choices and modelled behaviour based on those words. Today I realise they weren’t the truth about me and who I am. The truth is incredibly freeing – I now get to remake myself and choose new words to live by like generous, funny, kind, loyal, smart, grateful. I get to define new boundaries for my life, new behaviours, new ways of thinking. The truth matters; words matter.
In light of what I have learned in the past few weeks, I hope to be more careful with my own words, and to the words I hear and choose to believe; to be more careful not to just spout meaningless words or cold clichés. That means my self talk also needs to change. Instead of being fearful, I want to say I am fearless; instead of hating myself, I want to say I like myself; instead of constantly feeling unsafe, I want to say I am safe.
We frame our worlds with our words. What world am I framing? What world are you framing?