Words Matter

What are the words you hear coming out of your mouth…in your own head…your friends speaking? What are the words you hear in song lyrics, on tv, in the news, all around you? A lot changed for me when I began to understand that words matter. When I changed the words I thought/heard/used, my confidence grew exponentially; I stopped second-guessing, wondering, questioning myself.

I used to use self-deprecating words in my head and speech saying, ‘I’m just kidding’ until I learned that words matter. In some ways, our heart doesn’t know the difference, our heart doesn’t know the ‘joking intention;’ our heart just feels the words being spoken. Speak gentle and loving words to yourself.

Get quiet and think about the voice in your head and what that voice says to you all day every day, from the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep; and then the ‘voice’ you used all day still speaks in your dreams.

Make a list of the negative things that you hear in your head, that you say to yourself or that others say to you or about you. Write them on a piece of paper. Take a big black marker and cross out each negative word, one by one with commitment and deliberate intent. Then write next to it a positive affirmation that speaks to you-about yourself, your abilities, your world, your interests.

This doesn’t have to be a long exercise; it can take an instant to do just one at a time. Or, you can spend time quieting your mind and getting it all down, then systematically crossing them off with that black marker and mentally replacing each with a positive antidote to the destructive decline of your heart.

I’m moved to write about this topic because of song lyrics I heard that are so vile I choose not to repeat them. I was shocked, disbelieving that these words could be put together and then published in a title, sung and given great exposure. My heart aches for the children who think that these words are acceptable to be lauded through song and commerce.

Words matter. Your words can help build up or take down; create confidence or insecurity. If you’re a parent, a teacher or work with young children, every word that comes out of your mouth becomes imprinted into a young soul to be internalized and held possibly through adulthood until they come back later in life-either in love, if your words were loving and praising, or with destruction if your words were critical and judging.

To acquire a newfound confidence, start using words denoting gratitude and love: ‘I’m grateful for…’ and ‘I love… .’ These small, simple words will change everything. Don’t take my word for it, try a test on your own. Start on the first of the month and use them daily for 30 days.  See how you feel at the start of the next month.

Words matter. What are the words you choose?