“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”` Rudyard Kipling
This week, sponsored by the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors, celebrates words and their importance.
We grew up believing the children’s rhyme, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” Yet, at some point, you realized that was completely untrue and that words could hurt. Words can change our relationships, our demeanor, our entire system of beliefs, and even our businesses. Words have a dramatic effect on what we know, how we interact with people and the decisions we ultimately make. Words can influence us, inspire us or just as easily bring us to tears.
As we grow up, the words we hear from parents, coaches, teachers and authority figures help to shape our beliefs in ourselves. We begin an inner dialogue that can be incredibly supportive (I am smart enough to figure this out) or terribly discouraging (I always screw things up!). Our self-talk can be terribly sabotaging when we are working towards a goal. For example, when you tell yourself that you will gain weight by even looking at a donut, the subconscious mind is a willing participant. It will begin the process of holding on to fat whenever you look at a donut.
When we begin to recognize this, we can shift our thinking and our words. “I have the strength to keep running until I reach my goal”. Think about the story of The Little Engine That Could. The opening sentence is, “She was a happy little train.” The familiar refrain from the story is “I think I can, I think I can” as she chugged up the steep hill. Indeed, she did!
Are you replaying old tapes in your head of all the reasons, excuses you will fall short? Are your words setting you up for failure? What if you began to think you can? How might you be different? What would change in your attitude, in your behavior and in your words?