As a child, my friends and I would taunt each other with the phrase “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. We would use this when someone said something mean. We used the response to try and pretend what they said didn’t affect us. Truth be told, words do hurt and the effect of words hurled thoughtlessly or on purpose can take a lot longer to heal than a broken bone. This is not only true of words said to us by others, but the words we say to ourselves about us. What language do you use when you talk to yourself? Is it positive and encouraging or negative and harmful? For example, lets say you set a goal to run a 5k race the first part of May, about 10 weeks away. You create a training plan and post the plan where you can see it every day as a means to keep you focused. Are your thoughts along the lines of, “Wow, today I ran a 1/4 mile farther and a little faster than yesterday. It feels great!” Or do you think, “Ugh. Running is so hard, I am so slow. What was I thinking when I signed up for the race?” The second line of thinking may cause you to give up on your goal or not train adequately and run the risk of injury.
The language we use in relationship to our goals, or dreams, or desires has an impact in every area of our life. If we spoke to our best friend like we speak to ourselves, after a while, we may not have a friend. Pay attention to the words you speak to yourself, about yourself. Are they helping you or hurting you? You can make the choice to use words that help, encourage and empower.