“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.” Patrick Rothfuss
We all have that irrepressible voice inside our heads, it’s rarely quiet and never for very long, you know the one I mean. There’s no problem if it’s supporting your happiness and success, however your internal conversations have the potential to leave an indelibly bad stain on your life and can be difficult to get along with.
If you’re not careful, the ongoing dialogue you have with yourself can become stale and habitual, the same old ideas spinning around your mind like it’s a tumble dryer, day after day.
Your Most Powerful Asset
On the other hand, words are your most powerful asset. They create the narrative and meaning of your life. They can instantly inspire you or just as easily take you down to a place of sadness and despair.
Words give you the green light to take on life or can stop your fearfully in your tracks. Words have the power to give men permission to create their wildest dreams or keep them playing small.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”, is an old English playground rhyme I learnt when I was a child. It was true for a while.
We’d have harmless fun teasing one another, calling each other silly names but we got older, and our egos became bigger. Then the playground language changed and the rhyme didn’t seem so true anymore.
When we’re kids we don’t realise what we’re told isn’t always legitimate. So when the school bullies decided to ridicule me day after day. I began to think there must be something wrong with me.
I didn’t know I could disagree with other peoples ideas about me, so they stuck for a longtime. Their words hit me like missiles. Their verbal attacks placed hurtful, cruel ideas in my head, which I never doubted.
They festered away, unconsciously changing who I was from a happy self assured little boy, who was enjoying finding his place in the world. Now all I wanted to be liked. So that’s the game I played. I gave up my power. I followed the herd. I slacked off and got into trouble, did things I regret.
It took me a long time to see that the only person who really doubted me…was me. The bullying had stopped long ago, but I continued to unconsciously to allow their words to reverberate in my mind.
Your Words Define Your Life
Words are at the heart of your experience moment moment. If the way you communicate with yourself is limiting and lacking hope, then quite literally life becomes one of struggle. You close down, you miss the joy and you give up the chance to fully explore life.
Henry Ford said “whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right”. If you don’t give yourself permission no one else will. No one is coming to offer you a golden ticket, you have to hand it to yourself first. It isn’t always easy, but you do this by saying YES to life. YES to all of the good times and the inevitable challenges you’ll face.
Your words, your mental vocabulary form the ingredients of your thinking, they determine your reality. You see the world through your dominating thoughts. If your language is mediocre so will your life. Words can corrupt your happiness but also leave you feeling immeasurably happy by simply choosing to grateful for being alive.
Napoleon Hill said, “Our brains become magnetized with the dominating thoughts which we hold in our minds, and, by means with which no one is familiar, these ‘magnets’ attract to us the forces, the people, the circumstances of life which harmonize with the nature of our dominating thoughts.”
If you say you can’t afford something it never has the chance of showing up in your life. By changing the words to something like “there’s a good chance I’ll be able to afford it soon”, your internal experience (which is all that really matters), transforms. You are left filled with a sense of hope. No hope leads to depression, we know that’s not a place to create a life’s masterpiece from.
The pessimist who convinces himself that bad things always happen to him and that they are destined to only ever experience disappointment, tends to get what he wishes for. The good news is that optimism is not simply a function of genetics. Martin Seligman, known as the father of the new science of positive psychology explains “Pessimism is escapable. Pessimists can in fact learn to be optimists…by learning a new set of cognitive skills”.
Let go of the words that keep your world feeling small and difficult. Instead embrace a new story that keeps you open to possibility, rather than stuck inside constricting language that keeps you trapped. Observe the language you use, notice the words aren’t who you are. Check in with how you feel. If you’re feeling fearful or unhappy your internal dialogue isn’t supporting you.
“We possess such immense resources of power that pessimism is a laughable absurdity.” ~ Colin Wilson
Since optimists are happier and healthier, suffer less depression and may even live longer, the promotion of optimism, the language of truth and possibility is surely a key component of success. If you want to expand your world, expand the quality, intensity and vitality of the language you use. Let your inner vocabulary enliven and inspire joy into your spirit.
Start by downloading a free copy of Instant Inspiration – 150 profoundly insightful and transformative words of wisdom from some of the greatest leaders and change makers in our history. Their words have changed lives, their minds have created wonders in the world and their beings have inspired millions of people throughout time.
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