It’s easy to underestimate the power of words. After all, they only hold as much meaning as we grant them, and society must agree on the terms. Still, they can evoke deep emotion, even color or alter our views. I remember when I was little, and my dad taught me that silly rhyme: Sticks and stone can break my bones, but words can never harm me. But it wasn’t true; words could hurt. Even in my young childhood, I understood from personal experience that the right words could devastate a person.
The spoken word has historically shown its significance. For the same reason mantra meditation involves the repetition of short, simple phrases, Catholic confession requires the reciting of prayers. Even magic spells, both traditionally and in fiction, typically include the use of memorized lines.
Words have great power.
If you follow in the Law of Attraction, then you believe even our very thoughts, let alone our spoken words, have the ability to alter our lives. When we allow our desires rather than our fears drive what we think and say, according to the theory, we manifest positive changes. Conversely, when we produce and perpetuate negative thoughts, we create dark clouds over ourselves and invite more barriers.
When we choose the right words, we choose new directions—which can open doors to exciting, new opportunities.
Words of Power
I begin and end every day with positive affirmations. I started the practice just a couple of years ago, and I’ve found it nothing short of transformative. Our words can have tremendous impacts, offering seeds that, depending on how we use them, can germinate into either steppingstones or roadblocks. Try using these words of power to your benefit.
I think every panic attack I’ve ever experienced has been the result of one very powerful sentence: “I can’t do this.” I finally made the decision one day that, no matter how much facing my phobias distressed me, I was going to change my narrative from “I can’t” to “I can.”
That one difference was eventually enough to get me out the door, but the words’ effectiveness took time to grow. They were the complete opposite from my long-practiced go-to response, so my first endeavors included as much strife as they did personal empowerment. Still, each was a step in the right direction. I still feel apprehension at the thought of doing something that’s outside my comfort zone, but then I take a deep breath and remind myself, “I can do this.”
Life is all about transformation. From the moment we’re born until the day we die, we are either growing, maturing or ageing—and throughout it all, we’re endlessly remolding and remodeling our minds with our bodies.
Daily thoughts play a key role in the shaping of the psyche, and how we frame our thoughts about ourselves can determine everything from our self-esteem and social lives to our willingness to take positive leaps or stand up for ourselves when we need to.
Create your own “I am” mantra to mold your thoughts and your path in ways that will help you succeed. I begin and end each day with the affirmation: “I am happy, healthy and successful. I am peaceful and powerful.” I’ve found these words become a little truer each day.
‘Yes’ and ‘No’
Two of the most powerful words in the English dictionary are “Yes” and “No.” When we realize we have the authority (within reason) to use either word at our discretion, we are one step closer toward taking full charge of our lives. These seemingly simple words can set boundaries, allow us to take full ownership of ourselves and our time and open us up to new opportunities.
Like other powerful words, they might take some practice to use effectively, but doing so is the cornerstone of self-care. It can be hard to live by our personal needs and limitations rather than the expectations of others, especially if people-pleasing has been one of our survival strategies. Once we get better at putting ourselves first when we need to, we learn to be more assertive in every area of our lives.
Choose your words carefully—both those you tell others and those you say to yourself. They hold more power than most of us realize, and left without focus or direction, they can lead us to devastation and ruin. Why not rein in their effects and learn to use them to their greatest benefit?