The Power Of Words – Choose Them Carefully For They Can Harm Or Heal

Do you understand the power of words? Words can be terribly effective weapons when used with malice.

I have a friend who was verbally abused while growing up. Today – at 47 – he still suffers the wounds from the words used on him by his mother. “You’re no good,” she told him. “You’ll never amount to anything,” she predicted.

He has dealt with low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence, relying on false bravado and arrogance because his mother’s words continue to weight him down.

A parent should never do this to a child. Nor, should one spouse do this to another. Our job in this world is to lift up our children, our spouses, our families and our friends. Words can do this as well.

The Power Of Words

A sincere compliment from someone you respect can send your spirit soaring, just as a weaponized word can shoot your spirit out of the sky. And it’s not just the words others use to lift you up or shoot you down. It also is your own words – your self-talk – that can sabotage you.

Often you talk to yourself the same way your parents talked to you.

That’s why it is so hard to get beyond the damage done by weaponized words. I’ve often said that you need to control your inner voice if you are going to channel positive change.

You need to control your inner voice if you are going to channel change. - Harry Hoover Click To Tweet

As we have discussed before, the voice inside our head often protects us from harm.

The voice in our head is in there to make sense of what is happening around us. Unfortunately, it hasn’t evolved much since we first climbed down from the trees onto the Serengeti Plains. Then, it was always looking out for lions and other predators. It’s job was to look for threats. Not all of our self-talk, thankfully, is hard-wired. We can change some habits and change the tone of the voice.

Words – even those we don’t say aloud – have great power. According to an article in Gateways To Inner Peace,

Try this little exercise by saying this to yourself – “Everything goes wrong for me. I always have such bad luck! I can’t trust anyone and I get ripped off all the time! My health is always poor, and I’ll probably die of some horrible disease!” Does it make you feel uncomfortable? You probably didn’t want to say it at all. This example is a bit extreme, but it demonstrates that words are not just wordsthey have an energy and a vibration just like everything else. And they will affect your mood and your own energy vibration. So can you imagine the effect that constant negative self talk can have on you over a period of time?

This can be converted into a positive exercise. By using positive statements – what I call I Am statements – you can reprogram the little voice inside your head.

I Am Statements

I outlined this technique in my book, Born Creative: Free Your Mind, Free Yourself, as a way to change your thinking about whether you are creative.

So, get a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. This works best when you handwrite it. At the top write in large letters I Am:

Now, number your paper 1 through 31. Leave #1 blank for now. Start with #2 and begin writing down things you are good at. I don’t care what they are. Could be that you can grill a superb steak, select a great bottle of wine, or calm a crying infant. Doesn’t matter – just make the list in I am format. For instance: I am great at grilling steaks.

Once your list is complete, fill in #1 with I am worthy. 

Read over your list. It helps if you read it aloud. Now, put this list somewhere you will see if the first thing in the morning and the last thing at night. Each morning and evening for a month, read the list aloud. We are reprogramming your brain to change your negative self-talk.

Please tell us the top five things you are good at in the comments below. We want to help you celebrate your positive traits.

  1. Good Afternoon, my Dear Harry Hoover Friend!! (Was just going to type My Dear Harry Friend, but that did sound quite right…)

    5 “I Am” Statements for me are:

    1. I am good at seeing humor in most situations.
    2. I am good at recognizing my many blessings and being thankful for them.
    3. I am good at seeing situations logically yet compassionately.
    4. I am good at putting people ahead of things.
    5. I am becoming better at acceptance.

    Very zen, don’t you think? It has taken me years to get this far, and I as the poets says, I have miles to go before I sleep.

    And thank you so much for including me in your emails. I look forward to your inspiration! You help me become.