The Power of Words

by Janet Daughtry

– You can listen to the article here.

“Speech has power. Words do not fade. What starts out as a sound, ends in a deed.” – Abraham Joshua Herschel

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” So, who taught us that ridiculous song? Words can do a lot of damage! Words are very powerful. Have you ever thought about how powerful your words are? You know how you feel when you receive a compliment. You also know how you feel when someone tells you off. What a vast difference a few words can make!

Words contain meaning and they do matter. They are not just empty syllables that we throw around. They are containers of life or death. The writer of Proverbs tells us that the tongue has the power of life and death in it. Think about that for a moment. Wars have been started by words. People’s lives have been destroyed because of spoken words. On the other hand, people have been inspired and motivated to do great things just because of words. Words have brought great encouragement and even healing to the hearts of people.

I love it when people encourage or compliment me. I am sure that you enjoy it as well. When you “encourage” someone you are giving them a dose of courage. But, when you “discourage” someone, you are taking courage away from them. Words can do that. Have you ever realized that you can also encourage or discourage yourself with your own words?

Think of it this way, if you go to a restaurant and you order steak, you don’t want them to bring you chicken. Well, it is also the same way with our words. When you say to yourself, “I can’t” or “I’m stupid” you have told your brain to put in the order of what you just said. Did you know that the number one person listening to you is YOU! Your brain records that message, and eventually, if you say it enough, your brain is also going to help you find a way to fill the order. You may be great at encouraging other people, but have you thought about encouraging yourself?

If the power of life and death resides in our tongues, then it would seem fairly important to listen to what we are saying to ourselves. Are you negative and tend to complain a lot? Why not start encouraging yourself with your words? Why not start saying I know I have made mistakes, but with God’s help I will make better decisions. I am not a failure. I have just learned what doesn’t work! I have something to offer. I can move forward. If you begin to talk to yourself like this, you will eventually form an entirely new belief system.

Part of living a great life is the realization that your conversation with others as well as yourself is extremely important. Words not only matter they can be your most powerful asset. If you want a better life, change your vocabulary and let it take you there!

Janet Daughtry is a multi-certified professional coach and author. This article is an excerpt from her book, Living A Great Life which can be found at Follow Janet – @coachjanet on Instagram and Twitter.