Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me. We’ve all heard it, we all try to believe it, but if we’re really honest with ourselves, we know it isn’t true. Words can hurt. Once you say something, it’s out there forever and you can’t take it back no matter how hard you try. You can try to let words bounce off of you and pretend that they have no effect, but after awhile they can start to wear away at you. Your strong exterior starts to crack and hurtful words seems to slip right through those chinks in your armor. For some, it might feel like the sticks and stones would be better than the words. We can’t control what other people will say about or to us, but we do have the power to control our own words.
Today’s post isn’t a lecture about watching your words and being careful what you say. I want you to think about the words and things you say about yourself. When we talk about words, it’s often in regards to what you’re saying about those around you. We don’t spend much time thinking about the words we use to describe ourselves. We don’t think about the things that we say to ourselves day in and day out and we really don’t think about the consequences of those words. Take a moment, what are the words you use about yourself?
Lazy. Self-conscious. Nonathletic. Over-eater. No willpower. Failure. Those were words that I often used in the lowest moments to describe myself. I was always negative and had a hard time seeing any positive when it felt like I had failed for the millionth time. High school was a rough time for me self image wise and in my quest to try and be like everyone else I constantly put myself down. I was my own worst enemy because by using all those negative words I was only hurting myself. How could I succeed when I couldn’t even talk well about myself? While my self-esteem got better as I got older, I would still find myself talking negatively to myself. If I felt tired during a workout, it was because I was being lazy and unmotivated. If I ate something I deemed bad, it was because I had no willpower. I failed to see all the good things that I was doing. Sure, I could fake being proud of myself sometimes but there was always something I could be doing better at and I zeroed in on the negative. I had trained my brain to only talk trash about my body.
Sound familiar? Like I said, words can hurt, especially the words we say to ourselves. With each jab and insult we say to ourselves, we’re only hindering our progress. Maybe you believe that you need to be tough on yourself or else you won’t see any results. I fully believe that there are times that we need to push ourselves but it should never be at the sake of talking smack. You wouldn’t call your best friends a loser for missing a workout, why in the world would you use that same word for yourself? Words are powerful and we need to start using them to our advantage. If you call yourself strong, you have a much better chance of feeling stronger and getting stronger. If you call yourself motivated, you can bet you are going to feel more motivated.
The words that come out of your mouth can either pick you up or bring you down. Stop beating yourself up with your words, it’s unacceptable. We all have flaws and more often than not we are very aware of what those flaws are. There is no need to constantly voice your problems to yourself over and over again because it will get you no where. You will just feel worse than before and are more likely to give up. If you can’t even talk nice to yourself, what’s the point. You deserve to be talked highly of and you are worthy of good words. Will you always be perfect and feel worthy of those words? No, but it’s in those times of struggle that you need those uplifting words the most. Today, start letting positive words enter your vocabulary. Use your powerful words to make yourself better and to keep moving you forward. Be your biggest cheerleader and watch how your outlook and life can change.