A couple of days ago I read a Facebook meme that talked about how words can be so powerful they can do irreparable damage. The meme repeated an old nursery rhyme ‘Stick and stones my break my bones, but names will never hurt me’ and disagreed with it.
I agree with the meme, bruises fade, broken bones and cuts heal but the pain caused by the words that are used against us can linger long into adulthood. Childhood bullying is hard to overcome. I experienced bullying at school, was called horrible names and felt left out and alone.
What was worse was the bullying I had from adults, especially adults who were supposed to love, protect and nurture me. To be told over and over again that ‘you’re not good enough, that you’ll never amount to anything, that you can’t do anything right, that you are a hopeless case, stupid and ugly,’ that sticks with you. Equally, to never be told that you are loved, to never be admired and supported and encouraged, that stays around too.
So how do you get over it?
That’s when the words you use in speaking to yourself must be chosen carefully.
Our brains are marvelous, intricate and fabulous processing machines, however they don’t operate logically, and they can be tricky. What seems to work at a conscious level does not compute in the way we might expect at a deeper, subconscious level.
Take the word ‘lose.’ It seems fairly straight forward doesn’t it. We might tell ourselves we want to lose the bad memories, or maybe lose the bad feelings those memories still bring up. Just like we might want to lose the bad habit of eating to comfort ourselves when we feel those uncomfortable feelings, or lose the habit of drinking to forgot how we feel. Seem’s reasonable doesn’t it. Because we know what lose means, don’t we?
But how does losing something feel? When you think about losing, how do you feel? Say ‘I’m losing’ to yourself, did you instantly get a stomach sinking, kinda anxious feeling? I know I did.
When you google the word ‘lose’, you get images of people holding their head in their hands, images of dice and roulette where people gamble and lose their money, of frustrated sports people losing their game, of people losing their temper, of lost wallets and purses, of profits graphs falling, of lost keys and lots and lots of weight loss promotions.
Our brains don’t like to lose. As soon as you say to yourself that you’ve lost something, your mind instantly looks to find it, replace it, get it back. That’s one of the reasons why the Weight Loss industry is worth so much money. We lose it and put it back on!
We can’t simply tell ourselves we want to lose the memories or associations that make us feel bad. What we can say is we want to release them, we want to let them go, to drop them.
These words empower us, we are taking action in releasing, letting go, and dropping. Its a much stronger way of saying that you need to be rid of something.
You are ridding yourself of whatever it is that makes you unhappy, you are releasing whatever it is that’s holding you back, you are letting go of past thoughts, habits and behaviours that hurt you. You are dropping them and they disappear, fading away like smoke in the air when you start thinking differently and start choosing words that work with the way your mind works.
And when you want to succeed, when you want to change you must repeat your powerful, positive, pro-active words over and over every day, as a shield against slipping back, against losing ground.
Its another daily practice.
For myself, I spent a few hours a couple of weeks ago creating a new Wheel of Life for myself and setting goals for the life I want to lead in 2021. I read my 2021 ideal life every morning, I read the tasks and milestones I have set and it keeps me focused and positive and motivated. I’m more productive and far happier because I do the actions that matter first and I’ve stopped losing the vast amount of time I used to waste on checking the news and social media.
We can change, the truth is we are always changing. I want the change in my life to be in the direction I want to take, so I changed the words I was speaking to myself. And that’s the change that will change everything in my favour.
Read more about thought changing here: