Words are pretty powerful. They show love, hate, compassion. They can be friendly and rude. They can make someone smile and someone cry.
But how much do you pay attention to the words you speak, not only out loud, but to yourself. And your daily words. Not just the words you use in an argument or a business meeting, but in every day casual conversation.
When my kids were young(er), I taught them to never use the words “can’t”. I also encouraged my young athletes to use a different word other than that “C” word when they are having difficulty performing a task.
My kids have caught on so much so that I caught my son using it during a playful time of wrestling. Hannah was on the bottom and Noah was working his way around to keep her pinned to the ground. I hear her mutter the words, “I can’t breathe!”
Then Noah so gracefully chimes in, “Don’t say ‘can’t’.”
Over 40 years ago, Zig Ziglar was teaching the same thing. He used the analogy of a stop light. We all say “stop light” or “red light” when referring to a traffic signal. He states that those are negative words because in reality, it’s a “go” light. Why? Well, what happens when the traffic light is out of order? Traffic stops because the “go” light isn’t working!
“[My friend] is so positive that not once has he ever had a cold, although he will admit he occasionally does have a “warm.” He is so positive he never refers to the “weekend” because that’s negative. He calls it the “strong end.””
In your next conversation, what words will you use to turn them positive? And how will those people respond and react? Will they smile? Laugh? Crinkle an eyebrow?
If you’re a parent, watch when you turn your negative commands (Don’t, Stop and No) to positive ones (try this, come help me, have this instead) to your kids.
Words are powerful. Many words spoken to us over the years stay with us, ingrained in the back of our mind, both positive and negative.
What words will you use?
I challenge you this week to exchange a negative word for a positive one every single day. Can you do it?
Reply back with what words you used and the impact it made.