“Don’t speak negatively about yourself, even as a joke. Your body doesn’t know the difference. Words are energy and cast spells. That’s why it’s called spelling.” — Bruce Lee
Words are used to communicate, whether it’s spoken or written. When spoken, there is tone and inflection that helps convey humor, seriousness, hurt, or any other emotion from one person to another. In written form, how words are chosen and placed can convey the same meanings across centuries.
Sometimes, when people talk, we can hear their internal dialogue (positive or negative) reflected in the topic under discussion. This is their view of the world – with a negative world-view, one’s self-talk would be that others were stupid, ignorant, that they felt others were out to swindle them. If their world-view was positive, the use of words would be reflected differently – their language would be more hopeful, curious, engaged. Whether it’s positive or negative language used on others or ourselves, remember this – our bodies will believe it.
Not long ago, I knew a woman who continually spoke to herself in negative terms out loud, often berating and calling herself derogatory names, particularly when things did not work out as she would have liked. This not only affected her health, but her relationships with others – she is deeply suspicious and is never satisfied. How can something positive grow from such a negative mindset? Self-talk like this is self-fulfilling prophecy.
The flipside, of course, is that having a positive mindset can guide you through any experience, positive and negative. If things go well, your positive self-talk will be reinforced. If things do not go well, then your positive self-talk will either find a solution or gracefully accept defeat.
While it is important to be conscious of how we speak to others, it is equally important on how we speak to ourselves. Something I learned many years ago in a meditation certification was to invite, rather than telling, them to participate.
I invite you now to consider the most important words we say. The ones we say to ourselves, when we are by ourselves, about ourselves.