Your Words Have Power

Seven or eight months ago I got an extremely thoughtful message from my old friend Jim Donovan. It’s one of those messages you keep in your inbox because you know you want to read it again in the future. He’s given me permission to share it here with you so you can be touched by it too…

Let’s examine our self-talk more closely. Throughout the day, during every waking hour, we are carrying on a running dialogue with ourselves. We are constantly thinking, or more accurately, talking to ourselves in every waking moment.

Hundreds of words per minute pass through our conscious minds as we go about our day. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, most people’s self-talk is negative. This is probably due to the number of negative messages we heard as we were growing up and continue to hear today.

These came from other, perhaps well intentioned, people or individuals who were themselves living in a negative reality. Much of it is from a steady stream of negativity bombarding us from television, radio, newspapers and magazines.

Situation comedies, for the most part, belittle people in the name of humor and many game and reality shows place people in embarrassing situations further undermining their self-image.

A while back, I was sitting outside a local restaurant writing while enjoying a quiet lunch. It was a beautiful day and the restaurant provided me with a view of the Delaware River, near where I live. Access to scenes like this is one of the many reasons I feel so blessed to be living the life that I am living and further proof, to me, of the power of creating a compelling vision for your life.

Where we live is the result of my wife and I becoming clear as to exactly what we wanted in our life, setting specific goals, visualizing our dream life as already complete, and taking regular action. I don’t just write about these principles, I live them daily and have for over two decades. And I’ve seen magnificent changes in my life as a result. Remember, we ask, God answers.

As I was sitting there totally enjoying the scenery, two women walked passed me on their way out of the restaurant, having finished their lunch. The women looked to be in their late 40’s or early 50’s although I avoid ever guessing women’s ages for obvious reasons.

As they passed, I overheard one of the women say, “When I was young . . .” Those words hit me like a lighting bolt, especially since I was working on my new book at the time.

What a disempowering choice of words. Your words have power, so choose them carefully. While you and I know that she meant no harm by her choice of that particular phrase, her mind took it in. What do you suppose the message to her subconscious mind was? Obviously, I’m not young any longer. I must be old!

A phrase that would have conveyed the same message but would have been more empowering would have been to say, “When I was younger . . .”

Without even realizing it, you’re programming your mind with disempowering, less than ideal, messages. Keep in mind that your subconscious believes everything that you tell it.

Think about the phrases that you use regularly to describe yourself or how you feel and make sure that they are sending a positive message to your subconscious mind. Avoid any phrase that is negative or dis-empowering.

As a matter of fact, by amplifying positive words like saying “great or terrific” instead of just “good or fine,” and minimizing negative ones, you can actually improve the way you feel.

Years ago, when I had the pleasure of meeting and briefly speaking with success legend, Zig Ziglar, I remember his reply to my question, “How are you?” Zig’s answer, “Better than great.”

What are you saying to yourself?

Jim Donovan is the author of several personal developments book and audio programs, including, Don’t Let An Old Person Move Into Your Body. For a complimentary copy of his “Yes You Can” audio, visit