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

82 thoughts on “Your Words Have Power”

  1. Read the above script – willing to read “Yes You Can” in print – is it possible to send me the same on my above ID.

    Have a nice day,

    Yours sincerely,
    Vikas V Palse

  2. What a fantastic message and great to read before I end my day! I thank you for that and will pass this along to dear family and friends.

  3. Yes Vicky, You are right. We talk to ourself all the time. Yes -as you said – encouraging talk to yourself, improves how you face your life, and gives you power to tackle any situation – plus it empowers you and makes your problems look small, manageable and you feel great.


  4. Thank you for those inspiring words it certainly caused a correction in my self talk that I certainly did not realize I was doing concerning my health.I REPENT!(change the way I’m thinking)

  5. Its really interesting. I have been practising programming my sub conscious mind over the last three years. Though I came across the same kind of thought many a time, this has struck me right. Besides helping me, this is going to be of immense value to me as I am training my students in positive thoughts. Thanks a lot.

  6. thanks for that wonderful word,truling words has power and what you say ia what you become,so speak the right words to your seif,family,business,finance and you will get what you say.i will say the right words now and for ever

  7. What a powerful message. We need to strive to be kinder and more affirming in our self talk. Once we become aware of our negative self talk we can work to compliment ourselves and give ourselves the same kind of affirmation and positive feedback we so carefully and sincerely give to others.

  8. Dear Vic,

    I feel happy to hear this story , I am the one who advised lot of people to try avoiding NO or NOT in their sentences and also avoid saying negative words as one you explained in the story above, mostly all of them come back to me saying they improved their business , feeling better etc,

    It really works, I too follow it and observing good amount of changes in my life,


  9. Thank you for this great reminder to speak and think positively. It is extremely important to be aware of this so that you are not dis-empowering yourself, or others. Building up others is great, especially children as they are learning and it is beneficial to encourage them to feel happy and positive about how and who they are. People need to keep in mind the fact that they must treat themselves in the same manner!

  10. Thought provoking and really significant for every soul!

    I sincerely look forward to more food for thought….


  11. It’s so true. At times we do not realize how powerful our words are. of course, if we use words in positive way, it works for our good and on the contrary if we mis use the words, it can have terrible effects in our life/future. i also learnt that tongue is meant to pronounce good and bad words so if do realize that it can influence our LIFE, better think twice or much more before using/pronouncing any negative word. i really appreciate the script lots and would like to receive more on myID

  12. Wonderful post. I’d really like to read the book. A friend of mine had a habit of saying “bye – and be good”. And I’d always say – no way, I’ll be better! You are right about the “dis-empowering” self talk, though. We all do tend to do it unconsciously, depending on the prevailing situation. It is not always easy to be careful about what we assume.

    Thanks for the message. It makes a big difference.

  13. I find this words very empowering.
    It’s a stone cold fact that what you are is what you think and if you don’t seed your mind with the right thoughts, you will have the wrong life.

  14. Thanks Vic, as always good information. I tweeted and sent to FB – got to let people know they can make a huge life change, just by changing their words.

    I’ve been practicing and hope -strike that – will have full control shortly. 🙂

    Have a Fabulous Day!!

  15. hi,

    Thankyou for this very inspirational massage, it has really helped me think more positively about myself.


  16. Thanks for a reminder on ourself-esteem and it has really been an inspiring one.

  17. Wow! thanks for these wonderful inspirational words, iv been doing a lot of negative self talk,i hope to improve from now on.

  18. thanks I needed to hear that! I m feeling better than great !!!after that words sure do have power

  19. this is graet with is message i came to no what ever i say to my self will come to pass

  20. this is tremendous. i just love its empowering effect on me. never will i speak little of myself again.

  21. What a lovely message. It’s all about positive thinking. You are what you believe.

  22. inspiring thoughts from a great person…an opportunity to know yourself and to tune yourself up for greatness…there is a drop of greatness in every person

  23. anytime someone ask how i am and how my weekend was, i just answer ‘good’. i wont do that anymore.
    ill say-Better than Great, Terrific, Fantastic.

    Best Regards.

  24. Hello Jim,
    What a wonderful and timely message! It is as if you were speaking to me personally, however, as you pointed out, far too many of us engage in this enervating and oftentimes un-warranted self-talk.
    In reality, I am very blessed and have a “better that great” life, as Zig said.

    Yet, I am guilty of self-put downs!
    Thanks for the reminder to watch our words, as they become who we are.
    Yvonne Finn

  25. It is true. Negative ‘self-talk’ does disempower an individual. when you call a difficult situation ‘a problem’, you are suggesting that there is no solution or that a solution will be hard to come by. You dampen your creativity. When you call it ‘a challenge’ you right a way begin to have a solution insight.

  26. It is true. Negative ‘self-talk’ does disempower an individual. When you call a difficult situation ‘a problem’, you are suggesting that there is no solution or that a solution will be hard to come by. You dampen your creativity. When you call it ‘a challenge’ you right a way begin to have a solution insight. Thanks for this great and inspiring message.

  27. This is always my intentions to live positively to create positive ambience and environment around me. Faith has a work in it too.
    Very inspiring piece.

  28. i just wanted to comment that I enjoyed this article very much. When it comes to negative comments, I try to employ utilizing positive comments in response. Frequently, I am asked my age because I look so good for my age. I do not respond with my age because number 1, it is nobod’s business (not that I tell them that), but I do not enjoy knowing that I am getting older. I reframe from answering how old I am and say that I do not think think it is necessary commentary to illicit. Some women become offended by that remark. My profession is incurs being a rep for MaryKay Inc. and I am a consultant. I look very well and represent the industry very well. I do become sidetrack in feeling down about getting older. That is one reason why I reframe from anyone knowing my age. I dwell on the positive comments re perhaps something I have done. Also your comment re visualization and attaining your position that you carefully envisioned I am trying to grasp rapidly (time is so short). I keep on thinking why do I fail at this point in trying to master that technique. Also age is no criteria and I can keep on attaining all my wealth and dreams will materialize, correct, with positive thinking and reenforcement. My efforts have been successful in some phases but one thing I am trying to master is the feeling that when I rep a prod I don’t want to encroach on anyone’s toes. How can I overcome that negativity. I read all positive comments and still feel pangs of fear over trying to get someone on my side in sales. I just thought I could use some of your insight. I do enjoy your articles. (This all is confidential, please).

  29. Like the book in french says: “Ta parole est une baguette magique”, “your word is a magic wand”. Just hearing oneself say “I feel terrific” makes you feel terrific.

  30. It is a tough thing to be positive in a negative world. Hold it, what am I saying. It is great to be alive in the land of opportunity, there much better. Thanks Vic for an inspiring message. We require a daily dose of good news and we should be on the lookout for such news. I have stopped listening to nightly news and have been reading books instead of newspaper. I am slowly learning about how the mind works and it all begins with thought.
    Hiram G. Wealth

  31. Yes, I believe words do have power. Said another way, talk and grow rich, or think and grow rich. We need to speak into our lives the things we want, and don’t talk about the things we don’t want. It’s the “law of attraction” in action every moment of our lives.

  32. It is true. I’m always say negative words but hence I read ur comment I make up mind to ensure that these negative words will not disempower any longer as a person. Thanks for ur advice to watch our negative self talk.

  33. Excellent Article Mr. Vic Johnson! Insightful and thoughtful article. 2 Affirmations that I say to myself throughout the day are “I Like Myself” and ” I Love My Life”

  34. I am a true believer in affirmation. A former partner and I affirmed each other daily and we were very, very happy with each other. He had to go back home to his country unfortunately but on occasion we still drop a line as friends and we still affirm each other. My current partner and I do the same thing and our love grows because of it. It’s like watering a garden.

    I do take issue with the author’s feeling down by the woman’s comment “when I was young”. Seems to me she was being true to herself. She is no longer young and this kind of response tells aging women that they are not valuable unless they are young. Think about it. I do not want to be young any more. I am a very happy 52! I had my youth and I know when to let it go. I don’t tell my self I ‘m a hag but I don’t fall into the delusion that I am young. Good for her!

  35. A timely reminder and a wake up call!!! Had a terrible day today n lashed out at my wife n innocent kids!! Realised I had been negative in thoughts n all the while thinking I had been embracing positive thinking.repented n accepted again. Thank you.

  36. It is a soul inspiring message and glad I read it. I will read it again and again. Thank you very much.

  37. This was an enjoyable message and it reminds me Convey’s book “7 Habits of highly Effective Teens”, needless to say, being proactive means for this great author talk proactively everyday. I see eye to eye with your negative daily word choice and the interesting part is that we never pay attention to it. I guess we’re so influenced by poor speeches also.

    Have a great day !! and more important a great life !

  38. I am the younger member from a family of nine children, my farther for most of his life had what was then termed as manic depressive disorder. He had so many positive ways of thinking about life (past, present and future) and as I grew up with him I always felt comforted by his positive words of support. For years after his death I never knew he had this MDD but supposedly my elder siblings did, and it wasn’t until in my mid twenties that I fully understood the circumstances surrounding his life as told by them. My father had the letters P.M.T written on his bedroom mirror, an item that he looked at every day with committement. When I was about 8 or 9 I asked him what P.M.T meant and he said it stands for positive mental thinking and then he took the time to explain to me what it really meant and he reached for a little reddish coloured book and he said to me son if you read understand this book you will never have a situation in life that you won’t know how to deal with. The book was “As A Man Thinketh’ published (or republished as it most likely was) if I remember rightly around 1953.
    I ended up reading this book literally hundreds of times over the coming years and each time I found myself becoming more and more romantically attached to the passion within the text. The passion of self respect and the beauty that come with that.
    I am now a farther myself and Miranda and I have two wonderful boys Charlie and Dominic 9+7 years old respectively and they are wonderful children with such positive attitudes toward life, so much so that sometimes I wonder where they get it from, then I get the same feeling I did when my father took the time to explain it to me, that it is within us all and it is you (the individual) that holds the key to your own thoughts and have the ability to open the gates to what is truly an amazing life if you believe in it.

    Some years ago I passed that book onto a person I knew would cherish it in the same manner I did when it was given to me. In recent times something came over me when I went online one day and I Googled the words “As a Man Thinketh” and I was amazed at how many items came up on the web page.
    Vic, I applaud you with the greatest of respect for your continued effort in spreading the word and reaching the people who, if they only read it once will be better people for it.
    Thank you Vic
    and Thanks to my mum and dad who I Love you so very much, and respect for all of their efforts in making me the man I am today.
    I would also like to thank my beloved Miranda for her beautifulness and understanding about what life is really about.

  39. Website is inactive. my address:12584 Cresta Court, San Diego CA 92128

    I believe the so strongly I am working on a piece that says Bleep Alzheimers. Beginning in 1978 I have had experiences that tell me the Universe is listening, and responding to my thoughts. I believe Alzheimers is not a disease. That it is reaction to spoken and unspoken thought. It is uncaring it simply responds. It just responded to intense desire to communicate to the world the idea that by negative thought we program our lives and our deaths. Alzheimers bears it out. That is why they can’t find a pill to cure it. We can only do that with our minds. I had Alzheimers and I cured it. I am 90. Your email was a response to me. I was asking the Universe if I am alone in my beliefs. You replied. I will be contacting you soon.

Comments are closed.