I’ve known this for a long time…words have tremendous power. The words that you speak to yourself. The words that someone else speaks to you. Words that you read on social media. Words you read in books.
Most experts agree that the words that you speak to yourself, and the words that others speak to you can, and will, make a significant impact on your daily routine, on how you feel about yourself, on your plans for the future, on your dreams and ambitions. That impact can be positive or negative. Too often, it’s negative.
The way that you talk to yourself (admit it, we all do it) can determine whether you have a good day or a bad day, conquer your goal or fall short, have a positive relationship with a friend or not.
Research supports my theory here, but nobody wants to read about research. But I received a real-world confirmation of my belief over the weekend.
I received a message on LinkedIn from the mother of a former player. I had not seen nor heard from them in four years. The daughter played two seasons of AAU basketball for me, and then they had to suddenly pick up and move from Pennsylvania to North Carolina. I think I heard from the mom once after the family moved.
Her message to me this weekend was to inform me that her daughter, the young lady that I and my middle daughter had coached for two seasons, had made it! She will be playing Division I basketball at Ole Miss starting next year.
For anyone who follows women’s college basketball, that’s the big time, the Southeastern Conference with Tennessee and South Carolina and Georgia. That made me smile a big smile because I knew the young lady had it in her, and it’s always a tremendous blessing for a family when a child can get a college degree paid for.
But the best part of the message for me was the second part of what the Mom said to me.
She said, “I want to thank you for believing in my daughter…we appreciate all you did to help her growth.”
That meant more to me than the first part of the message because that’s all about consistently speaking positive messages to a person. Her daughter was in junior high when I coached her, a very influential time in a person’s life. I recognized her potential, but she did not have a lot of self-confidence. Understandable for her age. Consistent positive messages for two seasons made a measurable difference in this young lady’s life.
But here’s the other part of that. You also have to speak the truth, and you have to build a foundation for what the person is attempting to accomplish. Positive words can only take you so far if you don’t eventually accomplish what it is you’re after.
The final thought on this is, there are experts with many more letters after their names than I have who will tell you that your behavior will closely resemble the five people that you spend the most time with.
Are those people you’re spending the most time with negative, drama-inducing, Debbie Downer? Or do they lift you up, make you feel better about yourself, and provide positive reinforcement? Maybe it’s time to replace someone in that five-person circle.
Don’t Say, “I Can’t.”