“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”
For many, this phrase is reminiscent of childhood recess when we didn’t want others to know how hurtful their words truly were. However, as we become adults, we discover that words can hurt just as much and sometimes worse than sticks and stones.
According to Compton’s Encyclopedia, the English language contains some 500,000 words. Yet, the average person’s working vocabulary consists of only 2,000 – 0.5% of the entire language. So how many words make up your habitual vocabulary? For most people, it averages around 200–300 words.
Out of these 500,000 words in the English language, there are 2 words that stand out. They are the two most powerful words you will ever speak.
Words are powerful.
Words in themselves have no power, but it’s the meaning we assign to them that determines how they affect us. Words can affect your physical, psychological and emotional wellbeing. They influence how you perceive and treat yourself and how other people perceive and treat you. Words create your reality.
In their jointly written book, Words Can Change Your Brain, Dr. Andrew Newberg, a neuroscientist at Thomas Jefferson University, and Mark Robert Waldman, a communications expert state, “a single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress.”
If a single word has that much power, imagine what two can do. Right now, I want you to stop and take a minute to reflect on your thoughts over the last day, over the last few days, or even over the last few weeks. What have you been saying to and thinking about yourself lately? Have you thoughts been more positive, or have they been more negative?
The reason that I ask, is because those thoughts have crafted what is now your present reality and they are currently crafting your future. Especially if those thoughts began with the two most powerful words that you can say, “I AM.”
You are your own biggest critic and the co-creator of your own life. With that freedom, you have the immense power to decide who you are and who you’d like to become. The current truth however, is that most of us are very critical and don’t have the most positive beliefs about ourselves.
In addition, many of our own beliefs have actually stemmed from the beliefs of others. We have allowed others’ thoughts about us to have so much power over our own influence that we believe that is who we are.
For example, if every time you look in the mirror you say or think to yourself, “ugh, I’m so fat.” That will become your reality. Regardless, how much you weigh, you my friend will be fat. And as long as you keep saying, “I am fat,” you will remain fat.
“What you speak after “I AM”… What you BELIEVE after “I AM” will control your decisions and shape your life.” – FearlessMotivation.com
Most experts will agree that if you change the words come after “I am” to positive affirmations, instead of negative affirmations, you’ll change your life.
Here are some examples:
- “I AM STUPID” becomes “I AM SMART”.
- “I AM NOT ABLE” becomes “I AM FULLY ABLE”.
- “I AM TOO OLD” becomes “I AM YOUNG.”
- “I AM NOT GOOD ENOUGH” becomes “I AM ALWAYS GOOD ENOUGH”.
- “I AM LAZY” becomes “I AM RESPONSIBLE”.
- “I AM FAT” becomes “I AM FIT”.
- “I AM ALWAYS LATE” becomes “I AM ALWAYS ON TIME”.
This type of word substitution does work but only if you believe what you’re saying. Remember, it’s not just the words that have impact; it’s the words you believe. For example, if you change the words “I’m fat” to “I’m fit” but you don’t believe it, what do you thing will happen? NOTHING… You will remain fat because you are in conflict within yourself. And a confused mind always says no.
Now, it is true that repetition is the mother of all learning. So if you keep repeating this affirmation, you’ll eventually believe it. But how long will that take?
What if I told you that there is a solution to this problem. What if there was one word that could change everything; one word that would not create conflict in your mind? One word that you’d always believe? What would that do for you? It would give you the power to change your life.
What if you changed, “I’m fat” to “I am your name?” When you say I am, “your name.” You will not be in conflict with yourself, because you are “your name”. Your name is your identity, how you’re recognized and what you respond to. A famous quote from Dale Carnegie is, “A person’s name is to him or her, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
If you’re struggling with positive affirmations for the words “I am”, just change use your name. You will feel good when you hear it and it will help you reframe your thinking to see yourself as more than the one flaw you’re obsessing about. It’s that simple.
The words you speak or think about are powerful. These words lead to actions. Actions over time become habits. And habits lead to long-lasting results. If you want to change your reality, change your words. If you can’t find a word you believe in, use your name.