Sticks and stones may break your bones has had it all wrong from the start. Words do harm, can harm and will harm people if not used carefully. Heck, sometimes even well-intended words can hurt and harm people. That is why we need to be so mindful of what comes out of our mouths.
Most battle scars of life heal over time, sometimes leaving physical marks but none so painful and so vivid in our memories as words spoken to us. Think of the words spoken by teachers, family members, lovers, exes, adjudicators, step-family, bosses, co-workers and the like – some words have been haunting us for a lifetime.
In The Power of Your Words Part 1: South Africa – the power of words in building a nation was highlighted and it was said that words can either edify and build people up. Or it can tear people down. It can either boost someone and encourage them to grow. Or it can cause people to question themselves. Words can be used, to tell the truth and can be a tool to correct. Or words can be used to lie, gossip and harm. Words can build a nation. Words can break a nation. Words can build a family. Words can break a family. Words can build a space like a workplace, and words can destroy a space or workplace. Words can build you up. Words can strip you to nothingness.
In this blog, the power of words in the “workplace”, “family” and in “you”, will be explored, as well as the importance of realising words have power.
So, let’s get into it…
The work thing is two-fold.
Have you ever worked with a negative, drama, llama co-worker? You know the type when you are discussing soft-serve ice-cream, they’ll tell you why it causes three-types of cancer. Or when you constructively discuss problems in the workplace, they’ll think it is an invitation to moan, mumble and grumble about every action, issue, policy, or anything really – just so that they can unpack. And then they go-off and make coffee, looking light and happy –you, on the other hand, feel like you have the office printer tied around your neck as you stare at your reflection in a now stale cup of coffee and wonder if you will ever feel happiness again (expecto patronum moments).
Or the other end of the spectrum is the nit-picky-Gestapo, in disguise as the office cheerleader. These co-workers sow negativity by always criticising others but do it with a smile on their faces and all in the name of the “greater good”. But the results are just as negative because speaking negativity into a situation will spread negativity – no matter how sweet looking and sounding the container the negativity is spewing out of.
Trust me – I have been the drama llama negative co-worker and have experienced enough people that champion this role since I crossed over to the good side – the good side is way better. The same goes for the Gestapo-cheerleaders. And, the only difference is a choice.
Choose not to be negative in the workplace; choose not to highlight every little problem you have with your employer/employees; choose to deal with issues in a constructive way and choose to be the light in the office. Sure, there are plenty of things to be “realistic” about and if you hate your job – move on! But don’t drag everyone into the abyss with you, before you drama-llama or Gestapo-chop your way to the exit.
And well we are on the topic of the power of words – do not ever pass on the opportunity to compliment someone’s work or say something beautiful or positive to someone. What may take a second for you, can be the light in someone’s heart, for a lifetime.
Your Daily Declaration: I choose not to be negative. I choose to be the light in the world and cheer others on and up.
Be careful how you describe yourself, your role and the work you do in the workplace. For me, it seems like I learn a lot of lessons the hard way. And in my case, I doubted myself, my abilities, and said “I can’t”, “I am useless”, “trust me not to be able to do this”, “you know me, I am scared of everything”, “you know I never will be able to…” etc. A lot of the things I said a little sarcastically, almost jokingly.
And then, in one week my horse riding instructor and my boss called me out on it. And I knew, I had to change. The instructor said I need to stop the self-depreciating behaviour and one-liners – they are unhelpful, untrue, counterproductive and rather annoying. My boss said I need to believe in my abilities, trust myself and not believe the lies that were circulating in my mind.
Now, whether you have people in your life willing to call you out on it or support you lovingly like my boss did etc. – isn’t the point. Even if people try and break you down – you shouldn’t give them the battering ram. Only speak positive words over yourself in the workplace and believe in yourself – what you think and say, you become.
Your Daily Declaration: I am smart, creative, innovative and make a super contribution. My hands and work are blessed; and I am enough whether others see my worth or not.
Family – like the work section is two-fold.
A very awesome and important man one said that: “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.”
I love quoting this – because often our families can be the most “familiar” with us and they may be used to our “brilliance”. But this section isn’t about saying – “Siestog, your family doesn’t deserve you”. This section is a question – how does your family feel when you are around them? Happy, content, relaxed, excited? Or fearful, negative, quiet, tense? Think of the words you speak.
Do you come home and without greeting (or barely greeting) your household, go off on a tirade about your stupid co-workers or work, the “flippen taxis” or the news? And just unpack all your negativity? Or do you come in and first ask how your family’s day was and genuinely listen. And then once, you are in a positive head space you can speak (note speak and not unpack how f-ed up everyone is in the greatest amount of detail) about your day.
In fact, a few people have physical markers on the way home. Let’s say halfway to your home you can reflect on your day; the other half you spend letting go of the negativity so that you can be a blessing to your family.
Declaration: I am a blessing to my family. I am more than my circumstances. I choose positivity. I am able to be a blessing and experience joy in spite of my circumstances.
Families often have sayings and internal jokes. These are fine if they are positive but when it is negative, it should be stopped; even if it is a joke. “Our family has the worst luck”, “people die young in our family”, “everyone gets divorced in our family”, “the women never get married in this family”, “we are all alcoholics”, “all the men commit suicide”, “our family is so poor we can’t even pay attention”– maybe what you focus on is what you become!
Also, be careful what you label your husbands, kids or wives even if you are “just joking”– idiots, cheaters, naughty, useless, lazy, stupid, bad, average etc. Words have power – use them to build your family, not to abuse them.
A lady in Africa was asked by a stranger, how old her sons were. Pointing at them she said, “The doctor is six and the lawyer is three.”… perhaps we should all declare more good things over our loved ones.
Declarations: My family is blessed, their health is blessed, their work is blessed. Our family are leaders not followers; we are honest, loyal, loving, patient and wise. We are blessed financially and give generously.
It is important that you pause and listen to what you are declaring over your life, whether in your head, heart or out loud – even in jest.
Would you say the things, you say to yourself to your closest loved ones? If no, it needs to stop. If you wouldn’t call your best and most cherished friend “a fat pig, stupid loser” – don’t call yourself that.
Don’t call yourself poor, stupid, unlovable, a loser, eternally single, un-dateable, blind, useless, accident-prone, clumsy, a dits, fat, or anything that breaks you down. Even if you are fat – calling yourself fat is not going to help, encourage or inspire you to lose weight. In fact, it will probably encourage you to reach for an extra brownie.
Speak life over yourself and your situation. And this may sound “ghostie-ghostie”, “airy-fairy”, “new-agey” to you – but I dare any sceptic to try declaring positive affirmations over their lives for a month and see the difference. What do you have to lose? Do it on the way to work then if you hit traffic it’s a bonus – more time to declare positivity over your life!
Declarations: I am the head and not the tail. I am above and not below. I am a leader and not a follower. I am a humble warrior. I am a blessing to all who meet me. I am blessed in my coming and blessed in my going. My storehouse is blessed. My life is blessed. I am smart, enough, innovative, generous and loved. Something good is going to happen to me today. Something good will happen through me today.
To quote Forest Gump, “that’s all I gotta say about that” – well, for now.😊 Please to all sceptics and hopefuls try watch what comes out of your mouth even if only for a month. This is life-changing stuff and in the end, it costs you nothing but a bit of self-control.
If you found this post helpful/inspiring/food for thought or even slightly thought-provoking, please give it a LIKE or share on Facebook (or even other platforms) – you will not only be supporting a fellow South African – yay! But you might make a difference in someone else’s life.
A little bit about Sparkle Ellie… I am a proudly South African gal with a love for words, reading, eating! and animals. It is my passion to spread love and hope throughout our awesome country. And who knows a little glitter and sparkle can go a long way…
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