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Power of Words
Author: Namita Sinha | Date: 19 Apr 2017 | Comment: 0 Share: | | |
Words are powerful – and the way we use them in our regular communication makes them so. Using words meaningfully is both an art and a science, especially when people see one situation in so many different ways.
We must never lose sight of the significance of our words as a direct reflection of our thoughts, beliefs and attitudes. When words become actionable in our own lives and the lives of others, they offer perspective, insight, and understanding. They can bring encouragement and motivation. They can remove fear and isolation. Words can reconcile and unite.
How do you use the power of words to initiate positive change and a culture of caring?
I remember having watched a YouTube video; it had become very popular about a year back. In that video, a blind man sits by a busy city street hoping for some spare change. Beside him is a sign, “I am Blind. Please Help.” People pass him by without noticing, until a girl stops and re-words his sign, “It’s a Beautiful Day and I Can’t See It.” Immediately, passersby respond to the man! Truly, an example of how words can be transformed into actions that can change people’s lives.
Throughout human history, great leaders have used the power of semantics to impact our emotions, to ensure our participation in their causes, and to shape the course of our destiny.
Not all of us are equally effective when it comes to sharing our message .Most people are not challenged by the size of the vocabulary they possess, but rather by the words they choose to convey their message. Our brains are working at high speeds trying to help us process what things mean and how we can do things as fast as we can. As a result, we tend to use the same words over and over again. And the number of words we use most frequently – the words that make up our habitual vocabulary, averages 200-300 words only, for most people! And, when it comes to labelling our emotions, more than two thirds of our regular vocabulary is full of negative words that we more often use to describe our day-to-day feelings. For example certain psychological studies reveal that the words - angry, frustrated, sad, or even depressed are more frequently used in our working vocabulary than the words happy and excited!
The question is are we conscious of the words we choose , for it’s a fact that our experiences are described by words ,and in turn the words we use most often, gradually and automatically start shaping our experiences. They contribute to the very formation of deeply held beliefs.
It would not be wrong to say that we have the power to change our experiences by changing our glossary.
Its well known in psychology that sometimes a single derogatory sentence from a parent can remain stuck in the brain for life, eventually growing into a belief that one will never be good enough, or smart enough. It’s much tougher to remove these seeds than not to sow them in the first place.
It would serve really well instead, if we say words that heal and words that are empowering. Offering reassurance in an anxious situation, reminding someone that they are loved, respected, and valued should be the norm.
Repeated words go directly to impact the sub conscious areas of our brain, just like prayers do. It’s a fact that repetition affects the mind with a deeper intention and can create a long lasting effect.
Then there are words we say only to ourselves, - the ingredients of our self talk. The frequent and conscious adoption of soothing words can have quite a strong effect here as well. They can purify the mind of negative thoughts by introducing a more positive element.
When it comes to intimate relationships, the quality of our communication defined largely by the words we choose, plays a significant role.
When someone we care about shares a truth with us, the words we choose to respond with, can either snap the special bond, or make way for a deeper connection.
If we choose the wrong words, based on fear and doubt, we may set ourselves up for years of misunderstanding and bad feelings. If we choose the right words, based on our genuine feelings, we create a space where we can express ourselves clearly and feel connected, even if those words are difficult for us to say.
Our relationships hinge on how we handle these important moments, one at a time. Our happiness in life depends on it.
As they say, “You catch more bees with honey than with vinegar.” This is true of communication too. All of us could be only one or few words away from a possible disaster, what were the last words spoken between you and family, co-workers, friends and strangers? Were they inspiring?
In every situation, listen attentively and try to discern how your words will be heard or felt if you were the receiver. Also remember, not everyone responds the way you do, nor do they perceive things exactly the way you do.
Our spoken word can be the catalyst that propels people towards joy and hope. Let’s use words with the pure intention of seeing others and ourselves reach levels of greatness. Doing so will enable us to hear stories of how we are impacting lives.
What we can therefore safely conclude is that words matter, they do for sure.
Communication is more effective when words are more effective.
There cannot be a better quote than this one, from one of the greatest leaders, Mahatma Gandhi, which sums up all that matters:
“Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.” -Mahatma Gandhi
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