Think about a courtroom. The accused is waiting before the judge, the jury is about to make a determination. “Guilty” or “Not guilty” are simple words, but the meaning and implication of them will last a lifetime.
If a couple of words can make a difference, how much more will be the impact of a whole collection of them? A hastily spoken tiraid of negative criticism, or a casual insult, can injure and influence another person’s self-image forever.
On the other hand, a genuine compliment, a positive commendation, and inspirational words of encouragement, can literally change a life for the better.
So, who needs these words? And when do we need them?
INSPIRATIONAL WORDS WHEN YOU’RE UP
Every sports coach in the world knows the importance of continually inspiring their team to greater achievement. It does not matter if they just won the biggest trophy in their sport, their ongoing success will depend on the next game, not the last one.
It is the same in business. A sales person is only as good as their last sale. A business is only as viable as their last customer purchase. The next sale counts. The next new customer is vital to the bottom line.
You can already be at the top of your game, and still need to be inspired to keep on keeping on, to continue to grow, evolve, develop, and improve. Even the most successful person can be brought down by an ill-deserved criticism. Inspiration and encouragement however, never pop the bubble of already-attained success.
WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT WHEN YOU’RE DOWN
Into every life comes the times of sadness, fear, doubt, and worry. The weeds will still pop up in the most carefully tended of rose gardens, and for those who remember Murphy’s law, remember this – There will be many visits from Murphy!
When you are going through the mill, when everything is falling apart, and when nothing seems to be going as planned, you need words of encouragement.
Encouragement may be a word that some religions seem to have monopolized, but it is not a religious concept. Encouragement is truly a gift of love. It is one person reaching out to another with the sole intention of lifting that person up.
“You can do it” says one friend to another, when the person feels they can give no more to the task on hand. “Here, let me help you” says the young man to the elderly lady, after she has stumbled with her groceries. “I am here for you” says the nurse to the failing patient.
While words of encouragement may not always change the outcome (although they often do), they can indeed change the atmosphere in which we live, the energy that is conveyed, and the feelings we experience.
SO WHO NEEDS THEM?
The truth is that everybody needs them, and in any circumstances. There is no hard and fast rule here. You don’t just need inspiration when you’re up, and encouragement when you’re down. It’s not that black and white.
Think about what I said in the previous paragraph… Inspirational words of encouragement can “Change the atmosphere in which we live.”
Some of you may remember when every dentist’s office seemed to have an aquarium. Well, the fish in that tank lived within an environment, and the water was their atmosphere. Do you think it would make a difference to their environment, and lifestyle, if the water was never changed? You bet!
Same with words. Walk into a room where people have been arguing and you can just “feel” it. We might say “You could cut the air with a knife in here!” or something like that. The atmosphere is thick, and the environment is certainly not conducive to growth or harmony.
But, oh how different it is when you enter a place where people are happy, and the communication is vibrant, alive, and positive. Walk into such a place and you’re smiling within seconds. Words make all the difference, for everyone!
THE TRUE POWER OF WORDS
It all comes down to a well-established psychological pattern of communication, and here it is:-
- Words can both express and influence our thoughts
- Thoughts influence our feelings
- Feelings influence our actions
- Actions create results
- Results impact our whole life
Please take a moment to read, and re-read those bullet points. I cannot over-stress the importance of this truth.
So what happens when people watch or read the negatively-biased news over and over again? How are they influenced by the hatred and violence in the images and dialogue of popular entertainment? How can an always-angry parent color their child’s view of life? In what ways can an overly-critical boss, or teacher, or spouse, make or break one’s quality of life?
Words… They can build up, or they can tear down. It’s as simple and profound as that.
CHOOSE WORDS WISELY THEN
First, you must be wise in what you say to others. It matters not whether you speak the words, write them in an email, or convey them in social media, the impact is the same. For every word you issue there is a recipient. Think carefully on how your words may touch their life.
Second, you must be vigilant when it comes to the words you allow into your personal space. Don’t wallow in the mire of negativity, or criticism, or hatred. If the words you habitually consume do not serve your highest good, change your diet!
Third, you must be loving when it comes to the words you speak to yourself. Too many people argue for their limitations, so it is little wonder they get to keep them. It is never a good thing to speak badly of yourself, especially when nobody else is listening.
I encourage you today to bathe yourself in an environment of Inspirational and encouraging words. Who needs them ? You do!
Love and light
Kenneth James Kerr
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