Saying the Right Words
I believe that the main source of discouragement is negative self-talk. Dr. Lloyd-Jones a heart surgeon in England said,
“Most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself rather than talking to yourself”.
By that, I think he means that we often passively allow negative messages to influence our thinking; instead of actively telling ourselves good things that will help us think more positively.
For years I’ve used phrases such as these to help me:
- This too shall pass (my mom’s favorite).
- Things could be worse.
- Keep your chin up.
- Do it anyway.
- Is the glass half full or half empty?
I think we all need to find phrases (in our language) that work for us. It is important to use words that are positive and motivational, rather than negative or belittling. Nobody can be motivated in a positive direction by continually using negative words. We are constantly surrounded by students, it is very important to model and speak positive words, be upbeat, and demonstrate the characteristics that we want our students to exhibit; when they interview and present themselves for employment opportunities. We obviously have a very upbeat and up-tempo team so I know much of this is singing to the choir, but I hope it serves as a reminder to us all, that students look to us as examples and professionals so we must always “walk the talk”.
What’s your passion? Mine is helping others see their potential. While recently reading the book Aspire- Discovering Your Purpose through the Power of Words by Kevin Hall, I was struck by his description of passion. Hall writes
“Those with passion do, those without passion try.”
What a powerful statement! By saying you’ll “try”, you are leaving your goal open ended, giving yourself the option of not finishing! Instead, say “I will do it.” This statement leaves no room for uncompleted goals. Our words have such power in our lives, and the way that we see every situation. “I will do it”, provides your mind the ability to see yourself completing your goal.
Some people don’t believe in the positive effects of visualization exercises, but I certainly do. As a college freshman, I was encouraged by my friends to join the rowing team as the coxswain (I was affectionately known as “Demon Baby”, because my hellish cries echoed across the Oklahoma River). I hadn’t participated in team sport before. I experienced something new; our coach brought the novice team together before each race, to do a visualization exercise; that took us through each step of the race. We sat down in chairs in order from stern to bow, close our eyes and he would begin starting us at the boat house, removing our boat from storage, carrying it down to the dock, placing it in the water, pushing off the dock, and rowing our way to the starting point. Occasionally, Coach Nick would throw obstacles into our visualization, like wind, or a larger, stronger looking opposing team. Yet, he made us see ourselves pushing through those challenges and reaching the finish line at record speed.
Our team won several races, and many of us had never rowed before. We woke early 4:45 and headed to the boathouse for practice in the rain, snow, and freezing temperatures. Nothing would stop us. Passion drove us to completion! Let your passion push you! Visualize yourself reaching new heights! Push through the obstacles and do whatever it takes, whether it’s waking early, staying late, pushing your mind to new limits or working through physical pain. Never give up!