Sticks and Stones & Why Words Do Hurt

October 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Mind, Personal N*Powerment

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We all grew up with the popular chant, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” On the surface, this song probably got us through a few rough spots without looking bruised, but the truth is, words do hurt. We know that the words people say to us and about us have the ability to hurt us, but how much thought do you give to the words you say about yourself to yourself?

Do you have limiting and sabotaging  messages playing in your subconscious mind?  Most of these messages are recorded during childhood, but their effects can last well into adulthood.  Chances are if someone told you that you were no good or lazy, you believed them.  If someone told you that you’d never amount to anything or you weren’t good enough, you believed them.  If someone told you that you were stupid, or ugly or skinny or fat or too light or too dark, you believed them.  And you still believe them to this day – even if you’re not consciously aware of these underlying beliefs.

The good news is,  it is possible to overcome old messages and replace them with new, empowering messages.  Here are three good ways to start:

1) Fall in love with yourself

Think about the last time you fell in love with someone.  At the beginning you and the person probably devoted a lot of time, attention and affection to each other, right?  You felt passionate and swept away by the beauty of your partner and he/she felt the same about you.  One of the best ways to learn to love yourself is to enter into a similar process – with yourself!  Treat yourself like the royalty you are!  Do things that make you feel happy.  Hug yourself.  Tell yourself everything that you love about yourself and why someone should be in love with you. Spend quality time with yourself, wine and dine yourself, admire yourself and stare into your own eyes. Discover how awesome you are.

2) Explore your existing beliefs

You may suspect you have old, limiting messages hanging around in your head but may be unsure about what they are exactly.  Maybe no one ever came out and said those derogatory things to you, but you still doubt yourself in some areas.  In order to discover the beliefs that are holding you back, you may need to go on an expedition.  Begin exploring your existing beliefs by writing in a journal.  Give yourself prompts or questions like these:  “My earliest memory of feeling stupid was . . .”  “My mother always made me feel . . .”  “My father always treated me like . . .” and so on.  The idea is to think back to an earlier time in your life and see if you can discover when and where your limiting beliefs got started.  Then, challenge those beliefs.  Are they still true?  Were they ever true?  Decide what you WANT to be true, and begin to replace the old beliefs by focusing on your new and improved beliefs.

3) Emphasize your good qualities

When you have low self-esteem, you tend to keep focusing on the things that are “wrong with you,” and dismissing the things that you have going for you.  Start to turn this around by praising and encouraging yourself in your self-talk.  When you accomplish something, congratulate yourself!  Say things like, “Wow, I’m really proud of myself for doing that.  It wasn’t easy, but I pushed through and gave it my best shot.”  You can also make a point of simply giving yourself positive self-talk daily.  Recite affirmations like these:  “I am a valuable person.  I have a lot to offer the world.  I’m talented and successful.”  The more you do it, the more you’ll come to believe it.

Wanna hear more about the power of self-talk? Listen to my audioblog here: Self-Talk


















One Response to “Sticks and Stones & Why Words Do Hurt”
  1. Marie says:

    As always, your advice comes at the right time. College life is difficult, but I absolutely refuse to allow people to treat me like dirt.