Why What We Say Matters

Would you believe that you can change your life with your words? Growing up, we learn that our words can hurt others, but no one ever told us that the opposite is true too. Our words have creative power and can be life-giving to both ourselves and to others.

Since we were young, we have been programmed to think a certain way about ourselves based on what we say or on what others have said about us – “I’m shy,” “I can’t do this,” “She is so quiet,” “He is not good at reading.” The subconscious mind cannot take a joke and will believe what we repeatedly tell it.

Neuroscientist Andrew Newberg, M.D. and therapist Mark Robert Waldman, explain that “a single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress.”  Positive words kick the brain into action, whereas negative words shut it down, increasing activity in the fear center of the brain.

“The longer you concentrate on positive words…functions in the parietal lobe start to change, which changes your perception of yourself and the people you interact with. A positive view of yourself will bias you toward seeing the good in others, whereas a negative self-image will include you toward suspicion and doubt. Over time, the structure of your thalamus will also change in response to your conscious words, thoughts, and feelings, and we believe that the thalamic changes affect the way in which you perceive reality.” -Dr. Newberg and Mr. Waldman

Terri Savelle Foy, author and motivational speaker, often speaks on this topic. She teaches, “Your life moves in the direction of your words!“, and “What you speak about, you bring about!”

Pastor and author, Dr. Frederick K.C. Price says it this way: “Your faith will never rise above the words of your lips.” We may not believe something could be possible, or that we are capable of it, but the more we confess it aloud, we start to believe it! And then we even believe it enough that we start to take action toward it!

Dr. Price explains that the word for “confess” in the original Greek is “Homologeo”. It comes from Homou, which means “same”, and Logos, which means “logic”. In the Bible, specifically in the New Testament, Logos is used for “Word” (note the capital “W”), as in John 1, “In the beginning was the WORD and the WORD was with God and the WORD was God…” Therefore, the Biblical word for “confess” means “saying the same thing God says.” How powerful is that?!

In fact, both Terri and Dr. Price, along with many other success gurus, authors, and motivational speakers, recommend to speak daily “confessions” (or “affirmations” or “declarations”). Meaning, to speak what you want outloud daily. For example, “I am in the best physical shape of my life!”

Our words are truly powerful creative forces. They can build up or they can tear down. They can alter the way we think. They are like water and fertilizer to a seed you plant. Likewise, negative words tear up the good seeds we plant and stunt our growth. Imagine digging up your whole garden before the flowers even grow! That is what we are doing when we speak negative about ourselves, our efforts, or someone else.

You will begin to believe and live up to that which you speak, for better or for worse. But, there is good news – you can absolutely change the mental programming in your mind by speaking different words. Speak positive over yourself and others, and you will begin to see your life, and theirs, living up to those words!

“You will also declare a thing, and it will be established for you…”- Job 22:28 NKJV

Here are some helpful resources for you to get started…

What to Say When you Talk To Yourself by Shad Helmstetter
Pep Talk: Learn the Language of Success Through Positive Declarationsby Terri Savelle Foy

Kelley and Jennette BremerWhy What We Say Matters

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