The Worst Advice You Ever Learned

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”
Did you ever chant this as a kid when someone was poking fun at you? It’s a common way to defend yourself to prevent you from being vulnerable. How true is this statement as we go into adulthood?
When you grow up, you come to realize there is huge power in words. What you tell yourself and what others tell you gets conditioned into your subconscious brain. You begin to believe these words because they are that powerful.
Did you ever have a dream crushing moment when you were a kid? Were you ever really excited to do something? Take a space shuttle to the moon, become a rock star, or sell your art around the world?
Then some adult came and crushed that dream by telling you it was impossible and unrealistic. How did that make you feel? Were you as excited about the dream or did you write it off in your head as something that was impossible?
You see, the negative things people tell you stick deep down in your subconscious mind whether you realize it or not. Your mind goes into fight or flight mode before you ever give that dream a second thought. Fear kicks in and you immediately retreat because you tell yourself your dream is just a dream.
When we’re kids we tend to hear these negative words a lot. Guess what? Those words and phrases become your conditioning and carry into your adult life.
Not everything adults tell you as a kid is completely false. For example, if you want to walk on water and someone tells you that will never happen, they are accurate indeed because it defies the laws of science. However, you can certainly ski and board on water so that may be a more accurate reflection of your dream. Suddenly the impossible becomes somewhat possible.
As kids the worries and fears of the world have yet to hit us. We’re fearless humans who believe anything is possible. We have wild imaginations that carry us throughout our youth. What we don’t realize is we’re being conditioned by all these adults crushing our dreams or telling us we’re incapable or not good enough.
I’m sure if you ever had the experience, of someone saying you wouldn’t amount to anything, part of you begins to believe it. That’s the danger in words. Negative words can affect us for the rest of our lives if we let them.
What you tell yourself and what others tell you impact the decisions you make. Words have a biological effect on the body. Words can make you feel on top of the world, they can also make you feel small and cause a physiological reaction.
Ever been so angry your body was shaking? I know when I’m extremely angry beyond belief, I start crying. Not because I’m sad, because I’m so upset about the situation my body can’t help but respond in that way. Words do this to us. A single negative word can alert our amygdala, the brain structure associated with fear conditioning.
Sticks and stones may break your bones but bones eventually heal. Words, on the other hand, can impact you for the rest of your life. After all bones heal much quicker than our psychological conditioning. So how can we overcome this?
Be extremely mindful of the words you use. Instead of telling yourself you can’t do something, ask yourself what you can do and how you can approach it differently.
Instead of telling someone else something is impossible, help them become a problem solver and look at it from every angle. Choose your words wisely to others but more importantly, to yourself. You are your biggest critic. You are your hardest challenge.
You have to believe in yourself and take massive action when you truly want something. Tell yourself, yes you are capable and it will take you much farther in your life than demoralizing your capabilities.
Remember words have the power to change your brain. Choose words that will lift you up instead of tear you down. I believe your brain deserves that.
Do you believe words are powerful? When have you had a negative experience based on words that has affected your life? Let me know in the comments below.