Metrics of Effectiveness: A Speech Check-Up

Words are the most powerful thing in the universe…Words are containers. They contain faith or fear, and they produce after their kind – Charlie Capps

Trapped by Words

What words define the parameters of your future? When you sit alone and envision what lies ahead, what words consistently come up? We can empower or entrap ourselves with the words we choose to speak and believe. The ancient Proverb was accurate in saying, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue.” If we are to keep going to our destiny, despite a myriad of obstacles, the last thing we need is self-defeating speech. Our words can either build or destroy our lives. Words such as you’ve tried before and failed, you will never amount to much, you are not able, or you will not reach your goal, can decapitate our God-given imagination to form ideas and act on them. Using the past as a barometer to measure our future is often caused by words we carry from past experiences. Speech governed by negative experiences keeps us tethered to our past instead of looking forward to the future. Speech and sight should flow in the same direction, preferably toward the future. When they are at odds, they create a roadblock, leaving you stagnant.  

Self-defeating words can be a strong gravitational pull on your vision, dreams, and goals, grounding your life to your past.

The Word-Trap

The word trap is subtle yet deadly. It begins with whispers in your mind and mutates into a megaphone in your life. Episodes of failure paralyze our intentions and paint the walls of our minds with words that sabotage progress. Pessimism is the outcome of the word trap. We see the future through the words formed by discouraging circumstances in our past. We shrink from opportunities that bring us closer to our dreams and goals. The inner critic shouts, “What makes you think this time will be different from last time?” And with that, helplessness and hopelessness set in like sepsis on a wound. 


Framing Your Future

Negative words will rot the framing of your future and leave you susceptible to crumbling. Since words have destructive and constructive power, framing your future requires the application of better words. I have discovered the best words to vitalize my life come from God. Since He created humanity, He knows every intricate detail of our lives. He made each person with a purpose, regardless of race. Constructing my life based on what He says will lead me to a successful future. His words are the wood I need to frame my life. They give me the wherewithal to keep going. As you begin to see the future through the frame of constructive words like, there is still hope, I believe God has a plan for my life, and I was born with a purpose, the urge to keep going builds.

The Difference Words Make

In May 2020, the Davie County Enterprise Record highlighted the story of Journey Bowman, a seventh-grader at South Davie Middle school. She started a program called POP (Power of Positivity). The goal was to spread encouraging words by placing them in student lockers. Journey said, “I wanted to write positive notes to make a difference in somebody’s day and let them know they are important.” As she was getting the program off the ground, the coronavirus hit, and schools were closed. Undaunted, she sent messages to staff members at the local senior facility and created thank-you posters for essential local workers. A teacher, who received an encouraging note from POP before having surgery, cited the inspiration that came from the notes. 

Words are powerful. Like an atom, their power, not their size, makes all the difference.

Journey decided to use words to diffuse an atmosphere of positivity, hope, and love. She chose to frame someone’s day with constructive words, and it changed the atmosphere. We can also choose to pop into someone’s life and frame their day with words of encouragement. The words may be few, but the impact will be memorable. 

Final Thought: One of the most unique abilities that separate us from any other species is the use of words. When we don’t handle words with care, we can create more damage in our lives and others than an atomic bomb. We must watch the words we speak to ourselves and the people we interact with. What we administer through our words can determine the course of a life. Let’s weigh the use of our words. If we are to keep going and encourage others to do the same, words will play a crucial role. As a call to action, I encourage you to first look in the mirror and speak words of encouragement to yourself. Then, use your words to journey into someone’s life and spread some encouragement. How will you use the power you have been given through your words?

Keep on Keeping on!


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