It’s remarkable to realize how much power is in a put-down, how those words stay with us and make us small and afraid, hesitant to speak or step out, content to be less than. But, too, there is much power in a compliment, in noticing someone’s strengths and kindness, in pointing out someone’s promise and achievement. We wield this power every day, with our children, co-workers, family, friends. What are we choosing to do with our words?
In this remarkable video, Lisa Nichols tells of the impact her teacher’s negative words had on her a child, but don’t worry her “story didn’t end there”!
Lisa Nichols is remarkable. She realized that other people’s perceptions of her shouldn’t hold her back, but not everyone is so resilient. We must be careful with our words, to encourage rather than criticize, so that the world can be a brighter place all around!
We can’t choose everything in life, but we can choose what kind of person we want to be. We can choose to be encouraging and supportive, rather than bleak and pessimistic.
We can avoid being the person who rains on someone else’s parade.
Maybe everything has always been easy for you, and that has given you confidence in itself. (This post may not be for you.) But for those of us who struggle, often we felt confidence bloom in us with the kind and encouraging word of a teacher, or a mentor who saw our potential even as we stumbled, or a friend willing to sit with us through the ugly lows because they believed we were capable of overcoming and rising up. Those people who helped us to believe in ourselves and reach for our potential are our heroes, and their words live and breathe in us encouraging us forward. Don’t you remember those comments or gestures as if they are a part of your very being? We have no control over when those heroes might come along and help us again, but we surely do have control over whether we can be that kind of hero to someone else.
Look around. Is someone you know in need of an encouraging word?