Through 5+ years of leadership training, countless books and personal experience, I have learned there is great power in the words we speak over ourselves. Whether you believe you can or you can’t ….you’re right! So many opportunities are missed because we kill our chances in our mind before we even take the first step.
I am the king of “I can totally do that and I’m going to!” while secretly thinking, “I probably won’t though cause I never follow through.” And what happens is I don’t follow through…or I don’t start at all.
Take 5 seconds and look around the room for all the red objects you can find. Now close your eyes and list all of the things you saw that were blue. This was an exercise in my recent book obsession, You Are A Badass. The simple truth is we will always find what we’re looking for. The days I feed my mind with positive words about my life and plans are the days I find opportunities abounding around me. The days I feel like the world is against me, I find all of the reasons to believe it really is. Words have power.
Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.
If the words we speak over ourselves hold such power then, similarly, the words we speak over others must have power too. Only that person can choose to believe and/or let those words sink in and change who they are, but I would argue that it’s extremely hard to constantly hear someone’s expectation of you and not raise or lower yourself to meet it.
This is the battle my wife and I are currently (read: always) fighting. Fifteen years of marriage = a long history of good and bad. We have learned who the other is and what their shortcomings are and when things aren’t going our way, we remind each other of those imperfections. We tend to want the best for each other, but expect the worst to come out and, when it does, rather than realizing the truth — that we had a hand in leading the other to this end result — we, instead, sit back and say “I knew that’s what you would do.”
I don’t know how to end this cycle, but I know it’s possible and I know it starts with positive thoughts that turn into words that turn into actions that turn into habits that turn into values and ultimately become our destiny.
Are you speaking light or darkness into yourself and others? I challenge you to take a step back today and examine the expectations you’ve had and how often their met. Wouldn’t you like to expect more?