Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Power of Our Words


For the sake of this post, I'm not talking about the words we use in our stories. I'm talking about the words we use to describe ourselves and what we're doing.

You see, right now my confident self is in an epic battle with my insecure self. My insecure self is forgetting past milestones. She's sideswiping the positive emotions I feel when I work at something until I get it just right. She's trying to convince me that I don't have a voice, and that no matter how hard I try, I won't ever be a good enough writer.

I have a nasty habit of reminding people that I might fail. Each time I say those words, it's as if I'm setting one more pillow on the floor beside me. Soon I'll be surrounded by pillows of different shapes and sizes and colors, and each of them will be soft and ready to cushion my fall.

Recently, I heard a great message about the power of our words. The message included a story about a doctor who treated patients who hadn't been helped with traditional care. His treatment? Have the patients speak positively about their health, with positive results.

When we speak our words, whether they're negative or positive, we give those words life. We believe what we say about ourselves, so shouldn't we send our words in the direction we want to go?

My confident self is now telling my insecure self to lock her pathetic bum in the closet. She's reminding me to stop yammering about the problems facing my manuscript (the opening!), and to start focusing on a solution. She's knocking into my head that it doesn't matter how many attempts it takes, a problem can be fixed.

Yesterday I brainstormed with Awesome Hubby, and BAM!...a new opening was born. Positive thoughts have lifted my spirit, and reminded me what I'm capable of.

If you're like me, and your confident self is in an epic battle with your insecure self, send your insecure self on over to me. There's room in my closet. We'll lock them up, throw away the key, and play Barney the Purple Dinosaur's theme song on a loop until those insecure selves whimper and disappear.

Are you with me?

Tell me, are you ever forced to plug your ears when your insecure self is trying to knock you down? How do you handle that beast?

Not familiar with Barney's theme song? Consider yourself warned: if you listen to it, this song will repeat in your head. All. Day. Long.

28 comments:

  1. Yikes! I listened to Barney WAY too often when my kids were little - not going down that road again... :) But it'll still be stuck in my head :)

    My insecure self is very loud and obnoxious some days - lately especially! She's on her way to your closet as we speak!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jemi, I've got your insecure self in my closet. Commence Barney song now!!

      Delete
  2. My insecure self rears her ugly head quite frequently, but like you, I put her away somewhere. I am also at the mercy of others who tend to put me down. I am also learning to put them away somewhere and not allow their words to affect my emotional well-being. Easier said than done sometimes.
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karen, that is tough when others put you down, especially if it's people who are required to be in your life...family, friends, etc. Not cool.

      Delete
  3. Speak what we want, not what we don't want. God spoke this world into existence. We need to remember we have that same power, and can use it in a positive manner or a negative one.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm with you, Julie...other than the Barney thing. Once that song gets in my head, it'll never come out again. *laughs* But I know what you mean.
    What an awesome and powerful post! What you said about "giving those words life" really resonated with me. I've done that, and fully understand what it means to ignore that voice and not allow our momentum to slow or stop because of it.
    Thank you.

    -Jimmy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jimmy, I think half our battle is actually recognizing that voice for what it is, and then ignoring it.

      Delete
  5. Negative thoughts never serve anyone well. I'm not into that new-agey stuff about visualizing, but I do believe in positive thinking. (Now, if only that busybody editor in my brain would follow suit...)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have a busybody editor in your brain too? Huh. She gets around

      Delete
  6. Loved this post!

    Now that you've locked her (the insecure self) away, Julie - throw away that key!!

    I do have the insecure and confident self. Sometimes they battle...it's just human nature.

    Awesome that you found a new opening by brainstorming with hubby! Yay! So happy for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Loree, it was such a HUGE relief to have this breakthrough. I know there's still more work to be done, but I'm happy with this forward momentum.

      Delete
  7. I love this post, too! It's so true and realistic. You have to be careful what you say because they have power. They can reflect your attitude, emotions, etc., etc.

    I'm happy for you -- thinking positive thoughts will go a long way!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Livia. I definitely needed a "snap out of it" moment, and thankfully it came :)

      Delete
  8. Yes, I shut up my insecure self all the time. Good to know I am not here alone. Great article!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are SO not alone!! Glad your insecure self knows her place :)

      Delete
  9. My insecure self is a real pain in the ass. She also eats too much comfort food. I have to put her in one of those space bags, suck all the air out of her negativity, and put her up on the high shelf in the closet that I need a step ladder to reach.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love, love, love this post! We let our insecurities paralyze us for far too long, so thanks for the reminder that we can return the favor.

    Though personally, I think the Lamb Chop's "This is the song that never ends" might be my song of choice for my insecure self. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lamb Chop! Oh my gosh, what a blast from the past. Thanks for the smiles :)

      Delete
  11. Excellent Advice Julie! How do I handle that beast? I take him to the gym, give him a really good workout, sometimes soak him in the bubble bath, and put him to sleep.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It truly is amazing how awesome a great workout can be. Whenever I'm stuck, exercising is THE way to get unstuck. And bubble baths never hurt :)

      Delete
  12. I try to focus on the positive whenever I can. There is so much we don't have control over, so I figure if we stay focused on what we can control, and do our best, that's Success. :)

    And you are dedicated, smart, talented and savvy. Don't let self doubt try and tell you otherwise!

    Angela

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Angela, you're the best. Thanks so much!

      I'm so happy I'm moving forward. I was stuck there for a while, but momentum feels darn good.

      Delete
  13. Completely agree with NOT listening to all the negative things we say to ourselves. It isn't helpful or productive. Glad you found the right opening and when you talk about your writing, always say WHEN, not IF :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I totally agree that it's essential to not listen to the negative speak in your head. Even if you don't really believe it when you say it, or don't THINK you do, it's still not helpful. Much more helpful is to rally your fighting spirit & wrap yourself in determination :) Of course, a break from messy manuscripts now and then doesn't hurt either.

    ReplyDelete