Through the years, most of us have heard the benefits of fasting for our overall health and well-being. What would happen if we applied the principle of fasting to our conversation or words? What would be the benefits? What would happen if we were intentional about eliminating toxic words from our vocabulary?
I really believe words are seldom trivial or meaningless. They move us, inspire us to action, comfort and encourage us, bring healing or they can crush us and devastate us. People have been inspired to do great things because of words and people have been damaged for life because of words. We are changed either positively or negatively simply because of words, and not just words spoken by others. We are even impacted by our own words.
On most days we are either encouraging or discouraging ourselves with our own words. What you are saying? Are you your best cheerleader or your worst critic? What positive or negative belief systems or mental images or you reinforcing by your own words?
Maybe it is time to get control of the one thing that can do so much damage- our tongues!
Here are three things to consider:
1. Tune in. Tape yourself or ask friend, parent or spouse to stop you when you are speaking negatively. Listen to yourself more closely.
2. Start a Toxic Word Journal. What are your toxic words? How do you limit yourself with these words? How does your conversation become an excuse or even blame? What are you saying?… “It’s too difficult”, “It’s hard”, “I can’t afford”, “If only I had more money”, “If only I had more time”, “I can’t”, “What a dummy I am”, “I am so stupid”, “I shouldn’t have to”, “If only I”, “If only you”, “You are the reason”…
3. Go on a Word Fast. See if you can pick three words that you say often and eliminate those words for a week. Find a substitute word or phrase.
Words are powerful! Even the writer of Proverbs declares the tongue has the power of life and death. No kidding! Maybe we need to rethink what we are really saying. With a little time, effort and intentionality all of us can take charge of our lives by and become our own best cheerleader, and I believe change our lives by changing our conversation.