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  • Linda R. Taliaferro

Your Words Have Power

I think that most people don’t understand the power that our words have. We tend to focus mostly on what other people say about us, right? What our manager said at our review, what our peers said in that email, what gossip we heard floating around the office. That stuff is important to think about, but something that people neglect to pay attention to is the way we talk about ourselves to ourselves.

Negative self-talk, both in our heads and in statements to other people, can have a huge impact on our careers. We like to think of our personal and professional lives as separate, but that distinction is really only an illusion. The negative self-talk we all engage in can directly harm our own growth in our careers.

For example, when I started out in my career, I had all sorts of negative self-talk about myself.

I’m not good enough.

I’m not competent enough.

I’m not skilled enough.

There was an endless cycle of self-doubt and critical thoughts that made me think really harshly about myself. The result was that I didn’t think I was good enough to get that seat at the table. My own critical self-talk kept me small for a number of years longer than I would've been if I had flipped the script in my mind and said things like:

I'm good at what I do.

I'm great to be around.

I'm a valuable member of the team.

I have a place here.

I deserve to be here.

I'm worthy of this seat at the table, whatever table that is.

Note that these statements aren’t delusional visions of narcissistic grandeur. They’re just statements about my own worth. It’s really freeing to remind yourself that even though everyone has opinions, but those opinions don’t define your worthiness, value, or destiny.

So I really encourage you to pay attention to what you tell yourself about yourself and to take time to say positive things about yourself out loud every day.

Words have enormous power, so take advantage of that and let your speech manifest good things in your personal and professional lives.

If you want help identifying the ways that your negative self-talk is holding you back, you might benefit from some one-on-one coaching. Click here to schedule a free consultation!

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