Our words are like oxygen - vital to our wellbeing, and as elemental to how we flourish and grow.
That we so readily overlook, dismiss or even forget the power of our words on ourselves and others seems crazy; they are the currency by which we exchange, shape and share our stories and our lives.
In my professional work as a researcher and everywhere else in my life I've observed and felt the power of everyday exchanges; casually spoken words, the very same story told in ways that emphasise the light or the darkness.
Our fleeting, often unconsidered exchanges (including those we repeatedly have in our head) can and literally do transform our feelings - the very emotions that affect and shape how we see the world, how others come to see us and of course, how we see ourselves.
I never did believe really that phrase from childhood: 'Sticks and stones may break your bones but words can never hurt you'.
Our words are a powerful force in creating the world we experience – like ‘power tools’ they can create and destroy, instantaneously or by degrees .
We’ve all witnessed how a kind word spoken at the right moment has transformed not only someone's face and mood, but also the way in which they suddenly see themselves and their situation differently. We know too how a cutting or cruel remark can suck the energy out of the room, and extinguish the joy for everyone in hearing distance.
These instances can influence the stories we create - the ones we tell ourselves about our self-worth, our chances for success, and about our lives in general.