Words do have the power to hurt. Therefore speeches that do not build you up can pull you down. Surprisingly, most of these speeches originate with you; and you do not even know it. But students need to be aware of this in order to avoid these dangerous little speeches.
What are these little speeches and how do they hurt? And how do they pull you down? Let us try to find out.
First of all listen to all the I can’t speeches you tell time and again. Without knowing it you are creating a belief for yourself that you are not capable. The truth is that you fear failure. Therefore you do not want to try. Failure is Ok; but saying I can’t is not Ok.
Secondly, listen to all the negative stories you tell. They might be true incidents when people might have hurt you, criticized you or made fun of you. The more you tell those stories the more you believe that you are helpless and a victim of circumstances. Is that true? I doubt. With trust in God, can you not rise up above all that pulled you down in the past? Yes, you can.
Thirdly, listen to self-deprecating comments that you make. Occasionally that can be part of humour. But if you use that constantly, it can be an indicator of the struggle you have with your sense of self worth, esteem and significance. Therefore cut off that kind of talk. It only pulls you down.
Finally, listen to little speeches of despair that escape your lips. You might have never noticed it. But after spending time with you; your friends will leave with their hearts heavy, with lack of happiness, and clueless why their minds are feeling drained. It is because of the pessimistic, no-hope-ahead, kind of talk you might be tempted to speak. Avoid that at all costs or you’ll lose your valuable friendships before you know it.
To conclude, let me say that identifying these four kind of speeches and avoiding them is not enough. You need to start thinking differently. St. Paul tells us: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”1 When you do so, quite naturally, you will learn to speak words that, instead of pulling you down into a spirit of despair, will build you up.
Prophet Isaiah predicted that Jesus came, “to bind up the brokenhearted . . . to comfort all who mourn . . .” and to give them “a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” (Isiaah 61:1–3).
1 Philippians 4:8 Bible NIV 1984.