Speak life. I believe there is power in words, and we can harness that power through the things we say to people to either speak light, joy, and success into their lives, or to speak darkness and defeat. When I think of the meaning of the word life, I think of birth and growth and health. There's a sense of vibrancy and invigoration when you envision something moving forward. Energy.
In order to understand how to speak life, let's first look at the opposite. The opposite of growth and energy is stagnation and death. Negativity erodes and rots as it chokes out the breath of success. It can be expressed in many ways. Body language, facial expressions, inattention, disinterest, etc. But words hold the ultimate power. You'll never, You can't. Move over. You're worthless. I hate you. The expectation in those words is failure, and, really, the best way to assure someone's failure is to expect it from them.
Life invigorates. It energizes. It expects success. When you speak the words of life into someone's situation, it infuses a sense of positivity that is life changing. Great job. Good work. I trust you. You can handle this. In your hands, it'll be awesome. You rock. You're worthwhile. I value you. What a contrast to the other examples above.
Think back over your own life, how many wonderful things do you remember hearing people say about you and to you? It's hard to remember those things, yet I'll bet there are a few zingers of negativity that dot the landscape of your history. A few hurtful phrases swung at you by hurting people. Those things you can recall on a moment's notice. But it's much easier to believe the negative things about ourselves. It feels more natural to most of us.
But we do have a responsibility, not only to speak life, but also to receive it. If we can control our minds to reject the lies of death that speak failure over us, and embrace the words of hope and promise and success, we will not only walk through each day more confidently but we will see more success in our lives overall. That's true in business and in all of life. That makes sense, but sounds a lot easier than it actually is. Trust me; I know.
Here's what you need to do: When someone speaks negativity into your life, measure it against these three questions:
- How much of what this person is saying is rooted in their own pain or fear?
- How can I reshape those words to offer myself something constructive that can help me grow?
- What is the truth about myself?
If it's not constructive, when it's rooted in someone else's struggles, and when it's not your truth (and it seldom is) then discard it like the rubbish it is. Refresh your thinking by spending time with a mentor or pouring yourself into someone you're mentoring. That's where the life is.
You can't control what others say or do. But you can control the words and story that comes out of your mouth, and how you receive words into your life.
And I'll leave you with this little reminder from our friend Toby Mac: Speak Life Video by Toby Mac