Sticks and stones may hurt my bones but words will never hurt me. We used to sing those words so innocently at the school yard and I can imagine that some children still do, but who was the misguided person that brought such harmful thinking into our consciousness?

It doesn’t really matter but we all find ourselves with this ingrained idea that words don’t really matter. Correction. We believe that the words we say to other people matter. We remember that if we have nothing nice to say, we should say nothing at all, but that doesn’t stop us from saying some pretty terrible things to ourselves. Some of the things we tell ourselves is not even terrible, but it is horribly negative, and we’ve done it for such a long time, that we no longer feel the effect. We accept our heavy lives as normal. We don’t speak up. We don’t fight. We have resigned ourselves to throwing little punches at ourselves and have become quite resilient in taking those punches.

Today is the day that you and I stop taking punches at ourselves. This is the day we should vow to no longer apologize for not being good enough. This might sound like you, but without a doubt it certainly sounds like me:

I have a funny story to tell you but you might not find it funny. If I can do it, anyone can do it. I didn’t really have time to prepare, so please excuse what is to follow. If I had more time I would have done a much better job. Please excuse the messiness of my house. The creases in my clothes, and the state of my car.

We have to start using positive language. We have to start saying positive things about ourselves. But they aren’t true you might say. Yes, some of the changes we wish to see in our lives will take a very long time to implement, but it is better to approach the journey with positive thoughts, than to weigh it down with negative thoughts. It will be the same journey. It will take the same amount of effort, but why not walk in sunshine and with a beautiful breeze, than subject ourselves to fight rain and thunder?

Positive thoughts and the positive language we use matter. It is not a trivial matter. You should start paying attention to what you say, how you say it, and how it makes you feel. You don’t have to be having a great day, to say that you’re having a great day. Don’t lie, but remember that you’re trying to have that great day. Stating the facts as they are sometimes make things worse. I’m ugly. I’m stupid. I’m not good enough. I’m lost. I’m a failure has never helped anyone do anything in their life.

But positive thoughts have. The change things. They put things in perspective. They fight for you when things fall apart, but they won’t be there for you until you start to make positive language a conscious part of your life.

At first it will seem farcical and uncomfortable, but who cares? Say nice things and think nice things about yourself anyway. Remember, it doesn’t matter how uncomfortable you might feel, or what people will think, or how it all looks, what really matters is that deep down in your heart, down the road, you will know that you’ve done everything you could to love yourself, and to be the best person you could have ever become.

You’re a fighter. Don’t fight with one hand tied behind your back. Don’t fight with one eye open. Be a fighter that uses all her weapons. Use positive language to your advantage. Relegate negative thoughts outside yourself. Do this consistently and you can do anything.


Cover photo generously provided by photographer Christian Chen via