Wife to my high school sweetheart, boy mama to sweet baby boy Macrae, and two fur babies Shiloh and Milo, a full time high school history teacher, and overall enthusiast for life. Avid podcast listener, iced coffee drinker, and organized chaos manager. My passion is to encourage and inspire. To cultivate an intentional life, a life full of joy and an abundance of grace.
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Today’s episode is so incredibly important and something that I am very passionate about, as well as something I believe SO strongly in! Today’s episode is all about words and the power of them. Not just using words, but purposefully choosing words to build and to grow and to become more like the person we truly desire to be! In this episode I am going to share with you why you should care about the words you use and speak daily, as well as actionable strategies to start living your best life, right now!
As someone who likes to pretend to be a writer, with the intention of one day writing a book, I find it oddly satisfying to look up the meaning of words. I feel like often times we may think we know what a word means and we use it in our day to day lives based on that meaning, but then upon actually looking the word up and finding out the true meaning – it unleashes an entirely whole new level of potential in regards to language and the role of that word in our lives.
And while I am a Social Studies teacher, and not an English teacher (ha I already struggle to keep up the grading on the two essays my students write per semester) so I can’t imagine the grading load for English classes! Which makes me think of my current TBG list (to-be-graded list) teachers you know what I am talking about. Anyways – I find tremendous value in words, in their meaning, and immense purpose in speaking words, specifically speaking intentional words over our lives.
I am going to be bold and just come out and say this straight to the point. There is power in the words you speak. The words that you say, that you choose, that you carry out on your tongue – they hold incredible meaning. And this is the truth. What you say, how you say it all mean a whole lot for you and your life. Therefore we must be careful with the words we speak. And be extremely purposeful in our speech.
If you start to feel under the weather, and you think to yourself, okay I am not feeling good. My nose is a little stuffy, my throat is a little scratchy. Hmm, I must be getting sick. Thinking all of that is one thing. But the moment we say out loud “I don’t feel good” that is the moment we give our bodies the permission to not feel good. That is the moment we give our bodies the permission to feel all the symptoms that we are feeling. Am I saying that by not speaking how we feel out loud is going to be the reason we do or don’t get sick. No, I am not. Obviously there are a multitude of factors that affect whether or not we get sick. But what I am saying is that there is power to our words. And the words we use and the words we say are directly connected to our bodies and our hearts.
Now, I do need to add, my belief in the power of words comes from my belief in the Bible. And while I am a believer in Jesus and the hope that his life, death, and life again brings, I want you to know that even if you believe in something different, or don’t believe in anything at all, I want you to know just how important words and the power of your words are.
Proverbs 18:21 New Century Version says “What you say can mean life or death. Those who speak with care will be rewarded.” Friends, your words matter. They absolutely do. And not just the words we use in the big moments in our lives, but every single moment. The daily moments, the little moments, which all add up to the big moments. Every single word – it matters.
Words. If we think about words, and when we use them – they are oftentimes mostly used in communication with others. Words we use that are directed towards someone else. Therefore, think of how powerful of a circumstance we are in daily when we say words to other people. Think of the immense power that opportunity holds. With every single interaction and communication with the people around us – we have the ability to make or break someone’s day.
Therefore it is of the utmost importance to carefully choose the words we speak to the people we interact with because in them is the potential to make someone’s day incredible, or make it the worst. This is true for the people we know, as well as the people we don’t know. This applies to the strangers we come across in the grocery store check-out line, or the school pick-up line, or the employee stocking shelves at Target. Or the person hiding behind that social media account commenting on people’s posts and stories. Every single person. Every single interaction. The words matter.
There is a power that comes from us actually speaking words. When words are spoken, they bring to life the meaning of the words and start to transform our heart. There is a physical strength to speaking words. It’s as if the meaning of the actual word is activated from the heart and within the heart upon execution by our mouth.
My grandparents had a lake house. And while that lake house is no longer in our family, for my entire childhood, over twenty-five years in fact, that lake house served as a special kind of home. I am the oldest of all my cousins and we have memories beyond memories at that lake house. Throughout the summer months, my memories include swimming in the lake, boat rides (goodness my heart loves a boat ride – talk about a place where my heart and mind feel the most alive) tubing, water skiing. Goodness, the absolute best memories.
Well, I remember the first time my cousins and I all jumped off the top dock into the lake. We had to climb over the ledge, step over the flagpole, watch our footing to avoid any splinters, and hold our balance as the dock rocked back and forth over the wake of nearby boats. The longer you would stand at the top of the dock, overlooking the water, the further the water seemed. We all stood there looking at one another. Are we going to do this? Surely we can? Who is going to go first? Together? At the same time?
When there are situations in life where we are physically working up the courage to do something that seems big there is a difference in telling yourself internally “I can do this,” compared to physically speaking out loud “I can do this!” When you say “I can do this!” you are physically commanding yourself, your heart, your soul, your physical body to the belief that you absolutely can! The same is true in the physical sense in exercise when performing a task that is difficult, more strenuous.
By saying a loud, I can do this, or come on there is a power to it! And while there is an incredible importance to having thoughts that are strong and encouraging, the thoughts come to life upon speaking them out into the world. Maybe you have had a similar experience of this kind, I am sure you have! But there is an importance and a significance to using your voice to speak words over yourself!
My true hope in sharing this podcast episode is that through listening to this you would be encouraged to speak words of great significance over your life. That you would be more intentional with how you speak to yourself and the people around you and that you would truly believe in the ability of being able to live out your best day each and everyday by speaking the right words over yourself, over your day, and over your life! So to help make sure this is absolutely possible, here are ___ actionable strategies to start living your best life right now!
Don’t allow your body to hold on to all the thoughts, the feelings, and the BIG emotions. Get it out. I feel like we live in a society that expects people to have it together ALL the time. Or even if we don’t have it together, society expects us to put on a brave face, to grin and bear it, fake it til you make it, and don’t let the world see the real, vulnerable, emotion and feelings that lie below the surface. While I am one that does see the importance in certain situations to keep things close to the heart, I also am a really big believer in the significance of digging deep, uprooting the big thoughts and feelings and then releasing them elsewhere!
For several years while I was teaching, I had warm-up activities. Each student had a composition book and at the very beginning of class, I had a question on the board. Usually the question was in regards to the previous day’s lecture and I used this as an opportunity to review and assess student knowledge of content already taught. Well, on test days, the warm-up question always asked my students How Are You Feeling About The Test? While for some students, they didn’t take the question too seriously and just wrote down quick things like “Good” or “Help” ha, one time a student used this to write down the name of a movie that he watched instead of studying and encouraged me to watch the movie soon.” But for other students, who took this question more seriously, it allowed my students the opportunity to express their concerns. To write out their big thoughts and feelings.
The beauty of this is – when we write out what is controlling us on the inside, it releases it. The thought, the feeling, it leaves our body and lives on the paper. It allows us to breathe a little more deeper, and then find more clarity in regards to the situation. When I write out how I am feeling on paper, it becomes more concrete. I am then able to take that statement, that phrase, that word scramble and address it head on! This is seriously a great strategy to help cope through and process our thoughts and feelings. I would love for you to try this out. It might feel very strange at first, and your first few times doing this may be very short, but I promise if you stick with this – I guarantee you will experience a little more peace and freedom in your life!
The second strategy to start living out your best life right now – affirmations. This is something I feel like we are all a little more familiar with. So in fitting with today’s episode – the actual definition of affirmation is the action or process of affirming something or being affirmed. Okay so let’s dig a little deeper – the official definition of affirm is to state as a fact, to assert strongly and publicly. Oh I love it! Okay so what does that mean here – well in order to start living out your best life right now incorporate daily affirmations! Because when you affirm something – you are taking the meaning of that word, and you are activating its power through asserting strongly and publicly into existence. Therefore it becomes REAL and it becomes VALID.
Incorporate daily affirmations into your morning routine. Do this when you are getting ready OR on the drive to work. Or maybe in the parking lot before you walk out of the car and head into your day. Your affirmations can be connected to your faith, in fact if your faith is important to you I definitely encourage you to make your affirmations faith-based. I personally love the daily affirmations that are written as scripture in the book Prayers That Avail Much by Germaine Copeland. They are labeled as personal confessions in this book, which I also love a whole lot!
For those looking for affirmations that are not directly connected to faith – I created a set of daily affirmation cards as part of a free resource for YOU. I poured my heart into these and dearly hope they bless you in some way!
Through incorporating specific moments and time in your day to speak out daily affirmations, you are using words with incredible meaning, activating them through the power of your voice and speaking them from your heart over your life! The more you do this, the more your thought process and heart will be closer aligned and the specific things that you hope to achieve in terms of inward blessings will come to fruition.
Number three for actionable strategies to start incorporating daily to live your best life right now – sit in silence. And what I mean by that is don’t be so quick to turn on the things and flood your mind with busy distractions. There are so many good things in store for us, but we are often too busy to even notice. We live in a busy, busy world with distractions everywhere.
But too much of a distraction can pull us away from the things that are life-giving, the things that truly matter. Therefore, I urge you to rejoice in the silent moments. To focus on breathing deep through the quiet. To be incredibly in tune with your heart and your mind as you let your thoughts overwhelm you and you don’t let distractions pull you away from them.
Maybe start off with just 60 seconds a couple of times a day. A time where you can physically move to a quiet place, a cozy place. Where you leave your phone in a different room. Where you briefly turn off the ringer and you sit in the quiet. If you feel uncomfortable that is okay! That is great even. On the rare nights where I go to bed super early and for me that means before 10 o’clock, I can have a very hard time laying in bed. I very much feel like there are things that I should be doing. Whether that is things for school, for work, or for personal, it can be so easy to want to fight the silence. And there are so many easy options to do so with. Except, I urge you to resist. And to sit still and silent. Or bring your journal with you and combine the sit in silence with the “get it out” from step 1.
You will be amazed at what you gain from this time. Maybe you are listening to this and thinking, Haley – silence is what I want the absolute most. You have no idea what it would mean to me to be able to have just five minutes of silence every few days, or once a week even. And if you are thinking that right now and are feeling that very feeling, I want you to know that you are seen. Maybe you can find a few minutes after the kids are in bed where you retreat with yourself to a corner of your home. It doesn’t have to be this grand gesture, it just needs to be done!
And I am excited for you as you start to incorporate a few minutes of silence here and there into your daily routine and to see what that does for you! Start with 60 seconds, and then increase to a few more minutes at a time to give yourself and your heart the reset that it needs! And when you habitually sit in silence, you are resetting your mind to embrace the stillness, to reclaim the peace. And that can translate to thinking more deeply, allowing you to align your words more clearly to your thoughts, so when you do speak, it is with purpose and direction.
Our environment is so incredibly important. Our environment affects us, it impacts who we are and how we think, how we act. Take your workspace for example, think of how you may function in terms of productivity during a moment where your desk space is cluttered and messy, compared to how you may function when your desk space is clean and in order. And if any of my co-workers are listening to this podcast they probably are laughing at me right now because they would be the very first to tell you that my desk in my classroom is always cluttered.
I try, I try so dang hard to keep it clean and clear and organized. But sure enough, it always ends up being the day before I need a sub. I have to end up spending an entire hour devoted to cleaning up and clearing my work space so that I don’t have to inconvenience another individual with my clutter. However, I will say this year I have made more of a consistent effort in tidying things up each week, just for my own sanity and it definitely makes a difference. I feel more capable, more productive when my desk space is organized.
Our bodies, our thoughts, our mind are most definitely impacted by our environment. Therefore, to start living your best life be sure to create a positive environment that you can surround yourself with. Think of the spaces you frequent often throughout your day. Where do you spend significant time? How can you bring encouragement and words to that space to remind you throughout the day of your values and of your worth! Maybe it’s through sticky notes, or note cards, or written on your planner, your to-do list. On a notepad you keep in your car, or on the bathroom counter. Build your environment to uplift and encourage you. To remind you of the good things. To remind you of your truth.
Surround yourself with good things. Things that are righteous and edifying. Things that are uplifting and encouraging. Things full of life! Just as the words we choose and speak hold power, the words we listen to hold power too. If we are constantly listening to things that tear us down or defeat us, then it is much easier to start thinking those same thoughts and feeling that defeat.
Therefore make an intention to purposefully fill your ears with the source of truth. That truth can be different things for different people. Maybe for you it is a certain genre of music, or a certain type of podcast. Or it is surrounding yourself with the right kind of people, in the right kind of community that is going to encourage you and help you in your process of choosing words that encourage you to help you start living your best life!
In order to live out your very best life, we must give out our best self. Our world and society can be so selfish. So focused on self-gain and self-promotion. Therefore in order to truly live out our very best life, it is of the most importance to focus on serving and loving those around us. To extend the best of ourselves to those we love and those we care for. The best way to do this is to use the very power of words themselves to pour into our people. To pour into the community we do life with. To use kindness to string together words into beautifully orchestrated sentences that have the ability to empower and build up those around us.
Just how powerful it is to speak out words over our own personal lives, it is just as, in fact, even more powerful to use our words, to use our voice and to empower those around us. To speak life. To speak to the dreams, to the passions, to the desires of the people who mean the most to us. Let our words radiate kindness and let that kindness overflow out of our hearts, through our mouth and into our world.
Actionable strategy number seven to start living your best life – visualize it. I love visualizing. The practice of seeing something so clearly through your own vision internally and practicing it until it becomes a part of your reality. As a cross country runner in high school and a season in college, visualizing was so important to my training as a runner and as an athlete. I would often find myself at night, before drifting off to sleep, visualizing myself in the workout, in the race, and going through all my senses of how I might feel and taking check on the different thoughts I may have during that workout or race.
I would prepare for all the different varieties of thoughts consisting of doubt, fear, discomfort. And I would face that head on through my visualization. That way when it came to the actual workout or the actual race, I already had experience of confronting the mental challenge and could find a stronger hope in overcoming the physical challenge.
Visualizing takes time, and definitely is something worth the practice. But what a great thing to do if you struggle to fall asleep at night. And you can apply visualization to your everyday life. Think of moments where you have a tendency to lose your cool, or moments where you tend to fall victim to the stresses and anxious tendencies of the moments of chaos and overwhelm of life. Think of those moments, and anticipate them in your mind and then visualize the more desirable way to react. Visualize your mind remaining calm, your spirit in peace, your body taking deep breaths.
Visualize being present in the situation of chaos and stress and go ahead and talk to that self with empowering words and affirmation. Go ahead and give your mind & body the road map that it needs NOW before the situation even arises. This will definitely take time and practice, but is such a great tool to have in your tool kit to allow yourself to start living your very best life!
The very last actionable strategy to start living your best life – believe in it! Believe in you. Believe in the words that you speak. Believe that they hold tremendous power. Believe in yourself that you have everything that you need to start living your very best life. Believe in where you are right now as the place that holds the road to get to where you hope to be. You don’t have to wait for one day, you don’t have to wait for things to be perfectly set up or the season when you have more time to take things slower, you don’t have to wait for whatever your someday is… you can believe in all of this, for you, right now! This very instant.
That is what the power of our words holds.That is what the power of our voice can do. That is what the ability of our mind can achieve through using words in their fullness, in their power, and in their strength. And if this is something that you are struggling with. Can I let you in on a little secret – use your daily affirmations. Start speaking these things out a little by little over yourself every day. And if you start small, but keep it routine, you will begin to believe in the very words you are saying. You will know their power and you will start living out your very best life, right now!
Well, friends, there you have it. I hope your heart was incredibly encouraged through today’s episode of the Best Day Podcast. My intention is for you to take something away with you and to go forth in your day, and your week knowing just how powerful your words are. That you would use that power to speak life over your passions and your dreams. That you would use words with intention and purpose to not only build up yourself, but those around you! Wishing you all the BEST this week, friends.
Believing this week is full of all things hope and joy and peace. And I cannot wait to hang with you next week on another episode of The Best Day Podcast where we dive into 5 Ways To Tackle A Monday And Start Your Week Off Great! Until next time, have the BEST day friends!
Before you go, if you are looking for more encouragement and inspiration for living your very best life right now, check out 6 Sure Ways to Turn Around Any Bad Day, as well as 16 Ways To Find Joy Now!