Our thoughts become our words which in turn become our actions. Think about how you feel when you hear positive praise compared to negativity. It feels good and we are prone to internalize what we hear and think. If we think and feel that we are fat or skinny, ugly or pretty, smart or stupid, etc, than we become those labels. Our words matter.
I see the effects of this lesson everywhere and recently found it in an old 60 Minutes(tv show) about the students of Marva Collins. Marva was a teacher in the public school system who became sick and tired of trying to fix the inadequate elementary school where she taught. She took matters into her own hands and started a school in her home. Sixteen years later a group of 33 former students were brought together and interviewed to see whether or not the education they received at her school helped or hindered. The students had all grown into successful educated adults.
A former student recalled how her teacher Marva often called her students brilliant, “After someone telling you that, five days a week for three or four years, (you know) that’s in you.” Marva knew the power of words mattered and made sure to constantly give her students positive affirmations while they learned.