Mind Your Words – They Are Powerful Seeds of Change


All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind. ~Kahlil Gibran 

What did you just say? Take a moment to reflect on what you’ve said so far today, or if it’s early in the day, consider your conversations yesterday. How many words do you estimate you spoke? What was the impact of your speaking?

It is so easy for our words to just come falling out, without even thinking about what we are saying, or what we will create in the process of uttering them.

Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.  ~Buddha

Think about the words others have spoken to you? Pick one person from the past week. What words did they say to you? What did you sense was underneath those words? How did what they said make you feel?

There is such power in words, especially when they are thoughtful and come from beyond the logic of our minds and are washed over by the kindness of our hearts.

Words are just words and without heart they have no meaning. ~Chinese proverb. 

We create with our words. Words are the building blocks of our thoughts. And our thoughts are the building blocks for big things – creative ideas that lead to innovative solutions, emotional connection with others that builds longstanding relationships, the way we feel about ourselves and how that impacts what we do in the world.

And, it’s not just the words we speak out loud to others. It is also the words we say to ourselves. Are you aware of how you talk to yourself? What are the dominant words that you tend to use?

Our words have incredible power: power to move us and others to action, to make amazing things happen, to create powerful change. How are you using your power?

Words are a form of action, capable of influencing change. ~Ingrid Bengis

Below are a couple of suggestions designed to help mind your words and to explore how they can create powerful shifts in your life and relationships.

Word Play

Experiment with using different words and noticing how they make you – and others – feel.  Some suggestions are provided below. Come up with substitutions of your own by noticing when something you say (to yourself or out loud) or something someone else says creates fear or negative energy for you. Then, consider other ways something that was said might be phrased to create something more encouraging or positive.

Instead of this word… Use this word…
Attack (e.g., attack barriers) Discover, overcome
But And
Criticize, correct Guide
Determine, decide, figure out Explore
Drive (e.g., drive change) Create
Explain Share
Have to Get to
Motivate Inspire, energize
Permit (e.g., permit action) Accept, allow
Problem, challenge Opportunity, possibility
Should Could
Tolerate Understand
Weakness Area for growth
Why What
Work Play

Reflection Time

Take a few minutes each day to give some thought to your words. Pick a time of the day when you will sit quietly in an introspective moment. For those of you following this mindfulness series, perhaps you use the time that you are already using for a mindful pause. Take a few intentional breaths to tune into the moment – like dialing in to a station – and consider what you’ve said in the past hour, to others or just inside your head to yourself, and ask what energy your are creating and putting out in the world? Is it what you want? How is it shaping yours or others’ feelings, beliefs and attitudes, choices and actions?

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. ~Mother Teresa



NOTE: This post first appeared on the IBM Jobs Blog on July 26, 2016.

I’ve written other posts here on Leading with Intention about the power of words and communication:

And below are some posts from some of my other blogs. Did you know I blog regularly over at And Then Opens Possibility (inspired by my 2nd book of poetry) and Where Possibility Awaits (includes inspiring quotes with photos I’ve taken) I’d love to see you over there.

* I took the photo of a sign outside of a shop in Santinilla del Mar, Cantabria, Spain.

Author: Vicki L Flaherty

I am most alive when I am creating, whether through writing, photography, gardening, cooking, crafting, sewing, yoga. I enjoy traveling because it opens me to greater awareness and new possibilities. I find a special joy when I’ve helped someone see their brilliance and express their full potential. As I've focused on living more mindfully, I've found special joy in expressing myself through poetry and photography, and in truly being in relationship with those I meet along my journey.

12 thoughts on “Mind Your Words – They Are Powerful Seeds of Change”

  1. Thank U for this blog. Words do matter as they reflect our mind and soul. Keep speaking up, Vicky. 🙏 💕

    1. Ah, my friend, so good to be with you here. So true. If we just listen, really listen, to each other, we can learn so much about who we are. Keep being mindful of how your thoughts shape your life. Big hug, Dorota.

  2. This simple attitude I’m sure has brought more calm and peace to my life. Don Miquel Ruiz influenced me with the Four Agreements and the agreement to be impeccable with your word. These days, my words are the metta meditation of compassion — to be safe, healthy, happy and live in ease and joy. Much love to you Vicki for the powerful reminder and table of kinder words we can choose in speaking to others and to our self.

    1. Sunita, Ah, Don Miguel Ruiz and The Four Agreements – powerful stuff. I remind myself of them every day. I love the image you created of words sitting on a table and we get to pick the ones that we want to hold and share with others. May you be safe, healthy, happy and live in ease and joy, my friend. Namaste. Vicki

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