Words. A new study sites that the average woman uses 20,000 words a day, while the average man comes in at approximately 7,000 words.
The point here is not to dive into the reason for the number of words utilized by each gender, but to point out that words hold a tremendously important value in our lives.
We use words to communicate everything from the time of the day to life-or-death announcements. Because of this, as humans, we are wired to respond to the words we use and the words we receive from others.
How many times have we heard the expressions: “you’re only as good as your word,” “he’s a man of his word,” or “be true to your word?”
If we are using and receiving so many words in a given day, how intentional and aware are we about the power of these words?
We all know the Aesop’s fable, The Boy Who Cried Wolf. The moral of the story being, when we disrespect the power of words and our own integrity with the use of them, we lose our own ability to be heard and seen for who we truly are.
When we aren’t heard or seen, what does that say about our true connection with others? What does that say about us?
I believe one of the main reasons people struggle to show up, create and attend to goals and make the lives for themselves that they truly want, is because they have so eroded their own level of self trust. This happens after years of unmet promises that have resulted in an inability to trust one’s own word.
Simply put, we have, too often, “cried wolf” in our own lives.
If we cannot trust ourselves, then, what does this mean for our capacity to trust others?
And what of the words that we use that don’t adequately reflect what we truly feel and believe? How many times do we say (or don’t say) things because we feel others expect them or would not approve if we did communicate them?
What if there were something we gave our word to at an earlier time and things have authentically changed for us? How flexible and upstanding are we with being able to speak our new truth…our current word…even if it’s not supported by our environment?
We can really see here how words, and our use of them, play such a huge role in our life expression and experience.
I feel we have witnessed a point of “breakdown” in so many areas when it comes to communicating our word. Perhaps, the best way to begin to get back to building faith, trust and legitimacy in our word would be to focus on what it takes to do this.
First, it takes listening to our innate rumblings – those “messages” that come from deep within, calling us to create, express and be something.
I love what Lori Hamann says about life work, worth and our word.
“If you are not standing in your worth while you are doing ‘that thing’ called life’s work, you aren’t keeping your word to yourself and the world.”
She goes on to add, “Your word is a powerful piece of the puzzle. It’s your integrity. It has the power to make movement in your life and attract what you desire most, as a result.”
In looking at this, we can see that where you feel “stuck” is where you have not been true to your word. Again, it’s important to consider we are not talking about the word of others that stems from another’s expectations of how things need to be, but from an authentic buy-in to your own life’s purpose, direction and desires.
When you are “just doing as you are told,” much of the time, you are not living by your own word.
It’s very difficult to attend to the words that are not our own … that we have not made our own because they, somehow, do not reflect our truth, or that we have not taken the time to legitimize for ourselves.
So, if we haven’t “owned” them, why do we speak them? Why do we say something we know we can’t/won’t/will struggle to stand by?
And why don’t we stand by the words we know are reflective of our truth?
It takes intention, presence, consistency and commitment to take a good, long, hard look in the dermatological mirror. Seeing all that stuff close up can be very challenging.
Yet these are the questions, I feel, we need to be asking ourselves when it comes to the areas in our lives where we are most challenged when it comes to authorship and self leadership.
The fact is, until we do, our word won’t really mean much. We will continue to find ourselves in situations where both we and the people around us (acting as reflective mirrors) will continue to use words that are misrepresentative and lack substance.
Because, after all, if we are our word, then what does that say of us and of the lives we are living?