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The Power of Words

Updated: Mar 14, 2021

We use language to assign meaning to the world around us. Every word we speak, think and hear impacts our lives. Our words create our reality.

If you'd like to listen instead, click the play button above!

Your brain is always listening, and your words are the program it will run.

Did you know that your brain is like a supercomputer and your words are the programming language you tell your brain that runs your current program? I know, crazy right, but it is the truth. Your brain responds far more to your words than to anyone else's. And your words are the creative process in which your mind goes to work to build your reality.

Throughout this crazy pandemic, my two youngest have been doing school from home. No, I wouldn't call it homeschooling because I have done that in the past and online school and homeschool are two different systems of learning. Anyway, my son, who is a 7th grader at present, decided it would be simpler and less time-consuming to respond to almost every question with "I don't know." After about two straight weeks of this, he began to find himself struggling to understand the information in class and on his assignments. He came to me in despair, frustrated that he couldn't do simple tasks and confused as to why he was struggling so much. I asked him some questions, and he responded with his go-to "I don't know," I asked him to stop, think about what I am asking, and respond with something other than "I don't know" after a few frustrating attempts, I asked him to say instead "I am not sure, let me think about it." Within one day, he went from not knowing to just needing a little more time to come up with an answer. He was now telling his brain that he didn't have the information right then, but he could come up with a solution given the time to think.

Your brain doesn't care if the information you are giving it is true or false.

There was a small experiment done several years ago with precisely 32 participants. While this is by no means is an extensive case study, this experiment highlights the power words have over you.

Participants were asked to conduct a taste test on a new brand of strawberry yogurt. The catch was that it had to be done in a dark room. After sampling the product, each participant was asked a series of questions regarding the yogurt's taste and flavor. 19 out of 32 participants commented on the pleasant strawberry flavor, with one proclaiming she like it so much that she was planning on switching yogurt brands. The interesting part is that all 32 participants were given chocolate yogurt, not strawberry. My point here is that because they were told they would be eating strawberry yogurt, 19 of the 32 participants tasted strawberry, and one of them so much so that she decided it was her new favorite brand.

When we present information to our brain through language, our brain seeks to validate it. We can tell ourselves whatever we want, and our mind will go to work to find evidence that this is true for us. Our mind goes to work to validate what we say and believe. If someone continually tells themselves they don't know something, their brain will work to validate that they indeed don't know. It's a failsafe we were designed with, to protect us in the face of danger.

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