“If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.” – Michael Jordan
I was about 12 years old when I was told something that had stuck with me for a long time. At school, I was told “I don’t think you girls will make it to year 9 much less year 11.” To me there is something very powerful about those words. It shouts “you’re going to be failure,” “you won’t make anything of yourself,” “you might as well give up now.”
“Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.” Kobe Bryant
“So what? One teacher shouldn’t have bothered your conscious all this time!” you could say. Well that’s a good point – it shouldn’t have and it doesn’t now. But children have this thing called a “very good memory” and they’ll remember things you’ve promised them; memorable events, both good and bad and of course the things you said that hurt them.
Though I may not have believed it initially, it had become embedded in me. Somehow, I had taken it on and believed it. Only recently, (in the last few years) have I broken such “spell” but that was because I grew closer to what Jesus says about me and not what others say about me. Need I highlight, though I’ve been growing in my relationship with Jesus, “un-believing” what others say and have said about me was a process that has taken a long time.
When people say “sticks and stone will break my bones, but words will never harm me” in my opinion I think they’re lying. I know this is a children’s nursery rhyme but let’s pull this apart literally just for argument’s sake. Break someone’s arm or leg they’ll be inconvenienced for a little while but they WILL get over it – the bones will heal like new and the casualty gets on with their life. But throw some hurtful words at someone and that’ll stick with them for a long time – maybe forever depending on the person. It seems that words have a lingering effect more than anything else maybe because ‘the tongue can bring death or life’ (Proverbs 18:21 NLT). In other words, there’s lots of weight in words – they can damage, they can restore.
Even though I’ve had hurtful things said to me over the years, I come to realise that it’s about what I do with it after. Let me highlight – I am fully over such opinions, but the point of my post today is about not focusing on the negative things people say about you just because they say it. Their word isn’t the be all and end all – thankfully.
How true are these opinions people say about you? Many of them could very well be false but that person simply has nothing better to do than notice all their flaws in your life.
Somewhere along the line, there may be a button where you’d switch you off to negative, demeaning statements and get you on your way – whether it’d be your path leading to your goals, going to college/uni, starting a new job, or even leaving one to pursue what you know you need to….
I think you can make it.
“One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals. And so when I hear about negative and false attacks, I really don’t invest any energy in them, because I know who I am.” -Michelle Obama