The language we use, both to ourselves and to others, is a window to our thoughts and beliefs.

 Many of the things we say are due to laziness or habit and they can be both unhelpful and damaging.


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Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me!

Most children have been told this by parents or teachers and, no doubt, we have all used this language. BUT IT SIMPLY IS NOT TRUE.

Think back to when you were at school.  I am sure you can remember a classmate or friend who was not as clever as you.  Often teachers will chastise this child when he/she gives a silly answer and, no doubt the class laughed and some called him/her stupid. Similarly there may have been a child with slightly strange looks, red hair, a physical problem, or even somebody exceptionally attractive, who was picked on.  “Fatso”, “Big Nose”, “Carrot Top” and far worse playground abuse all hit home and the recipient retains these messages and can grow to believe them.

Often adults tell children they are stupid thinking this will encourage more effort.  It does not take long for the child to believe they are stupid and therefore see no point in trying to improve.  This lack of effort is inevitably rewarded with failure, which, in turn, reinforces the child’s low opinion of their ability, leading to learned helplessness.


But the language you use to others is only part of the problem

Who do you think has been the most CRITICAL person in your life?  Are you thinking of parents, teacher, friends, partners – well you are wrong, you are your own biggest critic.  You tell yourself off and put yourself down far more often, and with more damaging results, than anyone else.

It is the language used when our inner voice talks to us that holds us back, damages our self esteem and our ability to cope with stress and anxiety.Try this out for yourself.  For one hour listen to your inner voice, the language it uses, the things it says, chances are it won’t be anywhere near as positive and supportive as you expected.  How often did you think something positive only for your inner voice to slap you down.  It’s great to start from  ‘I can’  but that’s difficult to maintain if your inner voice says ‘you can’t’!

Of course your inner voice isn’t real.  These are thoughts that go on constantly in our heads and they can often hold us back.  Do you remember somebody who was always on your back and who you can still ‘hear’ criticising.

Does it have to be this way?

No it does not!  Thrive With Ian guides you through the Thrive Programme teaching you how to boost your self esteem and take control. Using positive, affirmative language will help you feel powerful, anticipate positive results, create less stress, and reduce social anxiety.


Contact Thrive With Ian now for your free, no obligation, initial consultation and learn how YOU CAN DO IT.


I’m Ian and I’m a qualified Thrive Programme Consultant. Using the professionally developed Thrive Programme – a proven, evidence based, positive psychology training programme – I work with people from all walks of life, providing the insights and skills they need to change their lives for the better.

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