Hey sweet girl,
You’re probably wondering why I would call you “sweet girl” when I don’t even know you. Well, I believe that what you say to someone can come to life in that person. So, when I tell you that you are a sweet girl, it’s my hope that kindness comes to life in you. There is power in our words and what we say to people matters.
Unfortunately, many people have been called terrible things that lead them to believe that they are what people say, because those negative words come to life in them, too. And that’s a shame. At your age, this is especially true because these teen years are wrought with insecurity and your friends have a huge influence on your self-esteem.
I know that sometimes what people say about you matters more than what you think about yourself.
I bet you remember every mean thing someone has said to you or about you when you’re not around, don’t you? Those hurtful words seem to stay in the most vulnerable parts of who we are and they can be destructive to our fragile self-worth. It’s hard to not take other people’s words personally no matter who says bad things about you.
Those negative words come to life in you, too.
Harmful words stick and sting and stay inside forever. At your age, lots of rumors about people get passed around, whether they are true or not. Harsh things are said when someone makes a mistake or isn’t well-liked. Words can be carelessly used and recklessly shared and the damage that comes from them can be devastating.
Hurtful words have so much power, but positive words do too.
When we use our words in an encouraging and helpful way, they can make a world of difference in someone’s life. I’m betting you have experienced this, too. When someone says something kind about you, doesn’t it help you feel good about yourself? When you say nice things to others, I bet it helps them feel good about themselves too.
Everything we say can have an impact on how people feel about themselves. You have the profound privilege of helping others feel confident about who they are. You have the immense responsibility to influence people in a positive way.
I want you to be aware of how you speak about others when they’re not around. I want you to be cautious with what you say directly to people too. Think before you speak, always. Instead of being impulsive with what you say, be careful with every word. Think about how you would feel if someone was saying the same thing to you or about you to others. Use your words wisely, sweet girl, okay?
And another thing…
The way you speak to yourself matters more than you know. Your private thoughts have power and come to life in you, too.
So, what words are you choosing when you talk to yourself?
Are you being kind and forgiving or are you being cruel and demanding? Are you acknowledging all of your talents and wonderful traits, or are you constantly criticizing all you see wrong with yourself? Lots of times, we don’t even realize how negative our own thoughts can be.
We aren’t always aware of how damaging those private words can be to our self-worth.
You might not feel confident about what wonderful talents and traits you have right now, because you are in the process of growing up and discovering those unique gifts in you that will develop in time. But keep looking for the special things you do, the natural physical features you have, and all the good qualities about who you are, because they are budding up in you every day. These are the years you will be changing constantly and transforming into a grown woman. These are the years where you’ll build your character and discover all you were meant to be.
The process takes time and patience and a lot of work, too. While you are learning about who you are and who you want to be, you’ll need unconditional love and support and you’ll need a good outpouring of grace and acceptance, too.
And you’ll need these most of all, from yourself.
Tune into your inner voice and try really hard to say positive things and catch yourself when you’re being negative. What natural gifts were you born with? What do you like about your appearance? What things come easy to you? What skills are you building? What makes you feel confident? Think about those things.
As you grow older, you’ll discover new traits and talents you can appreciate about yourself. Celebrate them regularly and tell yourself how proud you are of the positive things you are doing and the good choices you are making. Be kind to yourself when you’re hurting and be forgiving when you fail. Look in that mirror and smile, while admiring the those features you have that you actually kind of love.
There will always be things you don’t like about yourself, because no one is perfect! But instead of berating yourself over those things, encourage yourself to work on things you’d like to change and be gracious as you go forward with those goals. Everyone needs a cheerleader and a fan club, and you should be yours.
You are the only you in this world, which automatically makes you special. Learn to love yourself. Learn to nurture your gifts, nurse your wounds, and nourish your heart with words of kindness, acceptance, and encouragement.
Tell yourself you are important and you matter, because you are and you do. You might not fully believe all the positive things you say to yourself, but I promise that in time, they will come to life in you, too.
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Christine Carter writes at TheMomCafe.com, where she hopes to encourage mothers everywhere through her humor, inspiration, and faith. You can also find her work on Your Teen for Parents, Moms of Tweens and Teens, Parenting Teens and Tweens, Scary Mommy, Motherly, For Every Mom, Grown and Flown, and Her View from Home. She is the author of “Help and Hope While You’re Healing: A woman’s guide toward wellness while recovering from injury, surgery, or illness.” And “Follow Jesus: A Christian Teen’s Guide to Navigating the Online World.” Both sold on Amazon.