CHOICES & CONSEQUENCES: the POWER OF YOUR WORDS!

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In an attempt to not be too preachy as it relates to my blog, but as a believer of the Word and a Minister of the Gospel; it’s hard not to refer to Word of God in certain situations.  The “D” Bible verse, (known to my students) says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue and he that loveth shall eat the fruit thereof” ~Proverbs 18:21.  The words we choose to speak are crucial!  Words are our thoughts; we believe our thoughts and our thoughts become our actions.

The choices made on how one describe his or herself, the words one speaks about his or herself as well as the words one speaks to others makes all the difference in the way you view and handle situations and circumstances.   It begins with our hearing the words we hear consistently develop our belief system.  If one hears negative things consistently he or she becomes a product of that environment.  He or she will speak to others and express him or herself in negative terms because it will become their normal.  It is the same way he or she will treat and deal with others unless he or she is successful exposed and accepts a better or different way to express his or herself.  Whatever a person’s normal is (be it negative or positive), based on what you have become accustomed to hearing, it is that sense of normalcy a person will seek from others.

The way one speaks is taught behavior that extends beyond the simple choice of words but registers in the mindset of the individual speaking.  The words become the way one thinks, perceives others and the way he or she processes everyday activity.  Have you ever known someone that no matter what or how something is said; can always see the bad?  That person seems to make everything black or white, wrong or right, for me or against me?  He or she is a product of their environment.  Words are soooooo vitally important.  The choice of words began by the way we teach our children and grows from there.  I know someone that I love dearly and that person can only speak, enjoy themselves if they are speaking about something in a negative fashion.  Sounds creepy huh?  It’s not.  For example, this person will only tell you things that they don’t like.  So if you suggest going here, their statement is; “I don’t like crowds.”  There is never an alternative suggestion offered and if you bring up something that they enjoy, they will agree and that’s that.  No additional comments on how much they like doing this or that; but if there is a negative story of any type, that person will share it until it cannot be shared anymore.

The decisions/choices one makes are based on the thoughts entertained.  People who tend to view things from a negative perspective have been taught to do so by either the repetitive hearing or the things that the individual encounters and in most cases a combination of both.  Often the two can reinforce one another. Hearing negative and having negative occur completes a negative picture of their life based on reality for that individual.  The thing is that picture of his or herself; is dismal and not completely true and a half truth is always a whole lie.  Good and bad things happen to everyone but when your perception is defined by the negativity one will always and often see his or herself through the eyes of being a victim, smaller than the problem, unable to overcome, and the forever underdog.

Although we cannot see words, we can see the affect that words have on one another as well as ourself.  It will limit or hinder that things and people one will expose his or herself; it stops the progress of growing making one stagnant and bitter.  Words build low self-esteem or they can promote great self-esteem.  Words fuel love or they can fuel hate.  Words are powerful and since everyone has a voice, has the ability to use them, we must be careful as to how  we use them.

  • Be slow to speak, especially when you are angry. Even when you don’t mean to, speaking harshly is always remembered.  While you can apologize, you’ll never be able to remove or erase what a person heard coming out of your mouth
  • Use your words sparingly. Less really is more at times.
  • Choose your words carefully. It’s important to mean what you say and say what you mean.
  • UNDERSTAND THE WORDS YOU USE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I could speak all day on this point. People who attempt to use words that they do not understand often hurt and damage relationships beyond repair!  Take your time and understand what you are trying to say and communicate that effectively.  I know a kid whose lack of education makes him almost illiterate at times.  His ability to explain himself is sooo basic and his understanding even more basic.  Fear, hopefully embarrassment prevents him from learning and doing better.  However, all bad communications and relationships, he blames on others and his dad allows it because he doesn’t know how to help him communicate better.  That leads me to the next point….
  • ACCEPT Criticism and teaching so you can communicate effectively – There are times when the person who has the ability to help you, make not be the one you want but overlook that, get the help and move on!
  • Be angry but don’t destroy. EVERYBODY gets upset at some point, however words can either promote peaceful resolution or they can promote violent resolution.
  • WORDS ARE WEAPONS! Just as powerful as bullet and as lethal as a bomb, words in the wrong hands can destroy generations to come!
  • WORDS ARE THE ULTIMATE BOOMERANG – yep they come back to bite people all the time. The things one will speak to and about others can and will become his or her own reality.
  • Words are seeds that never stop reproducing and growing, plant good ones.

The choices you make with your words can have severe consequences.  Choose Wisely!

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SOWING & REAPING, You can’t reap a Harvest in places U haven’t sown!

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Have you ever believed in something or someone and was later wrong?  Have you ever invested into people so much, gave so much and at the end of the relationship found out that there was nothing left for you?  Have you ever been wronged and felt the one who wronged you, got off?  Have you ever done the things you thought were right and felt that somehow you were still getting the short end of the stick?  Have you ever given your all to something and it didn’t give it back to you?  I’m sure many of us have experienced at least one of these questions.  You know where you have given your all, have done the things you felt were right and were wrong.  The worst part is that when you are doing something that you think is right, when do you find out it’s not?!

Okay, let’s put this in context. If you invested into a person or loved someone and did the things you thought would make them happy only to find out, it wasn’t enough or it wasn’t the right thing.  How would you feel?  I’ll tell you, mad, betrayed, upset, hurt, belittled and defeated; that’s just to name a few of the emotions.  Think of it like this, you cannot reap in places you haven’t sown. You cannot get a check from the Burger King Company if you are employed at McDonalds.  If you put more time in at work, then you can’t expect your family to be excited or just waiting on you at home.  Of course any man or woman who works to provide for his or her family would disagree and I get that point, to a degree…..however, where your time and energy goes so too shall your harvest.

Sowing and reaping is a principle!  It will stand the test of time, the test of people, the test of product.  It doesn’t matter what scenario you describe you can use the principle of sowing and reaping to determine where, how great and how valuable a harvest could become or not become.  It’s a principle and not a cliché .  The thing is most people tend to do things assuming, hoping and thinking that it will yield a certain return without testing along the way.

A thing can begin one way, and in the process of time, energy, change, seasons, growth, obstacles; the need and desires that were in the beginning have shifted.  If a person remains with the original plan for the sake of keeping the plan, all the work, the sowing will be in vain because what he or she hopes to reap will not be the same.  Let me give you an example.  Since we are using the terms, ‘sowing and reaping’, let’s use crops.  A farmer can begin or set out to plow the land for one crop and based on weather, climate, changes in the weather or seasons, realize that the original plan, while it was good at the time may require twerking.  Okay, first let me say this is a simplistic so don’t go too far and miss the point.  In the example, if the farmer had not cultivated or revisited his plan, meaning continued researching, continued watching weather reports, continued reviewing the plan;  he or she would have missed the signs that told him or her that the original plan should be aborted.

Relationships are the same way.  Two people begin in one manner but hopefully, prayerfully, both parties will grow.  Without revisiting with one another, without talking and making sure along the way that the needs of each partner are met, it is easy for one to outgrow the other person and separation enters.   It is possible to sow in a place for the right reason and still not reap the harvest one desired.  It’s possible to sow too long, too much, too often and then turn for help, comfort in a place that hasn’t been cultivated.  At that point, one could feel isolated and lonely.  However, expecting withdrawals from places where you have ceased to deposit is unrealistic.

What are you saying?  Simply in 2018, be mindful into the places where you sow!  Sowing is equivalent to planting.  Planting is to give people time, energy, space, attention, emotions, affection; when you give it all in one area in one place you cannot expect to look to another place to reap!

  • Parents we must have jobs to pay the bills, however the jobs do not have to have us all the time!
  • If you work, work while you are at work and stop allowing pressures and attempts to please and prove to others; make you take work home!
  • Learn to unwind, disengage from work on the way home so that when you get home you can sow into your family!
  • Sowing is continually for hours.  BALANCE!  Balance work and Balance Family.  Too often we balance family more than we do work but in the end, when the times are critical it is family we want.  Do not need help or comfort or expect a harvest in places you have neglected!  It will not be there and at that point you can blame no one.
  • Sow into yourself!  NO not buy yourself things, sow into you! Never lose the essence of who you are!  Sow value into you by what you say to yourself, how you see yourself.  Strengthen your strengths and starve your weaknesses.
  • EVALUATE! EVALUATE! EVALUATE!  We need to be scientists of our own lives!  Stop going through the motions, having the same arguments without reflecting on how, why and what causes them!  UUGh!  We quote “doing the same thing expecting different results is insanity” and yet we in our actions, we make no adjustments.  WHY? Because we tend to not evaluate what happened!  Usually, we remember how and why someone made us mad but fail to see how our language, tone, timing or any other emotions affected what or how the other person felt.  We tend to keep our same habits but want different results!  HELLO!  Habits aren’t principles!  They can change and habits will not stand the test of time, etc… because if a habit is killing us, we will and must change or stop it!

EVALUATE! THINK! REVISIT!

If you aren’t sowing the harvest you expect, go back and trace your seeds!

Communication vs Talking; there is a difference.

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Things said, explained and understood; become things learned and knowledge acquired.  It’s called communication which technically does not occur until the person speaking is understood by the person listening.  Too often there is more talking back and forth and less communicating.  Most people never stop to hear what the person said to them and far less time getting an understanding of what they actually meant to say.

Speaking has always been a cultural thing.  There is correct English and then there is the English we speak commonly on a day-to-day basis.  There was a time when the emphasis on correct English was hard, fast and iron clad and that seems to be falling away.  I listen to people all the time and realize that they do not know how to correctly conjugate a verb to save their life and most have used improper English for so long that they don’t even know how to correct it!  The point is, the art of communication has been getting lost for some time and technology wave isn’t helping it at all.  Some people hide behind the technology as an excuse to not communicate effectively or efficiently or at all! Some people think the technology hides their tone but even emails and texts carry the message loud and clear, messages that probably shouldn’t be hidden anyway.

When you communicate with people you love, it should be truthful even when the truth may hurt.  I never said ignore tact but let’s face it, the truth can hurt but the ability to be honest with people you love is priceless.  Notice I used the term communicate and not talk.  Communication in this sense is to make sure what you said is what’s understood.  Often that gray area holds the key to so many misunderstandings, arguments, discussions, disappointment, breakups and yes divorce.

Men and women think, act and therefore communicate differently.  Women tend to think more about the relationship and how they feel and often express their feelings clearer.  For a man to communicate, a woman has to be patient and listen.  Since men spend most of their time trying NOT to talk, forget communicating.  Men either get intimidated or frustrated when asked to explain what they meant when they said something.  To them, it’s a like a trick question; for a woman it’s gaining clarity.  People tend to choose talking over communication because it’s quicker and most just want to argue, disagree and fuss rather than resolve.

Talking ensures that a person will get off his or her chest, their feelings, it doesn’t guarantee that those feelings were understood which means a 90% chance those same things will or must be addressed again.  Communication says not only did I hear what you said, I understood it and now I can either work on it or respond back to you appropriately; either way dialogue is now in effect.  Dialogue is good.  It’s better than just talking dialogue means remaining on subject about the discussion at hand and communicating on it until resolve.

Communication actually solves issues, talking guarantees something to talk again.  Communication requires work and a lot of that work is nonverbal, there’s thinking, feeling and attempting to see something from the perspective of the person you are speaking with.  Talking just means having a response after the other person is done speaking.  We talk without thinking and that’s never a good thing.  Communication breeds understanding, acceptance, tolerance and truth.  You may never totally agree with your mate, friend or other people in life but understanding them and the differences between the two of you can bring you to at minimum a place of truth.  Relationships grow in truth and understanding!

Let’s communicate and grow and allow others to grow!

THINGS SAID, THINGS ASSUMED

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Far too often we say the things that we want to take back and never say the things we want people to know especially those close to us.  In doing so, we tend to live with regrets.  The thing about our mouth and the words we speak is that we tend to not realize the power, impact and the life of the words!  Words are never ending.  One can apologize but that doesn’t change the impact of the words spoken good or bad.  Even after the apology the victims of those hurt by the words spoken; live with the emotional, social, psychological and even spiritual scars for years to come.  Not a believer yet?  African-Americans, Black people (whichever u prefer) have lived under the negative words spoken to them and about them in private and public.  Other ethnic groups with limited knowledge of black people believed the stereotypes and the media hype as the truth.  The words used to describe this particular group of people; specifically, in the media, have become the norm and set the tone for the treatment and/or mistreatment of them as a group and never as individuals.  Words are scars that never heal and once spoken can never be unspoken. Simply put the power of words is often underestimated.  

When placed in this context, it would seem that, or one would hope that, more people would understand this and choose their words carefully.  Some people are careless about words because they don’t understand the importance or severity of their words.  For most, usage of words that harm and hurt are often the result of being hurt.  When forced people will do and yes say anything to protect his or herself.  That’s a natural human response and yet our natural responses lead to so much pain and abuse.  One never outgrows his or her human traits, good or bad, but you learn to practice self-control which helps one to make better choices, control the way you express yourself.  It is better to error on the side of caution rather than the side of speaking negativity.  Positive words have never come back to haunt anyone.

Life is full of choices, things we decide things to do and things to say.  Communicate effectively, efficiently and often.  Tell those closest to you the things you like, dislike and desire to improve.  Most importantly don’t spend all your time being angry or telling people how mad you are, or just the things you don’t like.  Tell them you love them verbally even when you feel your actions show it.  Let them know just how important they are to you.  Do not just assume they know or understand your actions.

There are things we say, there are things we assume, YOUR LOVE FOR THOSE CLOSEST TO YOU, SHOULD NEVER BE ASSUMED.

KIMBERLY DAVIS

HOW ACCURATE IS YOUR VIEW OF YOU?

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The last blog, I wrote, discussed having a ‘good’ view of oneself.  The view of yourself is directly connected to your level of self-esteem or lack thereof.  While it is important to have a healthy mindset of who you are as a person, it is not good to have a ‘false’ sense of who you are.  In other words, you cannot rewrite the scenario of events to ensure you are always the victim, to imply that anything negative or bad that happens to you is beyond your control, actions or decisions.  We all know that to be impossible, yet it is amazing to me those that share that version of his or herself and the things that they have encountered in life.

I have been writing a book now for a few years.  The 1st version of that book, when I thought I was ready to edit the book, was ridiculous.  As I read the paragraphs, literally there was painful event upon painful event describing what people did to me and how they made me feel.  I recalled events, situations and problems accurately and somewhat vividly but in those situations, it was all about what happened to me.  Never did I have write about my series of bad choices that lead me to be in situations; bad judgment, running from the pains of life, loneliness and even a little despair.  In my review of my past, I found myself embarrassed.  I mean really some of my decisions were down right ignorant.  I couldn’t even really understand the decisions I made or why I made them.  Now let’s be clear, the things that I encountered were real, painful and abusive at the hands of others, however, it was my decision to be and even remain with and under their control.

The point?  Having an accurate view of oneself, means accepting your low times that are directly connected to your weaknesses, you know we all have them.  While it may be embarrassing and painful, in order to, really grow, the truth about who you are, what you have done and how you contributed to your “current situation” is crucial to changing and improving your NEXT Situation.

I am a huge advocate for people being honest and I dislike being around people or having people in my circle who do not care enough to be honest with me. I mention this because, to have an accurate picture of you means having a friend that you allow to “check” you per se. During my period of darkness, those in my circle, never cared for me enough to be honest with me, about me.  It was then I knew I had to change my circle and I did.  People can gain and even gleam from watching you be a failure.  It makes them feel good about their situation.

Having an accurate view of who you are isn’t all bad, nor all good or all victim; it is a combination of your strengths, weaknesses, hopes, ideas, and thoughts.  Once you know them, embrace them and walk in them accordingly, you become powerful beyond your greatest expectations.

Kimberly Davis

WHAT DO YOUR ACTIONS SAY?

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There’s no place like home! There’s no place like home! There’s no place like home!  These are the last three lines in the move; “The Wizard or Oz or The Wiz”, that we hear before Dorothy is able to go back to Kansas.  What we learn in the movie is that it wasn’t any magic in the three lines other than Dorothy’s belief in those lines.  When she really wanted to go home, she could do so.  Her journey was a personal one all along.

Like Dorothy, many of us say words, phrases even speak monologues about how one feels about his or herself; the things we like, will do and won’t do; but the truth is the proof of our actions.

I always say that if you have to announce certain things then maybe they aren’t true.  If you have to tell people, “I love myself, I’m the boss, I’m in charge or I will not do this or that”; then more than likely those statements aren’t true.  Real emotions, feelings, thoughts aren’t always verbalized but show forth in the actions of the individual, the way they walk, speak, the confidence and just their aroma.  Truth be told, you know about people long before you approach them if you pay attention.  A lot of people pay attention too.  Long before you speak, interviewers, co-workers, onlookers, potential mates, haters and just nosy people already have a sense about who you are.  Now don’t get me wrong a vast majority of those people will be wrong, however there will be some that see the insecurities you work to hide.  While the words we speak may be loud and resounding; the actions we take are greater.

Your mouth says, “I love the skin, I’m in or the person I am,” but your bowed head and inability to look people in their eye, screams doubt and lack of confidence.

Your mouth says, “I know my worth”, but the partner that you chose that’s over-bearing and controlling says I don’t know who I am and I compromise for the person that loves me.

Your mouth says, “I love my body”, but the oversize clothes tell another story of maybe cover-up and hiding.

Your mouth says, “I’m an open book”, but the cross arms tell people not to go further or that they are invading your privacy.

Our mouth is one of the most powerful members of the body, the negative things spoken out of it determines our actions, prohibits, stops and prevents one from moving forward and the positive things spoken out of our mouth encourages, builds and makes one want to move forward.  However it is possible for the words from our mouth to be in direct conflict with our actions.  One thing the mouth cannot do; is to make our actions lie.  It can boast great things but if the things are not true, or accurate, our actions will always give us away.

What do your actions say?

 

LEADERSHIP CHRONICLES, Cont’d How do U, handle Power? Influence?

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Leadership is a powerful thing.  Most people want the power it brings, the influence and the confidence that they think being a leader will give.  However, having a platform of leadership doesn’t change who you are.  It only amplifies the person you are already.  Your faults are magnified because now there are so many people watching, your strengths are magnified but at much smaller rate because now instead of being celebrated, people will tend to say, “you should know, you should do”; what was once impressive isn’t so impressive anymore.

Ahhh, leadership.  Power, Money, Control, Influence; they are all a part of the package deal known as leadership.  When one isn’t a leader, it’s easy to see, judge, predict and even determine how another one should handle his or her position.  Yet an opportunity to become or take a leadership role may prove to be a downfall of the one who spent years looking up to a coveted role.

Let’s be clear, no leader starts at the top or starts where he or she ends but there is a very different mindset of a leader regardless of whether he or she is viewed as a leader throughout the journey.  As I mentioned in the last blog, a real leader will always surface without regard to the level that he or she has the pleasure of serving.  So, if he or she is among the workers, he or she will still stand out.  The leadership is there and more importantly the mindset.

However, the journey to leadership isn’t easy nor without hits and turmoil, bumps and bruises and even some mistreatment.  A good leader will not misuse or abuse his power toward or on others once in control. The real test of leadership is the way one handles power, influence and responsibility.

The “wanna be” Leader- imitates the leader prior to him or her.  You can always tell them because they do and say things without even thinking about the implications or reasons for why things were said or done.  Basically, they mimic the actions of people that they perceive to be leaders and more specifically the actions that they like!  These people think leadership is all about control, dictating and fearing people into doing what they ask of them.  They never understood or even thought that people follow leadership and leaders because they are pure, of good report, fair, mature and honest.  You know these types always looking for a scandal because that’s how they think.

The “mad” leader – is the one using his or her position to revenge every injustice.  They watched things that they didn’t like or agree with, no matter how large or how small.  They made mental notes and so in their rise to leadership, they are still operating from the small mind of the follower.  They tend to be more corrective, more discipline and controlling even to the point of micromanaging their subordinates.  They have made it to leadership but still tend to major on the minor!  Like the mad hatter, riddles, rhymes, puzzles, you can’t see the big picture with them and neither can they.

The benefits leader – how will it benefit them!  They are more laid back, the department and/or people runs itself, there are issues that require addressing but they do so only when it benefits them.  Never mind the chaos, the frustration of trying to accomplish work in that environment, or the frustration of the employees/co-workers, it’s all about them and how they appear before and to others as the slime up the corporate ladder.

The Drunk with Power Leader – I think that’s the one, I’ve seen the most and experienced the most and not in a good way!  It’s like being black.  Before I shake hands, speak or begin to discuss myself, you know that I’m black.  My skin color announces me, so if I walked into the room and said “Good morning, I’m black”; people would think, and rightfully so, how ignorant is she?  It’s the same thing for a leader who has to announce and demonstrate their power on every level.  Micro-managing the employees day-to-day activities, ready to implement disciplinary measurements on everything at all times, paranoid about employees wasting time, taking things or projects being incomplete, accusing rather than asking and always ready to hire new people at the drop of the hat.  All signs of a person drunk with power.  You can own the company and be drunk in power.  The truth of the matter is if you know who you are, and understand your power or influence then there is no need to abuse the power.

Abuse is also misuse of power.  There is never a need for consistent threats, or tools to make one feel inferior when you are a leader in fact the leader should do quite the opposite.

Handling power is a sensitive thing and the ability to do so is priceless.  You can always tell a veteran or an elder of power by the way he or she will use it.  Whether they carry it like a torch ready to burn up an offender or if they know how to use the tool to build and inspire others; a leader is known by the people or victims that follow.

If you have been hurt before and you are a leader, then be mindful of the past.  First get help, a therapist that you can talk to about your hurt.  A leader should never feel or see his or herself as invincible but always remain open to get and receive help.   Everyone reports to someone.

Misuse of power is abuse of power and when you aren’t leader enough to get help, think about how many people you are willing to lead into hurt.

Kimberly Davis

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