Can Words Actually Break Our Bones?

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Can Words Actually Break Our Bones?

As children, we all learned that classic schoolyard comeback: “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” I know as a child, I struggled to believe this, even while I used it to fight back against plenty of insults and put-downs. Words caused me real pain, even if I wouldn’t admit it.

But a recent MIT study revealed something interesting. The study said that if someone tells us that we can’t do something, – somebody else has to come along and say “you can do it, you can do it,” 17 times to neutralize that 1 time.

So words do damage us in a very real way. They may not literally break our bones, but they do something even worse: they can break our hearts and our spirit.

That negative reinforcement doesn’t just cause pain in the moment. It eventually kills our dreams if we let it.

So many of us, when we share our dreams or goals with a “friend” or family member, they tell us that we can’t do it.

– Sometimes they mean well, and want to protect us.
– Sometimes they’re jealous of our dreams.
– Sometimes they’re afraid we’ll get too successful and they’ll “lose” us.

Whatever the reason, the effect is the same.

I’d argue that negative words like these are the primary reason 99% of people never get the wealth they wish to achieve in life.

They never built that business because they never got the positive reinforcement they needed to actually believe they could do it. Without that belief, success is impossible.