“Whatever is abundant in your heart, it is out of that abundance that your words will come. If there is an abundance of kindness in your heart, then kind words will come out of the mouth. If your heart is polluted, unkind words will roll off your tongue”.
We live in a digital world where a throwaway comment on social media can have lasting consequences. The decisions that we make, the people we surround ourselves with, our thoughts and our words all contribute to the person we become.
In this Monday Motivation, I wanted to share a personal story that has helped me to become the woman that I am today. This is a lesson in learning how to treat others the way you would like to be treated.
After taking on modelling jobs at the age of 15, I can tell you that a career within the fashion industry isn’t as peachy as it might appear. My new job title gave scouts, agents, clients and even other models permission to constantly pick me apart. I was left with two options: I could either desensitise myself through developing a thick skin or crack under the pressure and lose hope in my own identity.
Thankfully, I developed thick skin quite early on. This new perspective helped me to gain ownership and be proud of the unique woman that I am. The modelling industry’s emphasis on image ultimately gave me something to be thankful for, as I learnt not to compare myself to others.
The truth is, you can only live the simple lesson of “treating others how you would like to be treated” by first establishing your core values and morals. For me, this commitment is to be a caring, compassionate and loving person not only to myself, but also to others. Treating others with kindness might seem like a simple concept, but our experiences might suggest otherwise.
How often do you meet people who belittle others with their words?
Do you ever find yourself contradicting your true values when you have an urge to be spiteful?
I am definitely no saint, but what I have learned can be summarised in three significant lessons.
Firstly, if I have taken anything away from working in an industry centred on image, it is that people can be feisty and callous with their words.
(If you have read any of my previous articles, you know that I emphasise the power of the tongue, comparison, the words that we say and the thoughts that we think; for it is from the mouth that the heart speaks.)
I can admit that I have voiced thoughtless comments from a place of sheer ignorance and immaturity in the past. I have also been a recipient of negativity from others. I think the first most important step in mastering the art of treating others well is in understanding that every act has a reaction. As a result, you really have to digest your words before you speak them.
Think about WHY you want to share your words. This is an opportunity to connect with your maturity and wisdom. Before you feel inclined to pass a negative comment to someone, consider that you might not be aware of what is going on in their life.
Lesson number one:
Foresee every possible reaction to your words before you speak them.
Secondly, if you are still wrestling with negative thoughts, then have an intervention with yourself.
Start by getting real. Think back to the source of the problem and discern what exactly is triggering your thoughts.
Notice how frequently these feelings occur and your options for dealing with them. Do you end up blurting out comments without first processing them? Or do you exercise self-control?
If you do choose to speak out, know that negative words will only reflect disharmony in your own heart. Your harshly spoken comments will only breed more insecurity. Any thoughts, words and actions that come from this dark place will not serve to benefit others, or yourself.
Lesson number two:
Learn to wield the power of positive words.
And thirdly, I’ve learned that sticks and stones can break your bones but it is WORDS that can shatter a spirit.
Meeting with agents, attending casting calls or being in front of the camera often put me in the firing line of someone’s nasty words or opinions. In spite of being a bubbly and confident woman, words may not have had the ability to break my bones, but they could certainly sting.
I soon realised that forgiveness is the only antidote to the wounds that negative words can leave.
When any kind of scrutiny or sourness is aimed toward me through words and actions, I have learnt to take the positive away from the negative and use it as a way of checking in with myself. It is also an opportunity to develop my maturity by reacting with compassion, care and love in return.
Lesson number three:
Words can make or break a person and an eye for an eye will only leave you blind.
It’s time to step up and become a supportive sporty sisterhood who feed each other’s confidence instead of breeding insecurity!
We have all heard the saying, “If what you are going to say isn’t more beautiful than silence, then don’t say it”. Let us not just screenshot this quote or fleetingly agree, but truly abide by it.
Use silence to your advantage by stopping to check that your heart is in the right place so that the words you speak come from a kind and loving place that will enrich the recipients of them.
It is so important that we embrace one another as a sisterhood of support by helping to build one another up with unselfishness and kindness, because we live in a world that is constantly trying to drag us down.
Let’s get our core values into order and allow healing and love to flow through our words, actions and thoughts. We do this not only for ourselves but to treat others as we would like to be treated ☺
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