How One Conversation Can Change Your Life


This week I spoke at length with my team about the origins and power of communication. Communication—verbal and non-verbal—makes up every relationship you have. Every relationship you have is ultimately the sum of the various communication, over time, that has created that relationship.

The various messages my wife and I have sent to each other—from the first time we smiled at one another on the top of a party barge, to the vows we exchanged at our wedding, to the I-love-you’s we exchange each day—have formed the good and the bad of our relationship.

There’s another conversation happening that often goes unnoticed. If communication is indeed so powerful—and it is—then what about the conversation you’re having with yourself?

What are you telling yourself you’re capable of? What are you telling yourself you can or can’t control?

We’ve already established that communication has the power to influence our world around us—even to create or destroy relationships. So what are you creating or destroying with your internal conversation?

I have the power, in my conversation with myself, to either claim or reject responsibility for my life so far, and also to claim or reject responsibility for what I do and create moving forward.

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Sure, there may be some discomfort in owning your past. There almost always is. But that’s okay. That discomfort can serve you: it can teach you, it can caution you, it can drive you.

Our words and thoughts have great power.

Author Yehuda Berg said, “Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair.”

Words gave legs to the indignation of the people of the early colonies. Small, written pamphlets ignited the minds of the oppressed.

Written words incited a revolution as they declared in no uncertain terms the independence of a people and the formation of a new nation—words started a war.

The words of Martin Luther King, Jr. impressed upon our nation the necessity for important change and the inherent value in every single human life. Words promoted peace.

The words of Jesus sparked a movement that has itself been passed on through words for two millennia.

What are you using words to create in your life? Are you creating power in yourself to affect your future? Are you creating the greatness you’re capable of? The legacy you long to leave?

Or are you creating indifference? Are you creating a life that is simply victim to circumstance?

Leverage the power of words, whether spoken or thought, to create your own mindset. Leverage that mindset to create powerful action.

One person says, “I hope I win a million dollars.” But another person says, “I will have a net worth of $1 million by age 35.” Which of these two people do you think will end up with a million dollars?

I believe in the power of my words to change my mindset, and therefore affect—in dramatic ways—my future.

I use my words to take ownership, to empower myself.

Be purposeful with the conversation you’re having with yourself. Be mindful and aware. The conversation happens all day long, every day, whether or not we pay attention. If you remain ignorant or continue to view it as inconsequential, then the cunning voices of ego, negativity, and fear (disguised as realism) will rule your thoughts and rule the conversation. Those voices will shape the world around you.

Alternately, you can intentionally allow the voices of optimism, belief, confidence and strength to create your mindset, and consequently your actions, and ultimately your world.

So ask yourself—and remain keenly aware—what are you telling yourself? What does your internal conversation sound like?


  1. brian barber says:

    This is key. If you do one thing different in how you navigate life this year, follow Brian’s lead and take control of your words – to others and, as he points out, to yourself.

  2. Adam says:

    Powerful post, Brian. I was reminded of my college senior writing exam. My question/topic was something along the lines of “Can the lyrics of songs have an impact on the actions of someone?” My response was an unequivocal yes. I, too, remember using Jesus (and I believe Gandhi) as an example of how words sparked action. Although you’re not quite on par with Jesus (I know you know that’s not an insult), your words have helped spark greater action in me. Thanks for what you’re doing!

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