Words matter. Words are powerful. Yehuda Berg says, “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 have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.” Yet, in truth, we rarely understand the influence our words have on others and especially on ourselves.

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Without words, our thoughts cannot become reality. Words describe our mood, our opinions, and our emotions. They enable us to communicate with others and build relationships. And perhaps most importantly, we use words to describe to ourselves who we are and our future path. In this way, I believe words have their ultimate power in influencing a life of positivity or one of difficulty and despair.

For example, casually we may describe ourselves as lazy, forgetful, unattractive, over the hill and a whole litany of negative adjectives, unaware that in doing so we diminish ourselves and deflate our egos and confidence. These adjectives rob us of our power and influence. Yet we have a choice, a very powerful choice, to instead choose words that empower us and support us in creating a successful career and fulfilling life. Yes, it all starts with our thoughts and choice of words.

In my own life, I realized that the story I was telling myself about who I am was the biggest obstacle I had to having the career and life I wanted. I made a conscious choice to shed the debilitating words that caused me pain and worry, and to replace them with words of joy and abundance and love. My life changed dramatically.

I started to recognize with my coaching clients that their stories about themselves were also holding them back from reaching their full potential. I gave them an exercise to write a new story for themselves; a positive, empowering story about who they are and how they’re feeling in that new mindset. I began to witness their transformation. Their new choice of words fueled their ambition and success.

Read the full article on Forbes.com.