“Be mindful when it comes to your words. A string of some that don’t mean much to you, may stick with someone else for a lifetime.” ~ Rachel Wolchin
Words are powerful. They can encourage people on to greatness. They can comfort people in times of unspeakable tragedy.
Words can destroy. They can prevent people from realizing their potential. They can cause irreparable harm.
Words are more than just letters on a page or sounds that we hear. They are a powerful catalyst inspiring people to achieve more than they ever knew was possible. Sometimes words are the only thing standing between success and failure. We tend to think that life is what gets in the way of people achieving their dreams, whether it is returning to school to finish their degree or starting their own company or actively pursuing their passion. In reality, it is the fear of not being enough.
When faced with the challenges of the unknown, we want certainties. We need to know that pursuing our passion will result in success because that is how we measure achievement. We need to know that returning to school leads to earning a degree because that is how we measure our worth. We read articles and books that talk about failure because deep inside we fear not being enough. We look at what others have compared to ourselves in a constant effort of trying to prove to everyone else that, we too, are successful.
If we get accepted to an elite university, then we will be enough. If we make one million dollars our first year as a start-up, then we will be enough. If we write the next great American novel, then we will be enough. The truth is that there is greatness in each one of us. There is potential within that only we can hope to achieve by following our own path. We fail to gain what is possible because we are too busy looking to other people for approval that we never receive.
Sometimes a word as simple as "enough" can make all the difference. Letting people know they are enough happens in many ways. It happens when an admissions counselor answers the phone and guides a student through the enrollment process. It happens when a faculty member positively recognizes the improvements made by a student who has been struggling in class. It happens when a student support representative sends an encouraging note. It happens when an institution creates a culture that puts students first. It happens when a first-generation student crosses the stage to accept her diploma. We may think these are insignificant actions. However, to a student facing obstacles, these actions communicate one simple word, enough. An opportunity to reaffirm that they possess the qualities necessary to meet and overcome the demands of life.
Words are like spilled coffee, once poured out, it can never be returned to the cup. We need to choose our words wisely because each one has an impact. Words can be the gasoline that fuels greatness or the water that douses the flame. The difference between success and failure comes down to one word, enough.
Speak kindness today and remember you are enough.