Since the beginning of creation, our lives have been shaped by words spoken to us, over us, at us, and about us. Words, spoken and unspoken, shaped our childhood. They shape our relationships, they’ve built, undermined, destroyed, and rebuilt marriages. Words spoken to us, at us, over us, have impacted our confidence. So much so, that they determined to some extent who we actually see in the mirror. How heavy were the words spoken to you? How heavy are the works you speak?
Today, we have the privilege of hosting an extraordinary guest who understands the impact of self-limiting beliefs on women’s aspirations and their ability to unlock their true potential. Through her unwavering dedication, she has committed herself to empowering women, assisting them in conquering obstacles, and fostering the unshakable confidence necessary to establish thriving businesses that align with their dreams. Prepare to be inspired as we delve into the remarkable journey of Kate Butler—a remarkable entrepreneur and digital marketing strategist—exploring the profound influence of transformative words that have shaped her destiny, guiding her towards becoming the extraordinary individual she is today. Moreover, she sheds light on the significance of mindfulness in our language and the art of managing the power of our words. Don’t miss this opportunity to glean invaluable insights from a true visionary. Tune in and prepare to be uplifted.
Words, spoken and unspoken, carry weight. Leave marks for the good.
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The Weight Of Your Words: Being Mindful Of The Things We Say With Kate Butler
Thank you for being here. Thank you for hanging with me because you are you, unapologetically. I am so grateful for each and every one of you who take the time out to tune in to the show. I want to remind you guys that we are on a new topic. In case you missed the last episode, we are talking about something new. You know how we do.
For those who are new, I want you guys to know instead of having a variety of topics and changing topics weekly, in our case, we release an episode every other week. We invite a diversity of guests to discuss the same topic. Why? It is because we want a diverse perspective because we have a diverse audience. With that, that’s why we do what we do here.
With that all being said, let’s get the show on the roll. Let’s get this ball rolling. About two episodes ago, I introduced this new topic. I introduced it, and I went in on it. If you guys missed it, you might want to go back and check it out. Why? It’s because I laid the groundwork for this episode and the upcoming episodes. With that, let’s jump into our discussion.
When it comes to strangers, either you met them for the first time that these are first-time acquaintances or people that you don’t know, the question I want to ask you is, what do you say to them besides a mere hello? Do you speak to them at all, or do you ignore their presence? Do you strike up a conversation with them? If you strike up a conversation with them, what do you say? Do you watch the words you use?
When it comes to our more intimate relationships, the people who are not strangers in our lives are people who know us, and we know them. We call them our family and our friends. They’re the people that we say we love, and they love us back. Those of you that you consider your best friends or that’s in your inner circle, what do you say to them? Do you watch your words? Do you say anything without any thought, without thinking about what you’re saying? Do you let anything come out of your mouth?
Here’s where I’m going with this. Words are very powerful. This is what our discussion is about. It is the weight of your words. It’s how powerful words are and how you use them or how I use them in this world. Words are powerful indeed. We know that the more intimate relationships we are in, the heavier the words can become and the greater their capacity is to hurt, wound, and leave a mark or a scar.
Get this. Even words left unsaid, unsaid words or unsaid phrases have the potential to impact the trajectory of a person’s life. I have witnessed over time youth or young people. Those are some college students who I work with, single adults, adults with families, and adults with children. I have witnessed them in tears because of a phrase they had never heard. It is a statement they never heard their father say like, “I love you. I’m proud of you. Great job. You are so important.” It is words that they would have given anything. They would’ve given anything to hear their mother say, “You are valuable. You matter. I appreciate you. Thank you.” To hear their mother say, “I’m sorry or please forgive me.”
In fact, unspoken words have as much impact as spoken words on our lives. My point is simply this. Words are powerful, and words carry weight. There are no ifs and buts about it. This leads me to ask you this question. How heavy are your words? Have you weighed them lightly? Do you pay attention to the weight of your words?
Since I’m a Jesus follower, you all know I like to use biblical scriptures to support my point. You don’t have to be a Jesus follower. You don’t have to be a Christian. You don’t have to know Jesus to get the point that I’m making or the point of our topic. I like to use it to anchor my point. There is a chapter in the Bible. It’s in the New Testament called Ephesians.
This is for those who are not Bible readers. The book of Ephesians chapter 4:29 says this, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen.” There’s a book that’s called James. This author, James, in the New Testament, is identified as the brother of Jesus. In this book, chapter 1:19 says, “Remember this, my dear brothers and sisters. Everyone should be quick to listen and slow to speak and should not get angry easily.”
He talked about how our tongue is an unruly evil full of this deadly poison. He says in chapter 3 verse 7 and 8, that humankind contain beasts. We contain birds, reptiles, and the creation in the sea. Yet, we cannot tame our own tongue. The scripture says no man and no woman contain the tongue. James goes on and describes the human tongue as an unruly evil that is full of deadly poison. I said that before.
Here’s the thing. We use our tongues to create words. We can’t talk without it. We use our tongues to create the words that I’m talking about that I want you to weigh. Proverb 18:21 says, “Life and death are in the power of the time. We can use our words to give life and to take life as well.” Since the beginning of creation, our lives have been shaped by words spoken to us, over us, at us, and about us. Words spoken and unspoken shaped our childhood. They shaped our relationships. They undermined. They destroyed. For some of us, they rebuild. Look at marriages, for example.
Words spoken to us or at us have impacted our confidence so much that they determine to some extent who we see in the mirror. How heavy were the words spoken to you? Think about it. How heavy are the words you speak? Have you ever been crushed by someone’s words? If so, then you understand what we’re talking about. You understand this discussion because I don’t believe anyone is exempt from being crushed by someone else’s words. We crush someone else with our words. We all have been injured or crushed in some way by the words of other people.
Words carry weight. Words spoken and unspoken leave marks. Words leave marks for the good, and words leave their marks potentially for the bad. Words build and destroy. They discourage and inspire. Sometimes, words wound our lives so badly that sometimes, it’s hard to find how we can recover. We all have been impacted. We’re not exempt, including me. The words that were spoken to us or over us shaped us to some extent into being who we are. My life, your life, and all of our lives have been shaped by words that people have said to us. In some cases, we have been shaped by words that we didn’t hear. Words that we want so badly to hear, we needed to hear them, but we never heard them.
Here’s the thing. We are so quick to recognize the power of other people’s words and the words that had an impact on us, over us, and in our lives. We’re so quick to recognize it, but we’re very often slow to recognize the words or to admit the fact that our words, spoken and unspoken, have equal power in the lives of other people. We don’t want to acknowledge that, but we’re quick to acknowledge what someone said to us. It isn’t easy to admit that you’ve been impacted or I’ve been impacted by other people’s words. We also want to recognize how many people we have impacted with our words.
We’re quick to remember. We can remember exactly what someone said to us, especially if it was hurtful. You know the thing. They say people may not remember what you said, but they’ll remember how you felt. You say some mean enough words, and people are going remember exactly what you said. There are no ifs and buts about it.
When it comes to us owning it, when it comes to us, we don’t do that. We make excuses. We make excuses. We’re like, “That’s not what I meant,” or, “I’m being me. I’m being honest as for your honesty.” Even in your honesty, you have to realize that words are not just words. Some people want to believe they’re words and they’re not. They want to believe that words don’t mean anything and that they don’t have any weight whatsoever. You and I both know that nothing could be further from the truth.
Consequently, we don’t want to be honest about the fact that we use our words irresponsibly. We are irresponsible with our words. We’ll say, “That’s not on purpose,” or, “That’s not my intention,” but that’s not true either. We’re irresponsible with our words because we don’t want to understand. We don’t want to stop. We don’t want to realize, recognize, or even embrace the fact that words carry weight. Our words carry weight.
Negative words weigh way more than positive words. Studies have shown that in relationships in the marketplace, and these are typical relationships, they said that if we hear a negative word, we will need to hear 5 to 9 positive words to counterbalance that 1 negative word. I believe in more intimate relationships like marriages, friendship, relationships with you and your children, you and your parents, your siblings, or your best friends, I don’t think it’s 9 to 5 positive words. It’s probably 25 to 30 positive words to counterbalance that one negative word that we say to people. What negative words are you saying to those who are around you, especially to those people that you love? What negative words are you using?
Here’s another point I must stress. The source determines the weight. The source of the words or who is using those words determines the weight. The source of the word determines the weight of the word. When we’re in a conversation or we’re in an argument even more so with those that we say we love, we must remember the source determines the weight. In that conversation or argument, whatever it is, we have to stop and think about who we are to that person that we’re speaking to and who we represent as well. It’s important. This is what I’m saying. We have to think, “Who am I? What do I represent to this person that I’m having a conversation with? Is it my child? Is it my mother? Is it my colleague? Who am I, and what do I represent?”
What people hear and what they feel, regardless of what we think we’re saying, will do damage. It will do major damage to the lives of others. Some people hear one thing when we think we’re saying something else. Here’s the thing. We all are going to get it wrong. No matter what, we’re going to get it wrong. What I want to point out is that when we get it wrong, our intent is irrelevant to the person who’s hurt.
Your words, my words, or our words carry weight, and they are not equally weighted. They carry more weight than you think, or I think that they should, especially in relationships. Those are the people who are close to you. It is people that we say we love, and they say they love us back. The fact is we know words have the potential to destroy as well as build up and undermine as well as inspire. We know that. All of us should take that into consideration because we all know that we’ve been impacted.
Someone said something to us, and we said something to them. We all must recognize that we must be good stewards and careful with our words. We must be responsible for the words that come out of our mouths that we use our tongues to create and say. If you are a human being that cares about another human being or other human beings, I’m talking to you, and I’m talking to me. It’s not about being a Jesus follower who I’m talking to. If you breathe as I breathe, I’m talking to you.
What is the weight of our words doing to other people? What are they doing? I want us to take a moment and think about it. What is the weight of your words doing to your family members? What is the weight of your words? How are they landing on other people or family members? Are they leaving marks? Are they creating unforgivable or unhealable wounds or wounds that will take years to heal? Your words, are they building up or are they destroying? What are the results your words are producing?
Before we dive into this conversation or this discussion, I must introduce you to our amazing guest. Before I introduce her, and I’m giving you a hint that it’s a her, I have to tell you a little bit about her. She’s phenomenal, no doubt whatsoever. You guys know I don’t bring anybody less than phenomenal on the show. All our guests have been phenomenal and are phenomenal. Our guest for this episode is a business owner and digital marketing strategist whose passion is to empower women to build businesses that align with their true purpose.
With years of practical experience under her belt, our guest understands the challenges women face when it comes to starting and growing a business. She struggled with acknowledging her unique abilities and gifts and what it means. She walks her talk. She knows firsthand how self-limiting beliefs can hold women back from achieving their dreams and reaching their full potential. That’s why our guest has made it her mission to help women overcome the hurdles and gain the confidence they need to build a business that serves them. Using her proven framework and empathetic guidance, she helps women uncover their superpowers and achieve the success they deserve. I told you. She’s amazing. Please help me to welcome Miss Kate Butler to the show.
That was an amazing intro. Thank you so much. It is so nice to be here.
You’re so welcome. I’m so glad that you said yes as well. Thank you. Before we jump in, I want our audience to know. I want to share with them how we met. This is something I ask all of our guests because I want our audience to know how we connected and what we did do. Please share.
We met at the beginning of 2023. It was a few months ago when I came into a private group with a mentor. I was looking for that guidance to take my business to the next level. Lo and behold, you were part of that group. We’ve known each other virtually for a good few months.
That is so true. Our audience knew about the group because we also had other tribe members on the show. This isn’t their first time hearing about the wonderful tribe that we’re in. I have to ask you. Since the name of our show is You Are You Unapologetically, and this is what I ask everyone, so don’t worry about it, I want to know, and I want our audience to know what does it mean for you to be you unapologetically?
I’m an introvert. To be me unapologetically is to be accepting of that without feeling like I need to explain or account for myself to anybody else. It is being true to myself and doing what I know is right for me and, therefore, what’s right for the world. That’s what it means to me.
I always say no one can do you better than you. No one can be Kate Butler. No one can be Kim Grimes like Kim Grimes is being Kim Grimes. I believe that being who we were created to be, being ourselves, is super easy, but we make it hard. We allow the world to tell us how we should be. We listen, and we try to do it, and it doesn’t work. We make it hard when it’s easy. It is so easy. Thank you for that.
Let’s jump into the discussion because I want to hear about the weight of your words, the words that you use and how heavy they are, what happened to you, what word landed on you and crushed you, and so on and so forth. With that, if you could share with our audience words that have impacted you, what words were they? You don’t have to share who said it, but you can share what was said and how the words that were said to you shaped your life and how it helped you to be who you are.
I feel like I can go back to being a child because we are shaped into who we are as a result of a lifetime of impact from other people. I had three siblings when I was younger. I had three sisters, so no different-sex siblings. We used to fight a lot. When I think back to what you might think on the surface is a very superficial kind of interaction with siblings, those times when siblings say, “I hate you,” or things like that, that’s a typical word or phrase that kids say to each other. They don’t realize you were talking about intentionality before. Kids have got a little bit of grace or intention, but their intention is to hurt. They certainly don’t understand the weight of those words or the impact that it has on the other person.
Being on the receiving end of that, and I certainly gave some of those words to them as well, how that shapes me and a lot of kids that deal with siblings in those situations is that, and I can only talk about me, it certainly went towards building a little bit of resilience in my character I suppose. Part of that is a thick skin in terms of being able to cope with negative words like that in the future. That’s one situation I can think of.
Also, as a child from adults, I distinctly remember a time when adults said to me, “You did this,” whatever it was. They accused me of something, and I didn’t do the thing. I remember that being a really impactful time or situation because those words made me feel, at the time, like I was not being validated. Since I was a younger person, the lack of validation in those situations shaped me. I was trying to articulate the words or how I feel like it shaped me. It did. I’m not sure if I know how, but it probably led to some resilience building.
I have 5 sisters and 2 brothers, so I can relate with you when you said there was always a fight. We all lived in the house at the same time. We said things. To be honest, we can say we didn’t mean it. We probably didn’t because we were in anger and all that because we loved one another. Yet, those words stuck. That’s what I hear you saying. They stuck. They didn’t roll off like water rolls off a duck. That didn’t happen. It helps to, in some way, build up the character and then, in some way, tear down the character.
As siblings, we’re more intimate. We know intricately detailed things about one another. We can tear one another down because we know the things that strangers, their classmates, or their friends they don’t know. I can relate to that in being in a house with 7 other siblings, which were 5 sisters and 2 brothers. I get you on that.
I know that there have been some incidents or situations that I would love for you to share where those words that were said to you caused you to shut down and caused you to be to yourself and not want to, which I like to say, play with anybody else. What was a situation or a circumstance that occurred that caused such an incident or that caused you to like shut down?
When people have said to me, “You should do whatever the thing is,” for me, it is an assumption that what I haven’t done or what I have done already is not valid. It invalidates that feeling and makes me think that I should be doing something, or I will be judged. I suppose that kind of thing. If I relayed a feeling, a story, or something to somebody else and they come back to me and say, “You should hear this,” it’s like you’re not being listened to. That makes me withdraw and not want to contribute. It makes me feel like pulling back from the conversation and not putting myself fully into it.When you're not being listened to, it can make you withdraw and not want to contribute. It can make you feel like pulling back from the conversation and not putting yourself fully into it. Click To Tweet
You’re not being present with that person because you know that they’re not present with you or they’re saying things to you that are going to cause you to second guess yourself or make you feel less than who you are at that moment. I get that. I can relate to that. Whenever we’re in a conversation, the key is always to be present, but people are not going to be present all the time. It could be the smallest thing said that can trigger them. It could be that you share something with them, and you are being attacked because you shared something. There are different situations that can occur that, for me, will make me shut down. I agree.
Here’s what I like to do when I’m talking to people, I like for them to say back to me what I said. Here’s the reason. When you can summarize what someone said to you, that’s a clear indication that they were listening. If they can’t summarize what you said, they aren’t listening. I get that in a situation when I feel that you’re not listening and you’re not present, that’s a situation for me that will cause me to shut down and remove myself from their presence, for sure. Let me ask you this. What are some of the words that were said to you that truly hurt your feelings? I would love for you to share the words. Let’s be transparent and share the words that hurt.
I can relate to that. We’ve all had experiences where this has been the case. This came from an old boyfriend of mine. We have been together for quite a few years. We had a good, respectful relationship, but I remember distinctly throughout those years two things. We were young, so we probably weren’t as emotionally evolved as we are now.
He said to me two things. One was when he came into my workplace at the time. I cannot remember the exact words. It was something to the effect of, “You’re not doing a very good job.” It was something like that. I remember being surprised at the words but also way more surprised that it hurt me a lot, that particular comment, the same fellow, and I’m talking years ago.
He told me, “You’ve put on a bit of weight,” at one stage.
Especially for women, don’t go there with us.
It’s not uncommon for women to have a comment like that from a man. That hurt me because I put enough weight on it that I felt judged, and then it made me feel shame. I questioned, “Is that true?” I questioned myself. They’re two particular things that stick out for me, for sure.
We can talk about those words that someone said to us that hurt us or left scars. Let’s talk about words that we’ve said to others that inflict pain on them or that hurt them. Share with us some words that you have said that hurt someone.
This is an interesting one to think about because we all don’t want to acknowledge that we say words that hurt people. We can say, “That is unintentional. I didn’t mean to hurt you.” I find it difficult to find something that I feel is very intentionally said to hurt, except for in childhood, saying, “I hate you.” I remember saying that to my siblings. I remember saying it to my mother even, which is dreadful. I was only tiny. If I think about it deeply, for example, with my husband, I might say a simple word like, “I don’t want to do that.”
Here’s something that I may say to my husband, “You get on my nerves.” It is little things that we don’t think carry weight, but they carry weight. It’s like, “You are starting to work on me.” Go ahead. I didn’t mean to interrupt. I wanted to throw that in there because sometimes we say subtle things or make a gesture. My husband and I have been together for 31 years but married 27. It will be 28. I know I’ve said some things, and then I want to make an excuse that I was frustrated or agitated. I might have even been tired, but I was insensitive. I wasn’t mindful of those small little things that we think may not carry weight.
I was guilty of that because I was flustered. Things were all happening at the same time. I said, “Not now.” When I was being asked a question or whatever, I said, “Not now.” I know that was hurtful after. It wasn’t huge, but it still hurt. I didn’t mean that, but I did lash with those words.
Thank you so much for sharing that. It’s really the small things. It can be those little, small things. Thank you. That’s the thing of what we want to talk about. We can sit here all day, have a good conversation, and identify all the things and what they said to us, but it’s like, “What did I say? How did I respond?” There are times when I’m short with him, and I’ll be like, “What?” He might be asking me a simple question or want my attention, and it has nothing to do with him. It’s more with me.
I have to catch myself and check myself. When I catch myself, check myself, and own it, I’ll say, “I’m sorry. My intention is not to hurt you. I don’t want to hurt you. I’m sorry if I did.” When we say it, it’s already out there. We can’t take it back. That’s the thing about words. You can’t take it back once you say it. As we were saying earlier about our siblings, my mother had always said to us, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” I began to learn how to put that into practice and not say anything.
I want us to be mindful of those things that we do as daughters, parents, colleagues, coworkers, friends, and wives. We do things, but we can’t see them because we are too busy seeing what somebody else did to us. Thank you so much for sharing that. I truly appreciate that. Tell me. What were 1 or 2 of the unspoken words? Remember. There are some unspoken words that hurt as well. It is things that you need to hear that you did not hear. Is anything coming up when we talk about the unspoken words?
For me, when it comes to unspoken words, there are two parts to this for me. One is from parents. Parents are such a big influence on children and what they say. My parents are of a generation where expressing feelings wasn’t a big vocabulary thing for them. They weren’t comfortable with it. I haven’t examined it fully, but what I considered not their inability but lack of practice of being able to express feelings may have impacted me.
Possibly as important is the self-talk that I have within myself. That’s been programmed in many people from a young age. They’re unspoken, but they’re thought internally. When you are thinking about something that you’ve done that you wish you hadn’t done, and you say to yourself, “I’m so dumb. Why did I do that?” by doing that, we criticize ourselves. I criticize myself when I say something like that to myself. It does prevent me from probably taking that experience and learning in a constructive and productive way and taking that information so I can use that going forward. That’s probably one of the more important things about the unspoken words in myself.The self-talk you have within yourself has been programmed from a young age. Click To Tweet
I like the fact that you brought up even though we didn’t, but it’s a part of words. When we speak words to others, and people speak words, what are those words you’re speaking to yourself? It is important because people say some horrible things to themselves, but I stand in support of them because I would say it’s something that somebody said to them first. They repeated it to themselves. Nevertheless, it does happen. Let me ask you this. How do you manage your tongue? How do you manage your words?
This is a tricky one. We all have different strategies that we try to employ to manage our words. I try to be as mindful as possible. That is a learned skill. You need to practice that a lot. It gets easier and better as you get older with more practice. I try to be consciously mindful of the words that come out of my mouth. The words that do come out of my mouth, I do try to think about the impact that those have on the receiver to also think about the idea or the concept that I want to convey. I try to put the words together that convey that feeling or message as succinctly as possible so that there’s no confusion.
I can say that that’s what I try to do. It’s another story in practice because words come out a lot quicker for me than my brain can control. Paraphrasing is a good way to manage words and responses to somebody else’s words so that you understand what it is that you’re responding to and you can be empathetic. They’re the main ones I think about.
It’s something that we have to be intentional about. I like to say I want to respond and not react. When I react, then who knows what’s going to come out? If I can take a moment and think about what that person said, even if I’m triggered, I don’t want to react. That’s something that I make sure that I pay attention to and be present to.
There are certain words. We all have them. We all have triggers. My thing is when you can acknowledge or recognize that trigger, whatever that word is, and you do not react to it but instead respond to it, you’re getting a step closer to managing that trigger. That is what we all need to do when it comes to managing our emotions. What are those triggers? What are those things that are said that get us to be like, “What did you say?” You are on point. Thank you so much for sharing that.
What I would love for you to do is share with our audience if anyone would love to get in contact with you or reach out and connect, how is that possible? What do they need to know about you to connect with you? I would love for you to leave our audience with a bit of advice that will help someone who is struggling with saying positive words. You hear them saying negative things or negative words. What advice would you give them and our audience to take away as your closing remarks to those people who always have negative things to say?
If people always have negative things to say, there’s a reason for that. As the receiver of the words, it’s good to acknowledge that first and foremost. Let the person say their thing. Paraphrasing what they said is a good, non-confronting strategy to allow them to then hear back what they’ve said in a slightly different way. Perhaps that can give them some clarity and help them to think about the impact of those words. That can help them to stop and breathe and give them a safe space to say what it is they really want to say.
Tell everybody how to get in contact with you or how to connect with you if they want to connect with you.
If anybody would like to connect with me, probably the best place is LinkedIn at the moment. Our new business website is in the making. My LinkedIn handle is @Kate-Butler-AU.
Thank you so much. Thank you so much for saying yes. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and, from what we’ve learned through our coach and our mentor, our wisdom. Our wisdom has currency, and you shared a lot of your currency in the episode. Thank you so much for saying yes. I truly appreciate it.
Thanks so much. It was fun. I enjoyed chatting with you.
Likewise, I look forward to seeing you in our next session. Thank you. I’ll see you soon.
Here’s the question. How many words would you say you are away from ruining someone else’s life? How many words are you away from wrecking your life in what you say to yourself? How many words? Your words have weight. They’re not equally weighted. It depends on the source or where it’s coming from. Nevertheless, the weight of your words can and will impact someone else’s life. How many words are you away from doing exactly that?
About Kate Butler
Kate Butler is a business owner and digital marketing strategist whose passion is to empower women to build businesses that align with their true purpose. With years of practical experience under her belt.
Kate understands the challenges women face when it comes to starting and growing a business. She struggled with acknowledging her unique abilities and gifts means that she ‘walks her talk’.
Kate knows firsthand how self-limiting beliefs can hold women back from achieving their dreams and reaching their full potential. That’s why our guest has made it her mission to help women overcome these hurdles and gain the confidence they need to build a business that serves them. Using her proven frameworks and empathetic guidance,
Kate helps women uncover their superpowers and achieve the success they deserve.