“I said what I said,” is a quote made famous by Nene Leakes on a Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion special. While this statement was made in an explosive moment, it has taught me one thing— always be unapologetic. Say what you mean and mean what you say. It’s so important that your thoughts align with your words. Many times people will encourage you to take back what was said or put words in your mouth. It’s very important to stand up for yourself. Never backtrack, own your stance with pride and confidence.
Speak your truth. In 2006, Tarana Burke founded the “me too” movement to help survivors of sexual violence, particularly young women of color from low-income communities find pathways to healing. The #MeToo hashtag spread virally on social media in an attempt to demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment, especially in the workplace. This movement is so important in today’s day and age simply because a voice was given to women who were previously afraid to speak out about traumatizing situations. With the power of words, abusers were forced to take accountability for their actions and an over abundance of victims were encouraged to move forward with their healing process.
Be unapologetic. About four years ago, Pantene came out with an ad, “Sorry Not Sorry.” The company stated in the videos description, “Sure, it’s polite to say ‘sorry’ sometimes, but for everything? No way. Be confident and #ShineStrong.” They also added, “As women, we weaken our own strength (in ways men never do) at work, at home, and during moments in between. Sorry is more than just one, little, reflex word.”
Prior to seeing this ad and implementing it in my own life, I was the exact same way. I would literally apologize for everything in an attempt to make other people more comfortable instead of “shining strong” and being confident in my words. “Sorry not sorry” encouraged me to change this habit and taught me the importance of standing firm in my own words and beliefs.
Words have meaning. The powerful Netflix series, “13 Reasons Why,” touches on several topics shining a much-needed light on teen bullying. In 2016, more than one out of every five students reported being bullied, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Unfortunately, the rise in popularity of social media has created cyberbullying, a heinous form of bullying which makes it easier for people to hide behind a screen, remaining anonymous while sending out damaging comments. People must start to understand and realize the power of their words and the toll that their words may have on other human beings and start to use their voice for something that matters.
I can’t express enough the importance of using your words wisely. Your words have the power to either create positive change or to be extremely damaging. Think before you speak and if you have nothing of substance to say it’s probably better to keep your thoughts to yourself. How will you use your words?
Positively Caviar, Inc. is a nonprofit focused on a message of positivity and optimism. Once a month, our Nucleus Team writes a column focused on mental and physical health tips, scientific studies, nutrition facts and stories that are positive in nature to support a purposeful and positive lifestyle. For more information about Positively Caviar, Inc. visit: staybasedandpositive.com