My niece is a very confident young woman, but her mom and nana noticed a drastic change in her after her first day of day camp this summer.
On this day the kids had a test to place them in swimming levels for their lessons during the camp session. She was apprehensive about putting her head underwater, so a counsellor told her she couldn't swim - she was placed in the lowest swimming level. She believed what that counsellor said and for the next couple of days she wouldn't go into the deep end without a life jacket - she was frightened to go in the water. Even though she was fully capable to do all kinds of tricks and kicks, jumps and progressions, she believed she couldn't swim at all, forgetting what she knew about her own abilities.
The power of words.
I'm reading The Help by Kathryn Stocket. A little girl named Mae Mobley only receives harsh words from her mother, so her nanny, Aibileen, decides that at every opportunity she will whisper truths to her: "Mae, Mobley, you're a good girl, you're a kind girl, you're a smart girl." Sometimes she gets Mae Mobley to repeat these phrases back to her, "I'm a good girl, I'm a kind girl, I'm a smart girl."
"Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."