It was only one word.

It was only one word.

It was a one word gut punch I never saw coming. The fog it caused along with the momentum it stole caught me off guard. It was only one word. How could it have been so jarring? And, the kicker…it wasn’t even spoken to me! To top it off, the person who launched the four syllable attack didn’t even know I was caught in their cross fire. They still don’t. Yet, the impact of their opinion still stung. What happened? Someone who I respect, someone whose work has helped me grow, someone whose effort I appreciate was told they were “unqualified.”  It really rocked my world. The person has an advanced degree in their area of influence, they have studied and worked on their craft, they have taught thousands but still were labeled “unqualified.” The word penetrated deep into my soul and left me questioning how much more unqualified am I? It was an impactful personal reminder of a lesson I’ve learned, we’ve all learned before. Words have power. Words have tremendous power. Once I realized the source of my derailment, I was able to do something about it. I began to get back on track and rebuild my momentum. The experience has been a bit like putting on a new prescription of glasses allowing me to see a few things around me more clearly. This new vision it’s given me has been equally jarring. I haven’t had to look far to see words being used as weapons. On Facebook, a friend preparing for a speaking engagement was challenged by a colleague with the same cutting word I had...