Muhammad Ali said “I am the greatest” and he was the champ! When Interviewed, Ali said he kept telling himself and others that he is the “greatest” hoping that it would come true someday. And sure enough it did, but where the power lies are the words he used to describe himself: greatest, champ, butterfly, fast, make medicine sick etc.

The words we use to describe ourselves has a huge impact on our self-esteem, confidence, and our successes and failures in life. The more we believe in ourselves and our abilities the greater the chance we have of being more successful, having meaningful relationships, and conquering the battles we want to conquer.

Ali had an incredible talent, work ethic and charisma, however, he wouldn’t have had the success he had if he didn’t use the words he used. There is something to be said about saying things out loud and having them come to fruition. When we tell people we have value, we add value, we are worth loving, these words take on a life of their own.

We become framed by the words we used, both positively and negatively. It is like a self-fulfilling prophecy, if we believe in ourselves and our abilities we will begin to have successes. However, if we don’t believe in ourselves and our abilities and use negative words to describe ourselves that too become our reality. Again, think of Ali, everything he says about himself is positive:

10. “I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was.”
9. “I’m not the greatest, I’m the double greatest.”
8. “It’s not bragging if you can back it up.”
7. “It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.”
6. “I’m so mean, I make medicine sick.”
5. “A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”
4. “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
3. “If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologize.”
2. “Don’t count the days; make the days count.”
1. “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see. Now you see me, now you don’t. George thinks he will, but I know he won’t.”

While on the flip side of the coin someone who has been told they are a loser, they are no good, and wont amount to anything in life believe in these words and are held captive to them. They will go through life struggling with their confidence, self-esteem, and belief in themselves both personally and professionally.

What words do use to describe yourself? Are you the greatest?