Coffee & Conversations: Power of Words

March 29, 2023. The Power of Words: Change Your Words, Change your World.

To change our words so that we can change our world, we need to begin with changing our self talk. Negative self-talk affects our mind, body, and soul. “You will never speak to anyone more than you speak to yourself in your head, be kind to yourself.

Quotes from attendees:

“We were challenged and encouraged this morning at YWCA Northeast Indiana’s Coffee and Conversations event! Our words are so important, both unspoken in our heads and spoken for those around us to hear! I want to speak words of life and encouragement! And if you’ve never attended one of these events (today was my first) check out their website for upcoming Coffee & Conversations dates. It was a great time to connect with other ladies and learn together.” –Chrystal Kreiger (Private Banker, 1st Source Bank)

“So grateful for this inspiration during a program on #selftalk hosted by YWCA Northeast Indiana. Our thoughts and actions have power. Be intentional.” –Andie Hines-Lagemann (Emotional Intelligence Practitioner, Tidewater Coaching)

“Started my day with a Coffee and Conversations event held by the YWCA. “Change Your Words, Change your World” was presented by Dr. Schvalla Rivera and Dr. Siquilla Liebetrau who emphasized that negative self-talk steals hope, joy, and happiness. We further heard the true meaning of abracadabra is that you “will create what you speak.” So let the words that flow from your mouth create hope, joy, and happiness for yourself and others.  Carry on.” –Dottie Davis (Founder/Owner, Davis Corporate Training, Inc.)

“Thank you, YWCA Northeast Indiana, for a wonderful event this morning! I was so happy that I made the decision to attend. It is exactly the message I need to share with my team.” –Sherri Berhhoff (CEO, OPS Living)

“YWCA Northeast Indiana’s Coffee & Conversations series is an amazing opportunity for women in our community to discuss pertinent topics regarding success in business & public spheres and personal growth & development. This morning, we were privileged to hear from both Dr. Siquilla Liebetrau, Psy.D. and Dr. Schvalla R. Rivera,Ph.D.,CDE as they discussed the “Power of Your Words”. We learned about the relationship between negative self-talk and its effects on the mind, body & soul and the importance of choosing the right words when communicating with others.” –Ashlei Davis (Business Development Coordinator, Bona Vita Architecture)

Download the Presentation here.

Meet the Speakers:

Siquilla Liebetrau, Psy.D., HSPP

Some notes from Dr. Siquilla Liebetrau's message:

Negative self talk keeps us from noticing the world around us, connecting with others, and living our real lives

Negative self talk steals but also creates (fear and stress)

Negative self talk is like having a bad roommate living in the back of your mind:
Siquilla named her roommate "Bob"

You have the power in your mind for how to respond to, and frame, adversity

Physical evidence of negative self talk:
Bowel issues, heartburn, poor sleep, lack of focus, fatigue, frequently sick, stomach issues, and appetite changes

Negative self talk can also contribute to depression, anxiety, and poor self esteem

Prolonged stress over time leads to disease:
Ages our cells and can even get into our DNA, and turn on/off genes related to inflammation and our immune system


Schvalla R. Rivera, Ph.D., CDE

Some notes from Dr. Schvalla Rivera's message:

Abracadabra - we create what we speak

Thoughts become words and words become actions

Words can build up or destroy

There are no “little” words. Every word has an energy that cannot be destroyed

"Oh, so you’re an accountant?” (when said to a female)
"You’re pretty for a black girl!”
"Where are you from? No, where are you REALLY from?” (when said to a person of color)

Students can experience 291 microaggressions per day; when taking into consideration suicide rates and mental health struggles with youth, words are literally killing them

What to do:
Pause, rethink, rephrase, interrupt, empathize shared humanity, try not to be definitive and apologize without the "but", and continue your walk, your love walk

Learn about upcoming Coffee & Conversation events here.