Language is a powerful tool for success. Ever find yourself in a constant state of feeling defeated, stuck, apathetic or totally confused? If you are, you might find yourself complaining a lot. At the very least, I’m sure you can remember many times where you immediately regretted what you said.
I hear certain phrases said consistently from my clients and each time it stings a little, but eventually turns to compassion because it’s what I used to say a lot, too. I would constantly complain and say these phrases in every conversation and then wonder why I always felt so stuck or didn’t come across as an expert. Once I started changing my language, my confidence increased, opportunities arose more and I felt powerful. I am so passionate about the magnitude of our words. You can tell how successful a person is by how they talk. I want you to be successful at accessing your highest potential in every situation by choosing words that empower you.
Most of the time we are simply not thinking before we speak, which allows our subconscious mind to rule our lives and takes us out of our power. You see, our words directly impact our subconscious mind by reinforcing our belief in whatever we say. Words are vibration, allowing us to hear and feel the declaration instead of just thinking it. Our voice reverberates throughout our entire being, sending signals throughout the energy meridians of the body, encouraging our cells to perform a certain way. What we say out loud will manifest if combined with what we think. Combine our thoughts with our words in a way that supports your goals or desires and you’ve got a power recipe for happiness!
Before we can master our words, however, we must first start shifting our mindset and become aware of our language with ourselves and others so our thoughts can support us. There will be a transition time to eliminate these phrases from our life, because they have to integrate into our thinking. So, if you know you are saying some or all of these phrases a lot, not just rarely, I have found it best to simply bring awareness and compassion towards the habit without judgement first, so that we can create the space to choose something different.
Check out these phrases that could make or break your life experience:
“I Don’t Know.”
By saying this phrase, you immediately block your truth from emerging. Usually it is a knee jerk reaction phrase that follows any new territory being explored in conversation or simply a complete lack in confidence. I hear this most, and said it this way often myself, after explaining or sharing a long winded rant. “This happened, I think this, maybe it’s right, I don’t know.” Or when asked a question, specifically about yourself, a quick “I don’t know” then a thought process or rant follows. This phrase makes you second guess yourself and undermines your authority on your authenticity.
The reality is that you DO know. You just shared what you know or didn’t allow yourself to explore what you know.
Even if you truly believe you do not know something, there is a better way to express this that puts you in a confident, powerful place.
- You could say “I’m not sure yet” which implies that you are currently in search of what you KNOW you will find.
- You could say “I’m not familiar with that” which implies curiosity and gives you a relatable personality along with a willingness to learn something new.
- You could say “I’m still figuring it out” which implies that you are devoted to your truth and in action.
- You could also say “let me think about that” which shows that you are in integrity and that your words are congruent with your thoughts, aka reliable and trustworthy.
You see how much different the energy is around these above phrases than “I don’t know”? I Promise you will feel 10 times more confident if you eliminate this phrase from your life and choose the new phrases that I suggested. If you are just starting to do this and still find yourself saying “I don’t know” all the time, catch yourself in the moment and say immediately after “Oh, I mean I do know” and then choose to respond from there.
This phrase blocks connection and growth. It puts you on a pedestal above others, discrediting and disrespecting them while preventing any new wisdom to deepen within you.
This is the opposite spectrum of “I don’t know.”. Holla to all my fellow recovering know-it-all’s out there!
We all hear things that we have heard before and got something new out of it or we were reminded of it at the perfect time. It’s just like re-watching movies, re-reading books or re-taking courses. We know what’s going to happen, but we allow more entertainment, facts or lessons in for us to experience.
Again, I’m talking about this phrase as a full sentence, not the start of a sentence. Of course share your knowledge starting with “I know…”, but try to avoid it as a complete statement. Instead, when someone tells you something that you have heard before or have learned in depth, choose one of these phrases to increase your confidence, open yourself up to new magic and strengthen a bond between you:
- “Thank you” acknowledges the person sharing. They chose to gift you this information, so honor that and you both will feel good.
- “I agree” also acknowledges them and puts you both on equal platforms, allowing for a productive conversation to happen.
- “You’re right” deeply honors and respects the other person, increasing their confidence and desire to help you.
- “I have found that to be true as well.” makes a good start to exploring more information and having a deep conversation. It allows you to share in the experience that the other person is having, connecting you both on a more meaningful level. If you are an introvert, this is a great statement to make because I know how much you desire deeper conversations.
One word sentences are tricky in general. Beyond “Yes.” and “No.” there aren’t really any productive one word phrases that are empowering.
Not only does this one-word-phrase imply that you are holding something back and is most often a lie, but it can also block you from claiming your power.
Referring to when this phrase is used as a snappy reaction, there is either a void of emotion or you are avoiding an emotion. You feel like something should be said to clear the air so you can move on. If you are void of emotion, real regret does not exist in the word and so the lie will likely trigger the other person internally or externally, which may cause more conflict. If you are avoiding an emotion, such as real regret because you can’t handle it or don’t want to confront the situation, you will experience resentment and your reputation for people pleasing will be remembered and taken advantage of.
If you want to express how sorry you really are, do it with dignity and grace by acknowledging the other person and the problem at hand, sharing what you regret clearly and what you now believe or want to do differently. A more meaningful (and professional) way of expressing that you are truly sorry is by saying “I apologize”. This sets you up for being in integrity and having heart-opening reconnection.
Referring to when this phrase is used before or after sentences of over-explaining what you are doing and why, it shows your obvious lack of self-respect and self-confidence, disgraces your worth and shows people that you are untrustworthy and out of integrity. If you are constantly undermining your actions or words, it implies you are not sure of yourself, allowing yourself to be overpowered in the situation. It shows that you are weak.
This looks like incessantly saying “sorry.” for any mundane action or for every opinion offered. Saying it after opening a door weird, awkwardly fumbling with their seat or after saying something that isn’t clear or accepted immediately. This is specifically focusing on those who say sorry for things that do not impact others in any way, where there really was no need for an apology.
I see this a lot with women in their attempts to explain what they are doing to show that it is ok, because underneath, they believe they are inherently wrong or not good enough. They are actually trying to convince themselves. It’s a common coping mechanism from a deep-seeded wound. If you start or end your explanations with “sorry.”, focus on exploring how you can begin to accept yourself more. Know that you never need to explain yourself and apologize for every action you do. if you really did do something that had an unfavorable consequence, utilize the above suggestions to portray your regret.
Do you find yourself saying one or all of these phrases? I would love to know what came up for you after reading this. It's a safe space, and remember, what you share will help someone else, so comment below!
You can also email me, as I love to hear from readers.