We are what we say. 10 phrases you need to stop saying in 2022
All-day long, we’re all in near-constant dialogue with one person — ourselves.
This means that the words we choose have an incredibly powerful effect on how we see the world and ourselves. Simple statements like “nothing looks right on me today” to the more damaging “I can’t do anything right” can affect our day in the same way that dark clouds or rain might affect an otherwise sunny day.
I realized that to enjoy my life, to really see that the world is full of possibilities rather than liabilities, I needed to let go of negative self-talk and speak to myself from a place of compassion; to be aware of any self-judgments and biases that arise, and replace them with truthful, helpful, and kind language.
It’s unlikely there will be a day when we defeat negative self-talk once and for all. Watch out for these common expressions and use them as an indicator that self-judgments and evaluations are happening that may not be true. When we talk to ourselves from a place of kindness, we can move past our old judgments and the suffering they cause us in our everyday life.
Here are ten common phrases that promote pessimism, and more constructive alternatives that can help you be kinder to yourself in small but powerful ways.
1. I will try.
Trying is failing. You either do it, or you do not. When you start with “I will try,” you’re committing to fail. If you were committed to succeeding, you would choose to say, “I will do it.”
2. I can’t do it.
When you say, “I can’t do it,” you’re right. Instead, like trying above, choose to say, “I will do it.” Commit to your success and to achieving your goals. Strong leaders and successful people say “yes” and then figure out how to do it.
3. It is impossible
The only way to achieve the impossible is to believe it is possible. Successful people set big, hairy, audacious goals and take consistent steps to achieve them. They do not let others’ definitions of what is possible get in the way of their dreams.
4. I need more [blank]
I need more time.
I need more money.
I need more experience.
None of this is true. You need to start and believe in yourself.
5. I will do it tomorrow
You will not do it tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes for those who are waiting for it. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is a mystery, and we only have today — this moment.
6. I should…need to…have to…
When we tell ourselves:
- I should
- I have to
- I need to
We are dictating to ourselves. Nobody likes a dictator, even when the dictator is us. Instead, use “choose.”
- I choose to read
- I choose to listen
- I choose to exercise
7. I don’t have enough time
We all have the same time in the day. Some people choose how to use it better. They prioritize what they want to achieve in life and focus on those priorities.
They read instead of playing video games.
They exercise instead of watching Netflix.
8. I can do it myself
When you tell others, “I can do it myself,” you are saying, “I am not a team player.” If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
Whether you can do it alone or not is not the key, it is how much better you will be together.
9. I know
When you say “I know,” you’re assuming you have nothing to learn.
Strong leaders, and successful people, assume they “do not know.” Instead, they ask questions and approach life with a beginner’s mindset, always open to learning and possibilities.
10. I can’t change who I am
People who think they cannot change will not change. If you believe you have the power to evolve, you will.
A growth mindset is a prerequisite to being a solid leader and a successful person.