“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Sure, that might be true when it comes to others, but have you considered how your OWN words are hurting yourself? It seems silly at first, but all those pesky qualifiers you use in your everyday voice are chipping away at you little by little.
How can we expect ourselves to show up fully and confidently if we are constantly holding ourselves back with our words? Check out these 5 words you need to stop using as you go after the life you want.
“I was just _____” “I just thought _____.” I learned this one from a playwriting professor in college. When you’re writing a story, your character is never JUST doing something. Every action has value, no matter what it is. Your character is not “just” sweeping the floor or “just” drinking coffee. Everything has a purpose. “Just” is a sneaky way of apologizing for your actions without using the “S” word. Drop the just. Own what you do.
Stop saying “should”. If you listen carefully, you’ll notice that everyone has an opinion on what you “should” start doing, how you “should” act, what you “should” pursue. Don’t contribute to the should-ing. We are doers. Next time you find yourself saying “I should ____ “, try DOING it instead. Much better, yes?
3. “I THINK”
This is another sneaky qualifier. We type this into our emails because we’re afraid we’ll come off too direct or bossy. We state our opinions or answer questions with “I think…” to safeguard against potentially being “wrong”. Girl, you and I both know you know the answer. Drop the “think” and share what you actually believe. Even if there’s a better idea out there, better to be strong and wrong.
“Maybe we could…” “Maybe if we try…” “I thought we could do ____, maybe?”. Notice how weak those suggestions sound? This is another word we use as a band-aid against sounding too confident, too sure of ourselves, or too much of a know-it-all. When did it become a bad thing to be confident, assured, or knowledgeable?
Okay, don’t get rid of this one entirely. But I’m willing to bet you rely on this a little too often. Save this word for the moments where you want to express that you truly have something to apologize for. This word is NOT helpful when you share an idea, when you were assertive, when you speak up, or when you are interrupted. Get the picture? Let’s stop apologizing for things we know we don’t need to.