Have you ever heard anyone say, “I’m the worst,” “I’m slow,” “I’m ugly,” or any other self-deprecating things? Anytime I hear someone say self-deprecating things, I feel the urge to either awkwardly laugh or reassure the person that they aren’t any of those things. Even more cringe worthy, I’ve caught myself thinking and using self-deprecating language. The other day someone asked about my blog. I explained to them that writing is therapeutic for me. I’ve been journaling for as long as I can remember, so blogging felt like the natural next step. Yet I ended what I said with “I’m not that great of a writer though.” I couldn’t believe I said that!!! I’m a fantastic writer. I know that I am but speaking to another writer caused me to downgrade my abilities. Pondering back on that moment, it dawned on me that majority of our self-depreciating language stems from comparing ourselves to others. There’s no reason to compare yourself to anyone because you are each on different paths, learning and growing on your personal journey. This is easy to say but often needs to be repeated and practiced in order for it to stick in your mind.
In my quest to develop a stronger mindset, I’ve realized that language is a major component in the process. The more conscious I am of the words I use, the more positive the energy around me becomes. Words are the catalyst of your thinking. Being conscious of how you speak will aid you exponentially in your professional and personal life. If you don’t pursue excellence, mediocrity will pursue you. There’s more power in the way we speak than we realize. My challenge for the fourth quarter of the year is to eliminate self-deprecating language from my vocabulary. In this blog post, I’m going to list out words that we should stop using.
1. I can’t, I won’t, I don’t
I used to be the queen of saying “I can’t.” Usually it was in a slang type of way. Although, despite what matter you use the phrase, saying, “I can’t” is sending a negative message to your brain. It’s saying your capabilities are limited and you aren’t good enough. And we both know that is not true! Stop saying “I can’t do it.” Instead say, “I can’t do it, yet” or “I prefer/choose not to do that at the moment.” If you have to use any of the phrases above, make sure to end it with “yet.” Such as “I don’t know how to make more money, yet, “I can’t run a mile, yet.” That small change in language will do wonders for your psyche.
2. I’m sorry
I’m guilty of over using this phrase. “I’m sorry” rolls off my tongue before I even notice it. This one has deemed itself difficult for me to limit using, but I love a good challenge. Unless you’re completely in the wrong, stop saying you’re sorry for everything. There are so many words that can be substituted and used instead. For instance if you’re late to a meeting, try saying “Thank you for your patience.” When you say, “I’m sorry” you’re making it all about you. When you say, “thank you,” you are complementing the other people and people love compliments. It even sounds more appreciative. We often apologize and say sorry more than we need too. Without even thinking about it, we’re sorry for things that don’t really need an apology. If someone bumps into you, why are you saying sorry?
3. Always or never
“You never do XYZ.” “I always have to do ABC.” These words are too definite and usually aren’t 100% accurate when used in any sentence. Unless of course you’re speaking about the New York City MTA, then always and never can be used…haha.
4. Waste of time
You learn from every life experience even when you don’t feel that your time was spent wisely. Therefore, I don’t believe that anything is a “waste of time”.
Using honestly in a sentence makes it seem like everything else you said was a lie. It doesn’t add emphasis to what you’re about to say, refrain from using this word.
The ability to communicate and persuade others is an asset for you; the inability to communicate is a liability. The better you communicate, the more you’ll win at life. I’d love to add more words to my list. If you’d have any words you believe should be added, let me know in the comments!