A lot of us struggle with being confident. Today, our words matter more than ever. Our words decide how other people view us, how much our work is valued and how much we value ourselves. If you want others to appreciate your contribution, you must first believe in yourself.
It is important to choose words that help you exude confidence and assert yourself while staying respectful. Start by paying attention to the phrases you use in your daily language and how other people perceive them based on these examples. Avoid phrases that make you sound insecure or unconfident. As you do this, you will see a noticeable difference in your confidence and others’ perceptions of you.
Here are common phrases that might be making you sound less confident:
The next time you’re tempted to say sorry, ask yourself this: Did I really mess up? Did I hurt someone for which I’m sincerely sorry?
If the answer is no, take this word out of your vocabulary. Apologizing is acceptable when you understand that you’ve made a mistake, but a lot of people use the word “sorry” when they have feelings of self-doubt. You don’t need to apologize for reaching out to someone, for asking for advice or for asking questions. Instead, get straight to the point.
The next time you feel like saying “I’m sorry,” consider if it’s truly necessary.
“Does that make sense?”
If you ask “does that make sense?” immediately after you’ve finished talking, it conveys the message that you are not confident in the way you articulated your message. Or, it may show that you are not convinced that the information you shared can help people in any way.
Don’t doubt that you articulated yourself correctly and avoid this phrase. Instead, say: “What are your thoughts on this” or “I would like your input on this issue.” And if they need clarity, they’ll ask!
“I hate to bother you”
When someone says, “I hate to bother you but I want to discuss something important,” they’re usually referring to their own discomfort of reaching out to someone. This phrase communicates that you don’t believe your issues and concern are necessarily worth someone’s time and that’s simply not true!
Instead of saying this, simply say: “Whenever you have a minute, I would like to discuss something.” It gets the message across and nobody loses control of the situation
“Do you mind?”
Sometimes we may need to delegate tasks to other people. It can put us in a tricky situation if we’re not used to it. However, asking permission to make a request is never the answer.
Be direct and authoritative when making reasonable requests to people. Just because you need to get something done, does not require you to take an inferior tone. Instead of asking questions like “Do you mind taking a look at this?” simply say “Please take a look at this when you have a minute.” If someone has a problem, they’ll reach out.
“I’m not sure but..”
When answering questions or giving advice, do not start your sentences with “I’m not sure,” even when you’re not sure! This communicates the message that you’re not qualified to talk about the issue. It is important to believe in yourself and trust yourself to know what you’re talking about. Instead, cut to the chase and answer the questions to the best of your ability.
Your usage of words says a lot! So make sure you’re communicating the right things about yourself. It can be hard if these phrases are common use for you; however, with time, we’re confident you can weed these phrases out of your vocabulary and replace them with ones that help you assert yourself.
Looking for more ways to improve yourself? Here are twenty things they really should teach in school.