Want to ring and feel more confident? Drop These 11 Phrases From Your Vocabulary, Psychologists Say

We all have that little voice in our heads that hangs over everything we do or say. If we let it, it can make us feel demoralized, belittled, or just plain less capable. The end result is that we end up not accomplishing what we want.

Getting through tough times is never easy, but as word experts and hosts of NPR’s award-winning podcast “You Say It Wrong” we have found ways to reframe our thoughts and change our attitude.

Here are 11 negative phrases to drop if you want to think more positively and feel more confident, according to behavioral scientists, researchers and psychologists.

1. “I have to.”

What to say instead: “I have to do that.”

Exchanging this little word will change your attitude considerably. It makes you see something as an opportunity rather than an obligation. Even if the task is unpleasant, it can teach you new lessons and open new doors.

2. “I can’t do this.”

What to say instead: “I can try to do that.”

Don’t give up until you’ve started! When you tell yourself you can try, you not only give yourself a chance to accomplish something, but you also don’t set your expectations too high, which makes it easier to succeed.

3. “I should do this.”

What to say instead: “I will do it.” (Or “will not”, depending on your state of mind).

“Should” is a control word, and it puts pressure on us. So take charge. Ditch the “shoulds” and make you the decision maker by choosing whether or not to do something on your own terms.

4. “Why is this happening to me?” »

What to say instead: “What do I learn from this?”

When you ask yourself what you are learning, you turn something that bothers you or bothers you into something that can lead you to better things. You don’t complain; you just find the good in what could be a tough time.

5. “I never should have.”

What to say instead: “Because I did that, I know now [X].”

When you rephrase that thought, you start thinking about the good things that happened because you did something you thought you shouldn’t. Maybe you met someone you wouldn’t have met, or discovered something wonderful about yourself.

6. “I failed.”

What to say instead: “This attempt did not work.”

So maybe something you tried to do didn’t go the way you expected. You didn’t get that new client, or you didn’t get the promotion you wanted. But if you tell yourself you’ve failed, end of story, you’re unfair to yourself. Don’t forget that there will be other opportunities.

seven . “If only I had done [X].”

What to say instead: Nothing!

We’ve all had our “if only” moments. “If only I had spoken at that meeting with my idea” or “If only I hadn’t answered that interview question that way.” But that’s a dead-end thought. You don’t learn from the past, you just lament and make excuses.

8. “It’s too complicated.”

What to say instead: “I don’t understand that now.”

When you face a new challenge and immediately tell yourself that you’ll never make it, you make it seem like an immutable fact. It means you’re subtly telling yourself that you can’t change or grow, which, of course, is nonsense. We are all at work.

9. “It’s not fair.”

What to say instead: “I can take care of it anyway!”

Sure, sometimes life can seem unfair, but it doesn’t mean you have to keep repeating that negative mantra to yourself and feel down. Face this perceived injustice and look for solutions that will get you where you want to be.

10. “That will never change.”

What to say instead: “I can change the way I approach this.”

This is another case of going from passive to active. Take charge of the situation. Do you think that can’t be changed? So change your approach and your thoughts about it!

11. “Never” (or “always”)

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