What You Should Never Say: How to Avoid Self-sabotage

Have you ever walked into a company-related social gathering and noticed right away that handsome, tall guy with a killer smile? An hour later you bump into him and start some small talk. While you’re mesmerized talking to him, you begin to get distracted by his negative comments. With every passing minute, the guy standing in front of you is looking less attractive than you had originally imagined. Why? It’s simple: his choice of words.

What we say can hurt us. If you’re coming from a mental place of fear or deficiency, your language will likely reflect that. Words can have the power to motivate and inspire, or create doubt and fear.

Words You Should Avoid at All Costs
Don’t let your mental chatter color your spoken language. There is a powerful link between your thoughts, emotions and actions -- a feedback loop that can make you feel like a millionaire or like a big-time loser. So watch your thinking before you speak.

Here are some practical tips on confident speaking:

  • Avoid using words that are heavy, negative and loaded
  • Get rid of phrases like “I can’t” and “I should have”
  • Don’t be afraid of inflating your skills, traits and achievements
  • Saying less is sometimes more
  • Get in touch with how words you use make you feel
  • Keep in mind that your words can impact other people’s impression of you

We leave you with a common icebreaker exercise: “Choose three words to describe yourself.” Reminder: Think before you speak.

Photo: @iStockphoto.com/Ridofranz

by Angélica Pérez-Litwin