From the impact of your self-talk on your feelings and actions to the energy that you project with your choice of words in conversations, you speak your life into existence.
The way you talk can shape your career for better or worse because of social norms and the communication styles we learn as children, according to a Harvard Business Review article. Highly confident people understand this, and there are phrases you will never hear them say.
We’ve asked public speaking coach and media strategist LeighAnn Heil, who helps entrepreneurs grow their business through the power of messaging, to share her take on the communication habits of confident people. Remove the following phrases from your vocabulary and watch your confidence levels soar.
1. “I better be careful and not tell anyone. I’ll get blamed if something goes wrong.”
Confident people take responsibility for their decisions. It’s not about always being sure of what to do or being right, but about feeling comfortable making judgment calls and taking action to adjust course if necessary. “Confident people step up and take action, bring solutions to the table, and offer alternatives if their current solutions don’t work,” says Heil.
2. “I could never.”
“Confident people don’t speak in absolutes,” says Heil. The next time your boss asks you to take on a new project and your first thought is that there is no way you could ever do it because it’s so far outside your comfort zone, bite your tongue. It’s OK to be honest about the fact you’re trying something for the first time, but don’t shut yourself off to opportunities. Confident people welcome new experiences.
3. “What if I make the wrong decision?”
“Confident people weigh the options and make calculated decisions based on their appraisal of the situation. They move forward confidently and don’t overthink their decision-making process,” says Heil. According to her, people who believe in themselves make the best decisions with the information they have. They understand the importance of assessing risks but are also comfortable with a level of risk-taking, as it’s necessary in order to get results.
4. “They won’t pick me. I always get passed over for opportunities.”
Heil spent her early career as a stage director for large-scale variety shows. She shares the example of one particular manager she worked with who got passed over for a promotion. “Instead of making excuses, he worked overtime, solved issues, and offered help to other departments. About six months later, that work paid off. He got noticed and hit his promotion goal,” she says. “Confident people create their own opportunities. They find ways to seek out the right relationships, mentors, and promotions.”
5. ”I try not to think about what will happen in the future.”
If you find yourself using language that reveals a reluctance to dream bigger, perhaps because you’re trying to manage your own expectations and avoid disappointment, consider how this tendency can hold you back in your career. “Confident people go boldly in the direction of their dreams. They see their future clearly and usually have a life vision in place,” says Heil. Most people are going from day to day, simply reacting to things that happen to them. Without a clear map of what you want, you’ll continue to see yourself as ‘unlucky’ when you could be creating your luck with strategic action.”