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7 Words or Phrases Holding You Back (And How to Overcome)

by Michael Leonard on June 01, 2021

It’s been said that we speak our lives into existence.

If that’s true, are you speaking a better life into your current reality?

Or, are you using words that are limiting your potential and holding you back from greatness?

Here’s the thing, most of us are in the second category; constantly saying things that are counterproductive and harming our chances of success. It's human nature to do so as almost all of us are harder on ourselves than anyone else in our lives.

But how much would your life change if you only said positive, empowering things to yourself? Don’t forget, your mind is always listening to your internal and external dialogue and acting from it.

So if you want to make your life better, start by closely watching your internal and external thoughts. This should help rewire your mind for success and start living closer to your true potential.

 

7 Words and Phrases to Never Say Again

Don’t let your language patterns hold you back anymore. I’m confident that once you stop saying these seven words and phrases, you will feel better and achieve more than you ever thought possible.

 

1. “I Can’t”

More dreams have ended before they’ve begun by saying the harmful word “can’t”. While some tasks might feel daunting at the time, think about how many times you’ve accomplished something you once thought you couldn’t.

Whether it’s crushing it at your job, a sport you played, a business venture or something else, at first you probably thought you couldn’t do something. Then, you went on to surprise yourself and make it happen.

If you can stop saying one word above all else, it would be this one. When you find your back against the wall in a situation and want to say you can’t do it, rephrase it with… “How can I get it done?”

When you do, your mind will start to provide solutions to your biggest problems. Remember, you’ve accomplished a lot in your life already, use that as fuel the next time something feels too difficult to even start.

 

2. “It’s Impossible”

Say’s who?

When you say the phrase “It’s impossible”, it instantly limits your potential and makes it really easy to never get started on a project. Sure, it’s okay to admit that some things are more challenging than others, but don’t be quick to deem something as impossible.

Instead of saying something is impossible, ask yourself a question like “What would I need to do to make this happen?” Or, “Who do I need to be” in order to make this goal become possible.

Remember, you’ve probably already accomplished tons of things that you once thought were impossible. When things feel overwhelming simply reframe it, break down the big task into smaller steps, and then make it happen.

 

 

3. “Doing okay.”

When someone asks you how you’re doing, a common response is “I’m doing okay.” Or another version is, “I’m fine.”

But think about it, does saying “I’m okay” really make you feel good? Does it make you want to go out and crush your goals every single day?

Chances are, this phrase doesn’t invoke much positive emotion. This is why so many people go through life being “okay” when in reality, they’re simply going through the motions like a zombie.

Plus, no one remembers meeting someone new when they hear “I’m okay.” Instead, make it a point to never be just okay and choose more empowering words.

Here are some great ways to respond to the age-old question, “How are you doing”?

Answer with, “I’m:

  • “Doing great”
  • “Enjoying my life”
  • “Feeling exceptional”
  • “Doing phenomenal”
  • “Loving all these challenges”
  • “Having fun and learning a ton”


Even if you aren’t feeling these feelings, fake it until you make it! Your language can trick your mind into feeling better as long as you are intentional with your words.

 

4. “Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees”

No, money does not grow on trees, but the world is an abundant place. When you say things like “Money doesn’t grow on trees” or “I can’t afford that” you’re signaling to your mind a scarcity mindset.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s probably not something you’re intentionally doing either. In fact, a lot of these phrases we hear growing up and sometimes, it’s hard to shed them from our vocabulary. But the sooner you do, the sooner you can attract wealth and prosperity into your life.

If you catch yourself saying “Money doesn’t grow on trees” instantly follow it with “But I am a money magnet.” Or, “I am infinite prosperity and abundance.” Little hacks like this can help you start to reprogram your mind and allow money to enter your life.

Also, instead of saying “I can’t afford it” ask yourself, “How can I afford that” or “What would I need to do to buy that item?”

This gets your mind out of its normal way of thinking and instead, places emphasis on creating new wealth.

 

 

5. “I Should”

How many times have you said, “I should go to the gym” or “I know I should make dinner” but instead skip the gym and hit the drive-thru instead? Don’t beat yourself up though, it happens to the best of us.

But the sooner you can replace the word should, the better. The word should feels like a burden and is very disempowering language.

So what’s the alternative? Using “I get to” instead.

Think about it, “I get to go to the gym” or “I get to make dinner” is a much more empowering language. It helps you approach a situation with gratitude and excitement rather than dread.

 

6. “Maybe” or “Might”

Maybe or might is another common phrase that we often used to deflect from a situation.

For example, if a coworker invites you to happy hour, you might say “Maybe, I’ll check my schedule.” But in reality, you know full well that you’re not going to make it to drinks after work.

We tend to use these words to avoid certain potentially uncomfortable situations. When in reality, you should give a clear yes or no. This makes the situation better for you and the person who is on the other end of the conversation too.

 

7. “Sorry”

The final word to stop saying is sorry. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you might need to feel sorry if you screw up at work or in your relationship, but be careful about how frequently you use it.

Instead of saying sorry, try to replace it with something like “Thanks again for understanding.” This helps because when you feel “sorry” it usually puts you in a negative mood.

But when you say “Thank you for…” it will defuse the situation and actually help your mood. Plus, the person on the other end is likely to feel better about it as well.

 

 

Bonus: Start Asking Empowering Questions

Instead of using limiting language and making life harder on yourself, monitor your words carefully. Then, make it a point to reframe negative thoughts and language with positive, empowering questions.

This is so effective because when you ask yourself a question, your mind is wired to respond. But it’s up to you to make sure that you ask yourself the right questions.

As motivational speaker and best-selling author Tony Robbins said, “Quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.”

The better questions you ask yourself, the better the chance you’ll find an answer to your biggest problems. The right questions will help get you into action mode and will get unstuck quickly.

Remember, a negative mind filled with negative vocabulary will never give you a positive life.

If you want to create an extraordinary life that is fun and exciting, you need to speak it into existence. Use positive words and empowering language that make you feel good every single day.

Once you get your mind on board, then almost anything becomes possible. While there is a lot you can’t control externally in your life, your language is something you 100% can control.

Make it a point to start eliminating all of these phrases when talking to yourself or with others. The more you do, the easier it will be to catch when you slip up (which is inevitable) and spot it in others as well.

Finally, don’t forget to ask yourself empowering questions when you feel a negative phrase or word coming up. By doing so, you unleash the power of your mind and get into action mode instead of procrastinating before ever attempting something.

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