11 phrases confident people never use in conversations

We all know that words are incredibly powerful. They can make us laugh, cry, feel inspired, or even change our lives completely.

But did you know that the language we use can also reflect our confidence levels?

That’s right!

You can often tell a lot about a person by the phrases they frequently use.

Today, we’re going to shine a spotlight on 11 phrases that confident people steer clear of in their day-to-day conversations.

So if you’re looking to boost your self-esteem and want your words to echo your newfound confidence, read on. 

1. “I can’t…”

They believe in themselves and their abilities. They’re aware that every problem has a solution, and they’re ready to find it.

So, instead of saying “I can’t…”, they say something like “Let’s figure out how we can…”.

It’s all about focusing on possibilities rather than limitations.

Remember, the words we use shape our reality. By saying “I can”, we open ourselves up to solutions and opportunities that we might not have seen otherwise. 

2. “I’m just…”

Ever caught yourself saying, “I’m just an intern,” or “It’s just a small project I’m working on”?

This is a classic way we downplay ourselves and our achievements.

But guess what? Confident people don’t do that!

Confident folks know their worth. They understand that every role, every project, every little thing they do has value.

So instead of saying, “I’m just…”, they proudly state what they do, “I’m an intern working on this amazing project,” or “I’ve started this really exciting venture.”

Your words shape how others see you. If you believe in your worth and express it confidently, others will see it too. 

3. “I’m not sure, but…”

This is a phrase we sometimes use when we’re feeling unsure or when we’re worried our opinion might not be received well.

But confident people, they cut this phrase right out of their vocabulary.

I used to start my sentences with “I’m not sure, but…” quite often. I thought it made me sound humble and open to feedback.

But one day, a mentor of mine pulled me aside and gave me some advice.

She said, “When you start your sentences that way, it makes it seem like you’re not confident in your ideas. Even if you’re not 100% certain, state your thoughts confidently. You can always have a discussion and learn something new if others disagree.”

That advice was a game-changer for me. Now, I make it a point to express my thoughts without the “I’m not sure, but…” preface.

4. “I’ll try…”

On the surface, it sounds pretty harmless, right? But this phrase subtly suggests that you’re not entirely sure you can do something.

Confident folks, on the other hand, say “I will”, showing they’re committed and ready to tackle whatever comes their way.

Pople who say “I don’t” instead of “I can’t” are more likely to stick with their goals.

For example, saying “I don’t skip workouts” is more powerful than saying “I can’t skip workouts”.

Similarly, saying “I will complete this project” sounds more assertive and determined than saying “I’ll try to complete this project”.

Remember, confidence is as much about how you speak as it is about how you act. 

5. “It’s all my fault.”

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Something goes wrong, and we immediately take the blame, even when it’s not entirely our fault. But confident people handle these situations differently.

Think of it this way: life is a journey, filled with ups and downs. We all make mistakes, and that’s perfectly okay. What’s important is how we respond to those mistakes.

Confident people understand this. They know that taking responsibility for a mistake means acknowledging it, learning from it, and then moving on.

They don’t dwell on the blame or let it weigh them down.

You’re human, and humans make mistakes. It’s part of our growth and learning process. 

6. “I should have…”

We’ve all said it before, looking back and wishing we’d done things differently. But let me tell you a story about why confident people don’t say this.

A while back, I found myself saying “I should have…” quite a lot. It was as if I was stuck in the past, constantly regretting decisions I had made.

Then one day, a close friend of mine noticed this habit and gave me a piece of advice that I’ll never forget. He said, “You can’t change the past, but you can learn from it and shape your future.”

That hit home for me. From then on, I stopped saying “I should have…” and started focusing on what I could do now to improve my future actions. It was a small change in mindset but it had a big impact on my confidence.

Confident people learn from the past but they don’t dwell on it. Instead, they use it as a stepping stone to create a better future.

7. “It’s not fair.”

Life can be pretty rough sometimes. It can throw curveballs our way that we just didn’t see coming. And it’s so easy to slip into the mindset of “it’s not fair.”

But here’s the raw truth: confident people don’t say this.

Why? Because confident folks know that life isn’t always going to be fair.

Sometimes, things won’t go our way, no matter how hard we try or how much we deserve it.

But that doesn’t mean we should throw in the towel and wallow in self-pity.

Confident people face setbacks head-on.

They understand that challenges are part of life and they don’t play the victim. Instead, they adapt, they learn, they grow. They turn obstacles into opportunities.

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.

8. “I’m not good enough.”

People who often engage in negative self-talk, like saying “I’m not good enough,” can have higher levels of stress and depression.

Confident people skip this phrase entirely. They understand that everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and they choose to focus on the positive. They know their worth and embrace their unique abilities.

Look, everyone is a work in progress. Instead of focusing on what you think you lack, celebrate your strengths and all the amazing things you bring to the table.

Swap “I’m not good enough” for “I’m a work in progress, and I’m proud of how far I’ve come.” You are more than good enough just as you are!

9. “Sorry, but…”

Coming in at number nine is “Sorry, but…”.

This is a phrase we often use when we’re about to share an opinion or idea and we’re worried about how it will be received.

I used to say this quite a lot, especially in professional settings. I thought it was polite and respectful.

Then one day, during a team meeting, my manager pulled me aside. He told me, “You don’t need to apologize for having an opinion or an idea. It’s valid and valuable. Say it with confidence.”

That conversation was a wake-up call for me.

From then on, I stopped starting my sentences with “Sorry, but…”.

Instead, I just stated my thoughts directly and respectfully, and it made a huge difference in how others perceived me and my ideas.

Remember, your ideas and opinions matter. Don’t apologize for having them. Speak up confidently and respectfully – you have a voice, so use it. 

10. “I wish I could be more like…”

We’ve all looked at someone else’s life at some point and thought, “I wish I could be more like them.”

But here’s the raw, honest truth: confident people don’t do this.

Why? Because they know that everyone’s journey is different.

They understand that we all have our own paths, our own challenges, and our own successes.

Instead of wishing they were like someone else, confident people focus on being the best version of themselves.

They embrace their uniqueness and strive to grow every day.

11. “I don’t have time.”

We’re all guilty of saying this one, right? But let’s get real here: it’s often just an excuse. Confident people know this.

Instead of saying “I don’t have time,” confident folks make time for what’s important to them.

They prioritize and manage their time effectively. They understand that we all have the same 24 hours in a day – it’s about how we choose to use them.

Remember, where there’s a will, there’s a way. If something is important to you, you’ll find the time for it.

So next time you’re about to say “I don’t have time,” think again. Is it really a lack of time or is it a matter of priority?

Being confident is about being true to yourself and standing up for what you believe in. It’s about embracing your uniqueness and not being afraid to show it.

So let’s ditch these phrases and let our confidence shine through in our conversations. 

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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