In such a competitive world, it is easy to be unsure of ourselves. Yet, the way we carry ourselves and the language we use plays a big role in how we look and are perceived by others. It is easy to fall into a pattern of second-guessing the way we speak, but the best way to sound more confident and more determined is to swap out the following 5 words from your vocabulary.
If you are always using the word “like” in your vocabulary, you’re not alone. “Like” is a filler word that we often use when we cannot think of the right word to say or are in fast-paced conversation. Next time you are talking quickly, make sure to slow down and contemplate every sentence before you say it to avoid using the filler “like.” Not only will you sound more intelligent, but you will also keep your audience engaged for longer.
Using “maybe” in your sentences makes you seem unsure, or uncertain of the facts you are presenting to someone. Especially in a work setting, make sure you are certain and informed on the matter before you speak to someone. This alone will make you sound more confident, more determined, and more sure of yourself.
Can’t is one of the most negative words that people use in their everyday vocabulary for many reasons. The first being that this negative attitude is contagious and if you go into something with this mindset, not only will it affect your own work performance, it can also affect everyone around you. Even more so, there is nothing wrong with failure and not being able to do something. Of course, it may be frustrating but that's where the importance of learning comes in. Expanding your knowledge on something you aren’t informed about can only help in the future, so instead of saying you can’t, try to learn how you can. Finally, using can’t is a reflection of our lack of self-confidence, and our self-worth. The best way to sound more confident is to stop using this word in our sentences.
Using “but” in a sentence makes it so easy to talk yourself out of doing a specific action. As mentioned before, failure is not something to be ashamed of and there is no need for excuses or rationale with the word. Instead of using “but” in your phrases, try using short declarative sentences instead. For example instead of saying, “I want to go shopping tonight but I have to study,” try saying “I want to go shopping tonight. I will study first.” That way, you also have a positive attitude that you can accomplish two things, as well as not talk yourself out of doing something.
As women, we apologize more than we need to. Studies conducted have shown that women are more likely to believe they are in the wrong, and feel the need to apologize more than men. Although it is important to make amends when you have done something wrong, if you continually apologize for things that are not your fault, it changes how people perceive you and can damage your self-esteem. Some things you should NEVER apologize for are sticking up for yourself, expressing your feelings, and setting boundaries. So how do you do this? Instead of saying “I’m sorry…” in the beginning of a sentence, skip the apology and save it for when it counts. The power of the word “sorry” will be much more meaningful if it is saved for when it’s actually needed.
Finally, remember that words not only empower you, they can also limit you. If you begin to actively pay attention to the words you are using and eliminate negative words from your vocabulary, you can make a huge change in your life in terms of how you feel about yourself and how you present yourself to others.