Disempowering Phrases Successful People Never Say

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Many of you loved the 7 Phrases Successful People Would Never Say article and sent me some great additions to the list. Thank you. I do believe it’s important for one’s own self-development to be aware of what you think, say and do, so I figure I would write another article to list out these great additions of disempowering words. The idea is to catch yourself, or others, whenever you think, say or hear these phrases. 

Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” To echo Aristotle, I would paraphrase by saying “We are what repeatedly say. Success then, is not by accident, but an intention.” Intend your success.

Get rid of these phrases from your thoughts and your speech today and start to think, say and do like the successful person you know you are!

1. It is not fair

Life is never fair. If you truly care about something, instead of blaming the world for it,  accept responsibility for yourself and your results and go after what you want.

2. I don’t care

No one wants to waste time on someone who doesn’t care. Even if you truly don’t care, do not hurt other people’s feeling for whom they may care.

3. It doesn’t matter to me…

You may say this when:

  • You are lazy and don’t want to think about it right now
  • You are trying to be polite and let the other person choose
  • You really don’t care

Instead of saying “It doesn’t matter to me”, say this:

  • I am flexible on this
  • I respect your opinion on this.
  • I am fine with your choice.

4. Whatever…

This is a catch-all response for kids which can mean many things. Every time you say “Whatever…” people might think you are saying:

  • I don’t care
  • This is end of the conversation.
  • You can say whatever you want.

I found an interesting article from the BBC explains the full history of this word . The bottom line is successful people don’t use the word whatever.

5. I could’ve thought of that

You either thought of it or you did not. And even if you did think of it, you either did something about it or you didn’t.  The past is the past. Let’s move on and start thinking about the future. This phrase adds no value to your communication.

6. It’s not my fault

Successful people take 100% responsibility of everything that happens around them.  Who cares who fault it is? What really matters is how you are going to solve the problem now?

Just Do This…

Combined with the 7 phrases from the last article, I challenge you to eliminate these 13 phrases for the next 2 weeks.  See if you can do this.  I’m willing to bet you’ll notice a more positive attitude in your own life. 

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21 Responses to “Disempowering Phrases Successful People Never Say”

  1. Sriram Chandrasekhar on 23 Aug 2007 at 5:10 am

    Wow! The list was simply too amazing, I’ve personally said each one of those things maybe a quintillion times and, honestly speaking, didn’t think about it as a big deal. Now, I realize the powerful import of words and what they do to the listener. Keep us posted on more such interesting topics.

  2. Howard Greenstein on 23 Aug 2007 at 6:53 am

    Great article. I’m going to forward to some of my coaching clients.
    Please fix this typo, though:
    >>The bottom line is no successful people don’t >>use the word whatever.

    By using the phrasing “no people don’t” you’ve got a double negative. Either “no successful people use” or “successful people don’t” will allow the sentence say what you want it to say!

  3. edith on 23 Aug 2007 at 11:28 am

    Thank you Howard for catching that! =) It is fixed now.

    The bottom line is successful people don’t use the word whatever.

  4. on 23 Aug 2007 at 1:20 pm

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  6. Huynh Ngoc Phuong on 29 Aug 2007 at 1:59 am

    Dear Edith,

    I am in Vietnam. Since I happened to know and learn from your website, I told myself “Well, life is beautiful, isn’t it?” There is still, someone, who is out there, wise and so kind to share her own experience, knowledge and lessons to people. I am so lucky to be one of your readers. Everytime, I read an article or receive an email from your website, I am smiling and I tell myself “Phuong, it’s time to enhance your knowledge!” Thank you very much, Edith.
    As many others said to you, I would like to wish you all the best and more success to come!

    Sincerely yours,
    Phuong,


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  17. on 04 Sep 2007 at 8:36 pm

    Another phrase to not use is, “I will try.” Trying means you doubt you can. Great article.

  18. on 05 Sep 2007 at 5:26 am

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