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Top 10 Phrases Unsuccessful People Always Use That You Need To Avoid

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Top 10 Phrases Unsuccessful People Always Use That You Need To Avoid

There are a number of phrases that people who are unsuccessful use regularly which should never be said anywhere. Successful people just don’t say these things, because they know the pitfalls of using such negative, patronizing and self-interested terms. If you catch yourself about to say one of these things, think about how it would make you look and sound to others and find a better way to say it.

Here are the top 10 things Unsuccessful people say that Successful people never should:

1. “That’s impossible”

Most things we encounter at work are not impossible. They might be hard or take time, but usually they can be achieved with right amount of effort and resources. Discounting ideas others have is a bad idea. People who use this phrase automatically shut down dialogue and criticism, intentionally, hoping that everyone will agree with them.

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2. “I can do it all myself.”

This term is often used by micro-managers, and those who put themselves out as martyrs to work. It implies ‘I don’t need you’ and will not win you any friends at work. Successful people have better ways of engaging at work and they don’t try to show how competent they are. That rarely works. Saying you can do it all makes you look arrogant, sneaky and suspicious, because people will wonder why you don’t want to or can’t work with others. Try instead, “I’m looking forward to doing this, and to getting some help along the way.” Then, if you don’t need it, you’ve still been friendly and demonstrated a willingness to wok with others.

3. “I have a problem with that.”

By saying this, you give the message that you have a problem with the work, and with your colleagues. No one wants to look like they aren’t ready to roll up their sleeves, and get the job done. If you don’t agree with something, come up with a solution and share it with others. You will look like someone who has ideas, and solutions, not just complaints.

4. “Don’t forget the details.”

Telling someone not to forget the details is very patronizing. If you think they will forget, you can let them know you are there if they want to run the details by you. That way you show you have confidence in them and their work, but that you are also there to support them, and if you are their manager, that you will be checking, as you should.

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5. “I like my own idea.”

This is a very self-centered view and most people will shut down when they hear it. Even if you think your view is the best, there are better ways to let people know then by stating it. Tell people what your idea is, and ask for feedback. People will feel you care about their view and you might win them around, which you will have to do anyway to be successful. Getting buy-in for any idea takes effort, and it can’t be done by telling others you are right.

6. “I don’t need your input.”

Saying this is extremely arrogant and doesn’t belong in any conversation. Respecting others and their point of view is an essential part of being a responsible adult. It shows that you know how to listen, and to take on board other ideas. Say this at your peril.

7. “I already know that.”

You might already know something, but letting people have their say is as important as hearing what they say. Demonstrate active listening to show you hear the other person and really digest the information. Being flippant towards others is rude, and insulting. No one wants to work with people like that.

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8. “Let me check my schedule.”

This non-committal response is all too common in today’s digital world, where people prefer texting to talking to each other. The message you send with this is that you are too busy or important to make a commitment to a time. A better approach is to ask when they are free, and to get back to them as soon as you can, or to suggest a time and then change it if you have to. Making a commitment and keeping it are critical in business and in life. If you don’t, or are prone to cancel regularly, you will soon be dismissed as unreliable.

9. “You must be wrong about that.”

Putting yourself above others is never the right way to behave. Even if you think someone is wrong, you should verify the facts, and if they have made a mistake, let them know you confirmed the info and what you found out, without pointing blame at them. Children point fingers, not adults. You will look silly and immature using this term.

10. “I can’t.”

This is probably the worst offender on the list of never say phrases. Saying you can’t means that others will soon stop asking, because it’s too hard to get you to agree. Some people use this term as a tactic, so they won’t be asked again to do things or go places they don’t want to. But saying yes you can is often the best reply and it shows you are willing to do the work and try something new. Successful people say yes far more often then they say no, because they see opportunities to grow and learn all around them.

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Whenever you find yourself about to use one of these phrases of unsuccessful people, stop and think about how you will sound and how you will look.

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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