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

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 July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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