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" Self-sabotage is when we say we want something and then go about making sure it doesn't happen. "
- ♥ - Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby - ♥ -

6 Ways to Stop Sabotaging Your Own Speech

Photograph courtesy of Meti-cu-lous
Photograph courtesy of Meti-cu-lous

  1. What Not to Say:
    "I'll try" or "I hope" because this fails to communicate any sense of self-belief or conviction. It plants a seed of doubt in the recipient's mind as well as your own.

    What to Say Instead:
    Eliminate these words & you will immediately sound more self-assured and more competent. Be clear on what you can and can't do within the given time frame. Don't assume you'll be disappointing people. They will appreciate knowing where they stand.

  2. What Not to Say
    "Just" or "only" because it diminishes and dismisses who you are, what you are and what you contribute. This usually happens when you are intimidated by the company you are in.

    What to Say Instead
    Just drop these words when referring to yourself. Stand tall and people will automatically treat you with more respect.

  3. What Not to Say
    "Sure" or "That's fine". The problem with constantly saying 'yes' is people may like you but they won't necessarily respect you.

    What to Say Instead
    To prevent others from exploiting your hesitation, the only solution is to learn to say "No" firmly. The important word in this sentence is 'firmly'. Maintain good eye contact and where applicable, give them an option. For example, you could say "No, I can't do it today. I will be able to get it done by 9 am tomorrow."

  4. What Not to Say
    "This might be a silly question, but...", "it doesn't really matter but..." or "I'm no genius but...".Women are particularly scared to appear better than the rest, and are more likely to devalue themselves, when compared with men. However, doing this constantly will mean that no one will ever take you seriously. People rarely hear what comes after the 'but'.

    What to Say Instead
    A straightforward "I have an idea/suggestion/question" is all you have to to say. Basically, be succinct. Forget the decorative words that may end up working against you.

  5. What Not to Say
    "I'm kind of" or "sort of". These phrases fend off confrontation but their ambiguity prevent you from expressing your reaction or point of view in full. The end result is nothing changes and no one has really understood what your true point of view was.

    What to Say Instead
    Dump these phrases and you will instantly sound more assertive, even if you feel wobbly inside. Stand up for yourself.

  6. What Not to Say
    "Oh, I'm sorry" (when there is nothing to apologize for). Many women do it because they were brought up to make life easier for the people around them. But, there is really no need to apologize when there is nothing to apologize about.

    What to Say Instead
    Only say sorry when there is something to be sorry for. Or else, don't say it at all.

Remember, assertiveness is polite, honest, direct, clean, clear and persistent. Speak up without the expectation that the other person or situation will change. They may continue to say and do what they say and do, but at least, you will walk away from those exchanges being proud of yourself and not feeling like a doormat.

If there are other ways you can think of, please let me know.

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