Have you ever caught yourself muttering phrases that seem to put you down or don’t cheer you on?
You know, those little comments we slip into conversation without even noticing?
They might be more telling than you think.
Sometimes, what we say can be a sneaky peek into our inner world, especially when it comes to our self-confidence.
Here are things you say that show you need to embrace a bit more self-love and confidence:
If You Always Say These 15 Things, You Lack Self-Confidence
1. ”I’m no expert, but…”
This phrase usually sneaks into our conversations when we’re about to share an opinion or knowledge about a topic we’re actually quite familiar with.
But starting with “I’m no expert” is like saying, “Hey, don’t take my word for it; I might not know what I’m talking about,” even when that’s not true.
Impostor syndrome is real, and it’s a b*tch.
We make this statement for a few reasons:
- We worry about being wrong or sounding too assertive.
- We worry that by sharing our knowledge, we might make someone else feel small or inadequate.
- We don’t want to come across as arrogant or self-absorbed.
- We may have a fear of failure and not want to be held accountable for our words.
Using this phrase shows that we’re not fully owning our knowledge or experience.
It’s totally okay not to know everything; nobody does.
But if you find yourself saying this often, even when you’re well-informed on the subject, it’s a sign you need to give yourself a bit more credit.
Imagine how confident you’d feel by just sharing your thoughts without the disclaimer.
You don’t have to declare yourself an expert to contribute something valuable.
Your experiences and opinions are unique to you, and that in itself is worthy of sharing,
Who knows, your words might be exactly what someone else needs to hear.
2. “Sorry, can I just say something?”
Apologizing before speaking up?
Most of us are guilty of this one; I am.
We apologize for taking up space, even when we have a valid point to make.
As if we’re asking for permission or forgiveness for simply wanting to express ourselves.
Asking permission to speak and be heard.
We don’t want to step on toes or offend anyone.
I get it, but this phrase screams self-doubt.
You don’t need to apologize for having a voice.
Your ideas deserve the floor as much as anyone else’s.
This doesn’t mean you should be rude or disrespectful, but don’t be afraid to use your voice and share your thoughts.
3. “It was nothing, really.”
When someone gives you a compliment, do you brush it off with this phrase?
For example, if you achieved something great at work, and your boss praised you, did you respond with “Oh, it was nothing” instead of saying “Thank you” or acknowledging your hard work?
It might seem like humility, but if you’re always downplaying your achievements, you are not giving yourself the credit you deserve.
Saying “It was nothing” or any other variation of diminishing your accomplishments takes away from your accomplishments, hard work, and dedication.
Accepting compliments graciously will boost your self-esteem, whereas deflecting them may make others less likely to give them in the future.
Since they know you’ll always say, “It was nothing,” why bother?
Learn to own your achievements and say thank you.
4. “Oh, I just got lucky.”
You attribute your successes to pure luck?
Sure, sometimes luck does play a role in life, but it can’t be the only reason for your achievement.
It takes effort, hard work, and dedication to accomplish anything in life, and that is what increases your luck.
Attributing your successes to sheer luck means you have no control over the outcome.
Saying this phrase shows you do not give yourself credit for the hard work, dedication, and skill that went into achieving your goals.
You don’t want to downplay your achievements or make them seem like they happened by accident.
Instead, recognize and own your role in achieving your goals.
5. “I don’t think I can do this.”
The classic self-doubt phrase.
It’s okay to feel uncertain or nervous about something new or challenging; that’s normal.
But when you verbalize those doubts, it only strengthens them.
There’s power in our words, and if we keep telling ourselves we can’t do something, we start to believe it.
Even the Bible says, ”The power of life and death is in the tongue.”
Instead of saying, ”I don’t think I can do this,” try saying, “I’m nervous about this, but I’ll give it my best shot,” or “I haven’t done this before, but I’m willing to learn.”
This will shift your mindset from a fixed one to a growth-oriented attitude, and that can make all the difference.
6. “It’s not a big deal.”
When something bothers you or affects you negatively, do you downplay its significance by saying, “It’s not a big deal?”
You might think you’re being easy-going or humble, but in reality, you’re dismissing your feelings and needs.
It’s okay to acknowledge that something upset or hurt you and then address those emotions.
Minimizing your feelings might lead to bottling them up, which will not be good for your mental health.
Your emotions are valid, and you don’t have to minimize them for the sake of others’ comfort.
If it’s a big deal to you, it’s a big deal, dear.
7. “I’m sorry for imposing.”
For example, if you ask someone for help, do you apologize for “imposing” on their time?
Asking for help is not imposing; it’s a vital part of human interaction and relationships.
We all could use a little kindness or assistance sometimes, and there’s no shame in asking for it.
Apologizing for reaching out only shows that you don’t value yourself or your needs.
You’re not an inconvenience; you’re a human being who deserves support and help when needed.
And if someone helps you, show genuine gratitude instead of apologizing.
Apologies should be reserved for situations where we actually do something wrong or hurt someone.
8. “I’m not good at this.”
How do you react when faced with a new challenge or task?
Do you immediately say, “I’m not good at this,” without even trying?
This phrase shows self-doubt and fear of failure, which can hold you back from learning or growing.
Just because something doesn’t come naturally to you doesn’t mean you can’t improve or excel at it.
Instead of labeling yourself as “not good” at something, try saying, “I’m still learning,” or “This is a new challenge for me.”
It’s okay not to be perfect; we all have areas where we can improve.
But don’t limit your potential by defining yourself as “not good” at something.
9. “I’m sorry for being such a mess.”
We all have moments when we feel like we’re falling apart, but saying sorry for it is unnecessary.
We are all human, and it’s normal to have messy moments in life.
But apologizing for simply being imperfect doesn’t portray you as a confident person.
It only reinforces the idea that you need to be perfect and put together constantly.
Instead of saying sorry for being a mess, cultivate self-compassion and embrace your imperfections.
This will free you from the need to be perfect all the time and allow you to focus on being the best version of yourself.
10. “I’m not creative.”
Creativity is a skill that can be learned like any other; it’s simply about tapping into your imagination and exploring new ideas.
Instead of labeling yourself as not creative, look for ways to challenge your creativity.
Try different art forms like drawing, painting, and sculpting; explore writing by starting a blog or journaling regularly; experiment with cooking; or engage in problem-solving activities.
You never know the ideas and solutions you’ll come up with if you push yourself to be creative.
There’s no one way to express creativity; it’s all about exploring what works best for you.
11. “I’m such an idiot.”
I know you are trying to be self-deprecating and make others laugh, but calling yourself an idiot is not funny or healthy.
Do you know who an idiot is?
Someone who doesn’t see their worth and constantly puts themselves down.
Don’t be that person.
Be kind to yourself, and stop using this phrase.
12. “I don’t want to bother anyone.”
Oh Lord, this is me!
I’m always afraid of bothering others, so I prefer to struggle or figure things out on my own.
But constantly thinking you’re a burden or annoying to others is not healthy.
We all need help at some point, and it’s okay to reach out when you do.
If someone helps you, be grateful instead of saying sorry for bothering them.
13. “Does that make sense?”
This phrase is often used when explaining something or giving an opinion, but it can be a sign of a lack of confidence.
Yes, seeking validation can be a sign of conscientiousness, but it can also be a sign that you are doubting yourself and your ability to articulate your thoughts clearly.
Instead, trust in what you have to say and present it with confidence.
If someone doesn’t understand, they will ask for clarification.
14. “I can’t do it as well as [person’s name].”
Comparison, a thief of joy, is like that pesky neighbor that keeps peeking over the fence.
It’s okay to admire someone’s skills or talents, but don’t diminish your own abilities by saying you can’t do something as well as them.
You have your unique strengths and talents, so focus on those instead of constantly comparing yourself to others.
Instead of saying you can’t do it as well as someone else, try acknowledging their abilities while being proud of yours.
15. “I’m not good enough.”
This phrase is the summary of all the previous ones.
It’s the ultimate self-confidence killer and a reflection of low self-esteem.
You are good enough, just as you are.
You don’t need to be perfect to be amazing.
Sure, there are probably things you can improve upon, but that doesn’t make you any less worthy or valuable.
Instead of saying, “I’m not good enough,” try saying, “I’m doing my best,” or “I have room for growth.”
You know what?
I’m guilty of saying some of these phrases myself.
But acknowledging them is the first step towards improving our self-confidence and self-worth.
Let’s be more mindful of what we say and how it reflects on our perception of ourselves.
If you constantly use these phrases, you might lack self-confidence, but that doesn’t mean you can’t build it up with time and practice.
Self-confidence is a journey, and it takes time and effort to build it.
We are all a work in progress.