Ever heard the saying “You are the stories you tell yourself”? It is so true! Whatever you tell yourself: you’ll end up believing it! This is why it is so important to start telling yourself the right things and STOP using those expressions that won’t do you any favor!
I have gathered a collection of things people often say that are super harmful to you and I’ve also added what you should tell yourself instead. I promise that if you replace the bad ones with the good ones your life will become significantly better!
1. Kill some time
Why? Why would you want to kill time?!? Don’t you like your life? Have you got no friends, don’t you have a hobby? I am absolutely 100% sure that instead of killing time, you could either do something you truly enjoy or spend it learning something new that will benefit you. There are so many options! If you want to have a good laugh, why not watch some videos of Russel Peters on YouTube (this guy is hilarious!). If you’re in learning mode, sign up on a course on Coursera.org (It’s absolutely free and it’ll give you a lot of knowledge). If you’re feeling philosophical, watch Michael Walters justice course held in Harvard (true gem!). And if you have just a little time but want to feel inspired, then head off to Marie Forleo’s website – her videos are only 5 minutes long and there’s something for everyone there.
See, there are so many things you can do that can make you happier, wiser or even pee in your pants a little (if you opt-in for the Russel Peters videos). So instead of telling yourself your time isn’t valuable, try to tell yourself this:
I will make the most of the time I have now and will spend it amazingly!
2. I’m fine / That’s fine
That is hands-down one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves. There cannot be such thing as “fine”. What does “fine” even mean? Every time we say something is fine, we actually agree that mediocre is acceptable. Nobody wants mediocre, do we? We want exceptional lives, full of happiness, joy and all the riches we can think of. Well, in that case nothing can be”fine”. So, next time you’re in a situation where you are facing mediocre, think well before you make room for it in your life. If it’s not exactly what you wanted: say it! There’s nothing wrong with wanting more , wanting better. Be polite, but be honest. And if there is nothing you can do about it at the very moment, there is definitely a way to change it for the future. So try this:
It is not what I wanted and I do not accept it. I deserve perfection and I will find a way to receive it.
3. Why didn’t you call me/text me/email me?
Unless you had made an arrangement with someone and you’re genuinely interested in the reason, don’t ask this question. Both you and I well know that it makes the person saying this look pathetic. But this isn’t even why it’s important to ditch this question. If you noticed that somebody didn’t call at a particular time, it generally means that you weren’t doing anything special. And that’s never good. I am a firm believer that if someone has to call, he (she) will call. If they didn’t and they want to tell me why, they will. If they don’t want to say why, then they don’t want to. I don’t need to go around chasing people and asking them. And neither should you – this question only causes anxiety in both, the asking and the asked and it doesn’t help anyone.
I cannot give you anything to replace this line with simply because it shouldn’t be replaced, but ditched all together.
4. Don’t worry, I can handle it
I know you can. So can I. In fact, most everyone can handle everything that comes their way, but that is not the question. When one person helps another one, both of them win and while it is very obvious for the one in need, only few realize the satisfaction received by the one that managed to be of service. As human beings, we create society mostly by helping each other. Who doesn’t want to feel cherished and valuable? You may be thinking that some people provide help with the very idea of getting something in return. This is true, but you shouldn’t worry about it – accept the help offered to you and appreciate it. If you can’t or simply don’t want to give anything in return, make it clear to the person offering you help and give them a chance to back off.
If the person doesn’t, then accept the help, say “Thank you” and “pay it forward” whenever and to whomever you can. And exchange the phrase “I can handle it” with:
“You can help me with [this] ad/or [this]. Thank you.”
5. I can’t afford it
Buying a plane? Or an island? Whatever it is that you are looking to purchase you may not be able to afford it at the very moment of saying these words. But they are not far from a terminal diagnose and you really shouldn’t be using them. In reality, you can achieve everything you set your mind to. It will take time and requite a great amount of effort for specific things, but you can. And if you are not willing to invest all this time and energy, then the expression is not correct because it’s not that you can’t afford it – it’s that you don’t want to put in the effort and sacrifice the item in question requires.
Maybe you do want to buy a plane but all you have is a salary that only covers your general living expenses. Well, you can still get a second job for a year without changing your life standard and save all your money. Then you can spend another couple of years learning how to invest properly, invest all the cash and slowly maximize it until you reach the point in our life when you’ll be able to buy a plane. Get my point now?
So, instead of saying that you can’t afford something, replace with either:
“It’s really not that important to me so I invest my life so I am able to afford it’ or “I got that”.
6. I can’t
Did you just read the above paragraph? You can. Whatever it is, if you want it, you can. It won’t be easy, but it’s possible. This guy here was told he can never walk again and look at him now! J.K. Rowling was turned down multiple times before the Harry Potter book was finally accepted by a publisher. There are so many examples out there of people, who were told they can’t do a certain thing. But only the ones that believed the words were influenced by them.
So, before you say “I can’t” next time, think twice and change the words with either:
I still can’t but I am working on it.
I don’t want to.
24 replies on “6 expressions you should absolutely never use”
Sometimes we use those expressions out of routine. It is pretty much like this “How, how are you doing? “Doing good and you? “Good too”. The sad truth is none of them is doing good but they are just saying it to brush off each other and move on. Thank you for this great post!
Thank you so much for your comment Zaria! I completely agree with you – we do such things out of routine. But routines can be changed and I hope I can help at least one person out there think about these expressions and make things better for himself/herself.
You pointed out some great tips in your post. Positive thinking is always the way to go.
It’s so true. Using wrong expression can impact your life. Most people aren’t aware about it. Thanks a lot for reminder and good advice.
It’s so true. Using wrong expression can impact your life. Most people aren’t aware about it. Thanks a lot for reminder.
Ok, so, you really hit all the bad expressions. I particularly like the “I can’t” and “I’m fine”.
My mom would always tell that things can’t be done until you do them. So, every time I try to tell myself I can’t, I always find the time and courage to just do it. Low and behold doing it or accomplishing it isn’t hard at all.
Thank you! Your mom must have liked Nelson Mandela’s way of thinking. I remember his quote:
Great post! I agreed with some of the points you mentioned. Positive thinking and be brave to voice out. I CAN!
My mom always taught me that “I can’t” and “I shouldn’t” are equal to curse words, they only bring negative energy so they shouldn’t be in our vocabulary!
Words are very powerful, and I totally agree we need to show some love to our-self , encourage ourselves! You can, you are the best , you rock
Love this post! I agree with so many of them, especially 6.
Thank you Lily! <3
Loved your post but i didn’t get this.. why kill some time..??
I don’t get it either Anupam, but there are so many people using this expression. And it’s conceptually wrong in my opinion.
You are the stories you tell yourself!!! I read it for the first time and this is going to be my manthra (I’ll tweet this post as soon as I finish commenting 🙂 ).
You are so right with all the points. I’d add that we must learn to tell proudly “I am beautiful” (no, it’s not the other who must tell it.)
And also “I am happy/I am luchy” (when we really think and mean it).
Thank you so much Sabrina for your kind words. I completely agree with your input: we need to start telling ourselves we are beautiful. The world is harsh enough on us and we should learn to appreciate ourselves so others can appreciate us too. You reminded me of a saying I saw recently:
We should love ourselves so fiercely that when others see us they know exactly how it’s done.
Great post Nina.
“If you think you can’t, you’re probably right.” This is the one thing that hinders success.
Also, I would like to share a related post called HOW YOU SCREW YOURSELF, here it is explained by a speaker on TEDx why saying I’m fine is wrong.
Thank you Robert! Loved the post Robert and Mel’s point on “Fine”! Apparently I completely and totally agree with her: nothing can be “fine” 🙂
These are some funny and very true points! Lol I agree.. Why “kill” time?
The ‘I can’t’ expression is so over used. I always try to say I’ll give it my best shot or I can do that.
Great post 😉
I love your site, your passion for life comes through in your posts and your images. I’m usually not a fan of blogs that try doing too much. Yours is an exception. I look forward to future posts.
Thank you Frank! We try not to think of it as a blog that does to much, but as a platform for everything we’re passionate about. I mean: since we pay for hosting and struggle making the website, we might as well use it to express ourselves 100%. Thank you for your kind words!
Beautiful post here!
One thing I’ve learned is that the we use become the life we live. Words are simply powerful. It can create different types of outcomes. We need to choose our words better and make sure that what we say, have more of a positive effect on our lives.
I really dislike the words “I can’t” and “try” (this world is immediately subconsciously tied up to failure). A lot of people say they can’t afford things. That’s not a great way to look at life. It puts people down. Instead of saying that, I would say “How can I afford that? What do I need to do?” I believe that there are always answers. It’s just up to us to reach out to them.
As for time, that’s simply our most valuable asset. No matter how rich or famous someone can be, we all have the same 24 hours. So the question is, what are you doing with your time? Time is precious. We should all embrace the moment and make use of it.
Thank you for sharing this. You did an awesome job! 🙂
Thank you Pj! I completely agree with your point on the word “try”. Actually, I while ago I attended a seminar and the speaker placed a pen in the middle of the room. He then asked us to perform the act of trying to pick up the pen. He aimed to teach us that trying isn’t doing and his example was absolutely magnificent!