Phrases That Make You Sound Less Confident

Confidence is essential when trying to build a career or impress those around you. However, if not mindful when using words, they could undermine your own authority and ability.

Phrases that make you appear unconfident are a surefire way to project an unattractive impression. Here are seven of the most common ones you should eliminate from your vocabulary immediately.

1. “Just”

Utilizing the word “just” can give off a lack of assurance, particularly when discussing an important or delicate matter.

Lynell Ross, a health and wellness coach at NuLeaf Naturals, believes the word “just” undermines your confidence because it undervalues what you’re trying to convey. Additionally, it weakens your credibility and makes you appear indecisive.

Another issue with the word “just” is that it may give off an air of apology. This could be problematic if you make a genuine error or acknowledge something is amiss.

To avoid this problem, substitute the phrase with a stronger and more positive word instead. Here are some examples:

Upright, just, honest, conscientious and scrupulous can all be described as having a high regard for moral rightness. This includes abiding by an ethical code of behavior as well as practicing good manners.

Fairness requires a balance between competing interests. It may also refer to being free from favoritism toward either or all sides.

Other words that could undermine your confidence include “perhaps,” which implies uncertainty and may be seen as a sign of weakness; and “actually,” which implies you’re making up facts. If you want to boost your self-assurance levels, replace these words with more appropriate ones that convey more certainty and authority when speaking with others. This will make you appear more assured and convincing overall.

2. “Sorry”

The word “sorry” can often be used as a preemptive measure, but saying it too frequently may actually erode your self-assurance. It’s one of the worst ways to come across in emails, presentations and job interviews — especially if you are an assertive professional who takes pride in her work and values.

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People who apologize too often tend to focus on other people’s perceptions of right and wrong rather than their own, which can have detrimental effects on your career and personal values. Over-apologizing may ultimately undermine both of these areas – ultimately impacting both work and life in the long run.

If you find yourself in this pattern, take a step back to analyze what may be causing it and regain your self-confidence. Start by reflecting on how your childhood or early development shaped how you view asserting yourself and respecting authority figures.

3. “I’m sorry”

Saying “I’m sorry” frequently can give off an air of unconfidence. This may indicate that you are trying to appease others or feel responsible for their mistakes.

However, if you only apologize when it is necessary, you can still feel confident and strong in your work. Furthermore, it helps avoid the unnecessary apologies that many working professionals tend to say.

Apologizing when you’ve wronged or inconvenienced someone is the polite thing to do. It demonstrates your concern and desire for their wellbeing, while also potentially helping improve the relationship in the future.

But apologizing when you haven’t done anything wrong is counterproductive and doesn’t benefit anyone. It doesn’t make the person receiving your apology feel better or help them develop as a person.

It can also indicate a lack of confidence in oneself, leading to lack of trust or the perception that you don’t value other people’s opinion.

Confidence in yourself and your abilities is essential for maintaining high levels of productivity and success at work, particularly if you’re uncertain where your career is heading. Fortunately, this issue is common among working professionals and can be avoided through self-belief in one’s strengths, objectives, and capabilities.

4. “I’m worried”

“I’m worried” isn’t exactly a clever phrase to utter aloud. But it does suggest you are worried about something but don’t know what or how to address it. It could be something as mundane as your daily routine for years or something completely new and different; either way, this expression communicates an absence of self-assurance and confidence.

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To combat anxiety, try thinking logically. The more informed you are about a situation, the easier it will be to put an end to that uneasy feeling in your gut. Best of all? This strategy doesn’t need to be done all at once; just make an intentional effort every now and then. For best results, do this exercise while at work so that you avoid triggers for anxiety.

Are you wondering, “What words should I use to increase my self-esteem and confidence?” We have the perfect solution! Visit our confidence course page for more guidance on what to say when speaking up. The more often you practice speaking up, the greater your chances are of succeeding in whatever profession you choose.

5. “Does that make sense?”

It’s essential to convey confidence in the value of what you offer during sales conversations. At the same time, make sure your audience comprehends what you say and can relay that information back to their team.

One of the most common methods Sales Professionals and Business Owners use to accomplish this is by asking, “Does that make sense?” This often occurs before proceeding to another phase of their sales process; whether it be asking questions or presenting.

However, using this question too frequently or as a transition question can actually hinder your sales efforts. It’s easy for prospects to become confused when trying to follow along with what you are discussing, making it difficult for them to focus and follow along with you.

Instead, utilize tie down sales techniques to gain your client’s agreement and clarify their position or situation.

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By doing this, you can leave assumptions behind and take control of the sales dialogue.

Next time you need to adjust your pitch, ask yourself some key questions before speaking with a client.

For instance, ask yourself the following question: “Does this pain point, desire or presentation make sense?” This will tell you if your client believes in what you are offering them and how it will benefit them. Consequently, refine your message until your audience more readily concurs with it.

6. “Filler words”

Word choice can have a major influence on confidence levels. Some phrases may bolster your self-assurance, while others may make you appear less certain of yourself.

One phrase that can have this effect is the phrase, “filler words.” Filler words refer to those unimportant, minor words and phrases found in conversations. While they don’t add any depth or understanding to your statement, they do serve a purpose: they give you a moment of pause to consider what comes next.

These words are typically employed in casual conversations, but they can have an unfavorable impact when speaking publically. Not only do they sound uncertain or unprepared, but they may even distract your audience by distracting them with unnecessary details.

To eliminate filler words from your speech, try these techniques. First, practice replacing them with pauses:

If you find yourself using filler words when prepping for a presentation, consider planning transitional phrases like “let’s move on to…” or, “excellent.”

Another tip is to direct your attention towards your listener when speaking. Staring into someone’s eyes makes it much harder for them to use filler words.

If you want to learn more about filler words and how to avoid them, download our guide on this topic now! It’s packed with helpful advice that can make your writing and speaking more effective! Click here for instant access.