If You Want to Shine, Ditch These Three Phrases

You want to be successful. You’ve been reading up on the things that set successful people apart from the pack. You’re ready to adopt the habits that will propel you forward. You’ve got a game plan on how to make it all work and it’s a good one. Awesome! Before you go too far, however, let’s talk. The words you choose to use are as important as the actions you take. If you want to be successful, drop these phrases from your vocabulary:

“I’ll try”

When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone to the world he didn’t say, “Apple is going to try to make this thing work.” He said, “We are going to reinvent the phone.” Saying you’ll “try” is leaving the gate with an excuse already tucked into your back pocket so you’re covered when things go wrong. Believe in yourself and set out with determination. That’s not to say you won’t have to correct your course along the way. Apple’s game-changing device has evolved over the last decade. What Apple released in 2007 has been updated as technology advanced and the market demanded more. You’ll do the same. Set out with conviction. You’ll grow. You’ll adapt. You’ll succeed.

“I’m too busy”

You’ll be hard pressed to find a person who doesn’t boost a full calendar. Between work and personal commitments, we’re all busy. It’s not about being ‘too busy.’ What you really mean is “this isn’t a priority for me right now.” Maybe it’s not. Maybe going back to school for your MBA is not the most important thing on your plate. Maybe writing a book isn’t something you’re willing to place ahead of other commitments. If that’s the case, that’s okay. Really. Just be honest with yourself about it. If it was a priority, you’d make the time to get it done. You’d find the time to get those tasks to the top of your to-do list. Just call it what it is, because accepting the “I’m too busy” excuse is as surefire way to pile stress and overwhelm on your shoulders, and no one needs that.

“I can’t”

I can’t do that. I can’t launch my own business. I can’t write a book. I can’t go back to school. I can’t run a department. I can’t make it into the C-Suite. What do all those phrases have in common? They are rooted in fear and insecurity. Here’s the only “can’t” sentence that has any merit – you can’t succeed if you don’t believe you can. It might be hard. It might take you longer than you’d like. It might require you to learn something new and to stretch. It might be uncomfortable or even terrifying. But you can. Sure, there’s value in being realistic about your skills and talents. You may love making music, but you weren’t blessed with the voice that’s going to rocket you to stardom. That doesn’t mean you can’t learn to play an instrument and sing your heart out as a great hobby, or even a side gig. Being successful at something means being your best, which is not necessarily the same as being the best.