Are You Destroying Your Own Confidence By Saying These 6 Sentences?

Catherine Pratt

You can inadvertently destroy your own confidence with these common sayings.

You could be inadvertently destroying your own confidence by the sentences you use.

You work so hard on building your confidence by thinking positive thoughts, learning new skills, and basically working on feeling good about yourself.

But, today I want to talk about some sneaky habits you may be doing that you don't even realize are destroying your confidence. These habits are simply sentences you say without even thinking about them. They're so ingrained in your mind that you say them without truly realizing the consequences.

Here are 6 sentences which you probably don't realize are damaging your self-confidence.

1. Saying "I'll do it later" - Putting Things Off

You probably say this with the best of intentions but I would bet most of the time you find that later never comes. Or later comes and you put it off yet again.

The most common reason for saying this is because you think you'll feel more like doing the task later. But if you don't feel like doing it now, rarely will you feel more like doing it in the future.

Another reason so many of us fall into this trap is because when you say, "I'll do it later" it instantly makes you feel better. It's like, "Wow, what a relief. I don't have to do that task anymore. I'm free of it. For now anyway." That's why it's so tempting to do this.

In some cases, there is a valid reason for putting something off. You might need additional information for example. But, in most cases, by saying you'll do it later really means you're never going to do it until you're forced to do it because of a deadline.

Or if it's a dream you want to work on and there is no 'deadline', the deadline is going to end up being you on your death bed wishing you'd gone after your dreams instead of constantly putting it off.

A slight variation to this is saying, "I don't have time for this".

Whenever you say you don't have time for something, what you're really saying is you don't want to do it. Or it's not a priority for you.  So, at this point, become aware of why you're really saying this. Is it really not a priority for you? Is it something you'd be better off making the decision not to do? Or is this the moment you change a habit and make the decision to make the time for it?

Remember, you choose how you spend your time. Choose wisely.

If you don't make a conscious decision and keep putting it off, all the time you're putting it off, you're wearing yourself down by having it churning in the back of your mind knowing you have to deal with this task at some point. Or you'll feel guilty that you're not doing it or even frustrated with yourself that you can't seem to get past this procrastination. You just feel stuck.

All very emotionally draining. It will also erode your confidence because you know you're allowing procrastination to win over doing something that would lead you towards living to your full potential.

It'd be better to work on whatever task you've chosen for at least ten minutes so that you can see at least some progress being made. Often if you can see that it's already partially done, it's easier to get yourself to finish it off.

Or, if you keep putting it off, do you really need to do it? Sometimes you need to make the tough decisions to actually let things go and not do it. You need to stop working on those things that don't matter and aren't leading you in the direction you want to go. But, you won't be free of the nagging thought in the back of your mind until you make that decision.

There can also be other emotions happening behind your procrastination. Psychology Today has a good article on "Procrastination: The Illusion of Freedom". This article is targeting at getting your teen to stop procrastinating but the same emotions affect all of us.

If you can understand the reasons behind your procrastination, it's far easier to overcome it.

Procrastination can also be due to feelings of anxiety which aren't always readily apparent.  So, if you're feeling resistance when you think about working on a task, it could be a sign of anxiety. The article, Is Your Procrastination Due To Anxiety, provides suggestions on how to determine if this is why you're procrastinating as well as a powerful technique to deal with it.

Albert E.N. Gray Quote.

2. Saying, "Just For A Minute" - Being Easily Distracted

Don't let distractions prevent you from living your dream life.

Unless you're a monk living by yourself in a cave, you're going to be tempted by thousands of different temptations every single day.

It's very easy to tell yourself, "I'm just going to check Instagram for a minute" or any other social media site. Or even the news. They're all designed to be addictive so you'll end up suddenly realizing hours have passed when you only intended to do it for a couple of minutes.

It's easier if you remove as many of the distractions as you can. I've turned off my email notifications for one and I find that simple action has helped me to tremendously to be able to remain focused longer.

But you could also set a timer for a specific amount of time and be strict with yourself that when the timer goes off, you go back to work.

Another important key to success is to create a vision for yourself.

Know who you want to be and what type of life you want to be living. Know your core values and then make rules for yourself to live by them.

As James Clear says, "If you never decide on a vision for your life, you’ll often find yourself living someone else’s dream. Adopting someone else’s vision as your own—whether it be from family, friends, celebrities, your boss, or society as a whole—is unlikely to lead to your personal dream. Your identity and your habits need to be aligned."

Once you become clear on your personal vision, it'll be far easier to avoid the distractions. You'll have a purpose and that will become more important to you than the idle distractions.

Be ruthless with distractions. Multi-tasking and jumping from thought to thought leads you into a fractured state of mind. Not only will it make you more stressed and less effective, it'll also erode your confidence and happiness. As soon as you notice you've become distracted, bring your focus back to your vision.

It's also important to become aware of what's distracting you and understand why it's affecting you so much.

Bonus Tip To Be More Productive (courtesy of Daniel Levis)


1) At the end of each workday, write down the six most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow. Do not write down more than six tasks.

2) Prioritize those six items in order of their true importance.

3) When you arrive tomorrow, concentrate only on the first task. Work until the first task is finished before moving on to the second task.
(*I would also add that you should focus on your first task before you check your email or voice mail messages. Make that a rule for yourself.)

4) Approach the rest of your list in the same fashion. At the end of the day, move any unfinished items to a new list of six tasks for the following day.

5) Repeat this process every working day.

* I would add, take a planning day every quarter to get clear on what you want to accomplish in the next 3 months so you can be focused on what tasks need to be completed every day. By planning every 3 months, it also always you to alter your direction if you notice it's going off course and needs a slight correction.

Quote by James Clear

3. Thinking, "What the Hell, might as well..."

Imagine you've been working really hard to eat healthy and to lose weight and you go to your best friend's birthday party with the best of intentions of avoiding all the sugary treats.

What the Hell thinking happens when you decide to have just a bite of the luscious chocolate cake but you end up eating the whole thing and then you're tempted by the muffins and brownies too. So, you tell yourself, "What the Hell, might as well eat what I want. I've blown my diet for today anyway."

As Tony Crabbe says in his book, Busy: How to Thrive in a World of Too Much (#ad),

" 'What the hell' is a dangerous moment for any change effort. Any change involves resisting some form of temptation. We will almost always slip at times, or be 'forced' to act counter to our change plans... The issue that will determine your long-term success is not whether you were 100 percent true to your change plan, but how quickly you got back onto the horse after you fell off."

His suggestion is to be aware that there will be times when you do follow the lure of temptation so you need to have a plan in place ahead of time to get back on track.

By knowing that it's going to happen means you're not going to beat yourself up with guilt or think you're hopeless, you simply know you need to implement your "Get back on track" plan. So, you might decide to call your support buddy to help motivate you back to your goal or you plan ahead of time that for one event per month, you're allowed to eat whatever you want with the rule that the next day you need to go for a longer workout. By planning for it, it's not going to derail you from your goal.

4. Saying, "I'm not sure" or "I'll just take it as it comes" - Being Vague

If you're not really clear what you want to achieve or what you want to do, it's very easy to slip into a drifting mode. If you're in this state then you'll be easily distracted by mindless activities that mean nothing to you or get caught up in other people's dramas.

You might also end up helping other people with their dreams while putting your own on the back burner because you never have time for your own priorities.

The other negative thing that happens when you don't have any purpose for yourself, is that this might be the reason you're feeling bored, restless, and unhappy

When you're vague, you also have no idea if you're making progress or not which can also lead you to feeling very unsettled in your life.

A big part of confidence is being able to see what you've accomplished along the way as well as seeing that you're constantly improving in some way.

But most of all, you're never going to accomplish those things that mean the most to you if you're just drifting through your life. You're going to end up with a life of regret instead.

You need a purpose in your life. Doesn't have to be huge. Just something you're interested in or want to work on.

5. Saying, "I need to get along with everyone" - Allowing others to erode your confidence

It's one thing to know that you need to respect yourself and approve of yourself, it's much harder to do this if you're in an environment where you're constantly being berated or put down. Or if you put your own needs and priorities aside in an attempt to make someone else happy. That's people pleasing and will eventually lead you to feeling resentment, empty and used.

Your confidence can even be depleted by being around people who consistently drain you of energy. The people who whine and complain about all the negative things in the world will suck your energy out of you. You might think you need to get along with these negative people so you don't rock the boat or make waves but at what cost are you doing that?

Be aware of who you're spending time with. Are they bringing out the best in you or the worst in you? Are you attending meetings for causes that don't interest you or motivate you anymore?

Or are you meeting up with people because you're trying to be nice or don't want to hurt their feelings?   Unhealthy Friends, why do we keep them?

Pay attention to the environment you're in. Is it a supporting environment or a depleting environment. You may need to make some tough decisions to let people go so you can keep your own energy levels up and focused.

Norman Vincent Peale quote.

6. Saying, "It'd be the safest thing to do" - Not being willing to take risks

Let's face it, change is terrifying. So, is taking a risk. I mean what if you fail? What if you end up in a worse place than you are right now?  It's something to consider, isn't it?

But, you can over think this and be so determined to keep yourself "safe" that you actually put yourself in a worst place by doing nothing.

As, I discussed in my article, "Why Your Personal Safety Guy Doesn't Want You To Make Any Life Changes", your fear is always going to tell you to take the 'safe' route and do nothing. The familiar, even if you hate it, will often feel much 'safer' than taking a risk for the unknown.

But, it's a false fear. The real fear should be that in a year from now, you're going to end up in exactly the same place as you are right now. 

So, be clear about what you want and then think about how you can take action towards it, even if it's the tiniest baby step imaginable. Just know that if you're stuck or struggling then you need to take action of some kind. One of the best ways to start is to get some fresh ideas to jumpstart your brain into considering what you could do right now to get the ball rolling.

You could read, hire a coach, take a class, or even move. This may mean you have to bump against your comfort zone but keep your focus on the life you truly want to live and it won't seem so bad.

The trick to remember with this one is that you need to keep your focus on what you'll gain, not what you might potentially lose. The human mind is wired to focus on loss so if you instantly start to worry about what might be taken away from you, know that it simply means you need to turn your focus towards what you really want.

A couple more articles with additional ideas to help you are:

John Irving quote

How many of these simple habits are you destroying your confidence with?

So, did you see yourself saying any of these things? We're all guilty of them at some point along the way. The trick is to be aware of the thoughts we think on automatic pilot simply because they've become ingrained within our brains.

Once you gain that awareness of what you're always telling yourself then you can decide if this thought process is helping you or hindering you.

You then have the ability to choose how you want to respond rather than reacting on automatic pilot.

Ask Yourself: If I allow this thought to determine what actions I take, will it help me create the life I want?

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All it takes is 3 Questions

By asking yourself 3 questions, you can gain control over your mind. Instead of letting your emotions decide your actions, you instead use your emotions as a tool to understand why you act and react the way you do. Once you gain that awareness then you then have choice. The choice to decide what is the best course of action for you.

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Strongly agree with #1 
I can't agree with you more about #1. Sometimes, it's hard to gather yourself and take action towards your goals, even with someone pushing you. I didn't …

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