Negative Phrases That Affect Confidence

Negative Phrases That Affect Confidence And Positivity

Updated on July 5, 2024

If you want success and happiness in life, you must scratch negative phrases that affect confidence and positivity. Many phrases, possibly something that we use frequently, may seem harmless. However, some words often affect the way we feel. Repeating such negative phrases might influence our self-confidence, mindset, and positivity.

By nature, all humans have that little voice in our heads that weighs in on everything we say or do daily. Some people ignore such voices or they can control them. But most people let it repeat which makes them feel belittled, demoralised, and just less capable of achieving success. Finally, the result is that they wind up not accomplishing what they want. We all know it is difficult navigating tough times. But experts say there are simple ways to reframe our thoughts and change to a positive attitude, which will lead us to a successful life. According to experts, if you want to think more positively and feel more confident, you must avoid negative phrases that affect confidence and positivity.

11 Negative Phrases That Affect Confidence

  1. I have to do that.
  2. I can’t do that.
  3. I should do that.
  4. Why is this happening to me?
  5. I never should have.
  6. I failed.
  7. If only I had done.
  8. This is too complicated.
  9. It’s not fair.
  10. It’s never going to change.
  11. Never (or “always”)

“I have to do that”

Say instead: “I get to do that.”

Instead of saying “I have to do that”, you can say “I get to do that”. Replacing the small word ‘have’ with ‘to’ will change your attitude positively in a big way. Rather than an obligation, it makes you look at something as an opportunity and responsibility. The task may be unpleasant, but your positive attitude can teach you new lessons and open new doors. This not only reframes a task as an opportunity but also adds an element of gratitude.

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“I can’t do that”

Say instead: “I can try to do that.”

Many people are fearful of failures and they admit defeat before they begin. You should never admit defeat before you have begun because once you feed negativity in your brain, you can not take action. Set up excessively high expectations by telling yourself that you can try. That positivity will make it easier and give you a chance to accomplish your goals.

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“I should do that”

Say instead: “I will do that.” (Or “won’t do,” depending on your mindset).

Drop the controlling word ‘should’ because when you use ‘should’, that puts pressure on you. Be your own decision-maker based on your terms, situations, and mindset. You can say “I will do that” or “I will not do that”. That is your decision.

“Why is this happening to me?”

Say instead: “What am I learning from this?”

When something wrong happens, “why is this happening to me?” is common thinking among most people. This is a thought coming from a sad or upset mind. Instead, if you ask yourself what am I learning from this, that positive thought will lead you to do better things. Instead of complaining, simply find the good in what might be a difficult time.

“I never should have”

Say instead: “Because I did that, I now know.”

When something happens accidentally or beyond imagination, many of us say, “I never should have done this”. We say this because you are thinking about the negative part of the happening. Instead of this, think about the good things that happened and say, “Because I did that, I now know”. Viewing pleasant or even unpleasant past experiences, as lessons learned can change your attitude and help you discover new things about yourself.

“I failed”

Say instead: “This attempt didn’t work.”

When something you tried didn’t turn out the way you expected, you should not say “I failed”. It is not necessary that every attempt will be successful. Failure is part of life. When you tell yourself that you failed, you’re being unfair to yourself. Remember, every failure is a chance to learn from mistakes, and better opportunities will await you. Don’t worry about failures better results are awaiting you. If you look at the stories of successful people, you find that they all faced failures many times in their life.

“If only I had done”

Say instead: Nothing!

Most humans have “if only” moments. “If only I had spoken up,” or “If only I hadn’t answered that way.” By saying this, we are just lamenting and making excuses, but not learning from the past. We should avoid saying ‘if only’ and better to say nothing.

“This is too complicated”

Say instead: “I don’t understand this right now.”

Challenges and tough times are part of life. Tough times can make you stronger. When facing a new challenge, do you immediately tell yourself that “this is too complicated”? If you feed your mind with this kind of fear and negativity, you’ll never get your mind ready to take on the challenge. This way, you are telling yourself that you can’t grow. Instead, you can say to yourself that “I don’t understand this right now.” That gives you the motivation to learn new skills and accept challenges. A growth mindset will give you the confidence to overcome challenges, and the confidence to scale greater heights. 

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“It’s not fair”

Say instead: “I can deal with it, anyway”

Life is not always fair but can feel unfair sometimes. If you repeat the negative mantra to yourself, that will make you feel beaten down. Boost self-confidence and always have a positive attitude to face that perceived unfairness. Learn to overcome obstacles and look for solutions that will get you to where you want to be.

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“It’s never going to change”

Say instead: “I can change the way I approach this.”

Many times you might say or might have heard others say, “it is never going to change”. Maybe your approach to it and your thoughts do not allow you to change something. Put yourself in charge of the situation and say “I can change the way I approach this.” You can surely change it by changing your thoughts about it and your approach to it. To reach your greatest potential you have to build a positive mindset. 

“Never” (or “always”)

Say instead: Avoid absolutes altogether!

Most successful people achieved success in their life because they are able to look at things objectively. If you want success in life, avoid absolutes altogether and take a step back to put things into context.


We all have some negative sides, like dwelling on negative thoughts, negative self-talk, and self-doubt. Everyone experiences doubt and uncertainty, and that is human nature. That voice in our head reinforcing anxious thoughts doesn’t help. Break negative patterns. We must resist patterns of thinking that make us feel low. Swapping out some common negative phrases that affect confidence with ones that have a more positive spin is an easy way to become more confident and become successful in life.

Remember, confidence starts from within and how we feel. The stories and thoughts we choose to tell ourselves often undermine confidence. The above is a glorious reminder of how important it is to reframe our thinking. A simple reframing of those narratives can trick our brains into feeling more confident and facing challenges fearless with a positive attitude and optimism. Change your words and change the world. Scratch negative phrases that affect confidence and positivity and make your life successful.

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References: CNBC

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