10 words and phrases to stop saying in 2021

It’s most likely secure to say that few individuals had been unhappy to go away the “unprecedented” 2020 behind. Whereas it supplied a brand new perspective on life in common, it additionally left a long-lasting influence on lots of the words we selected in our communications. The 12 months minimized and diminished our decisions, and it’s vital not to go into 2021 with a vocabulary that perpetuates the expertise, says Terre Quick, management coach and writer of The Words We Choose: Your Guide to How and Why Words Matter.

“Selecting the best words has by no means been extra vital,” she says. “With racial injustice, and a battle with reality and actuality and an absence thereof, we’re extra in tune with one another than earlier than. 2021 has to be about phrase decisions. By leaving diminishing words behind and selecting words which can be extra impactful and inspirational, we will change the end result of 2021, creating a way more hopeful, proactive path ahead.”

To offer steerage, Quick created a listing of 10 words and phrases to go away behind:


1. If

“If” casts doubt and is obscure; it could simply get replaced with “when” in most circumstances. “We spent 2020 questioning if we might ever do sure issues once more, like be in a crowd, shake fingers, or hug,” says Quick. “We will(*10*) do these issues, and we should begin talking in phrases of when. ‘If’ comes from a spot of burden and apprehensiveness. ‘When’ is hopeful. We had sufficient uncertainty in 2020 to final a few years. It’s time for us to make certain.”

2. I Assume

Utilizing a justifier like “I feel” introduces uncertainty. For instance, a frontrunner could inform their workforce, “I feel we’ll be doing higher in the subsequent quarter.” “Leaders are getting paid to know,” says Quick. “Once we say ‘I feel,’ we insert doubt and counsel a insecurity, data, and possession. Take away ‘I feel’ and proceed with no matter comes subsequent. You venture extra confidence if you personal the message.”

3. Simply

“Simply” is the good minimizer when used as an adverb, says Quick. It means “barely” or “solely,” particularly if you’re referring to your self or your place. “‘Simply’ brings no worth to an outline,” she says. “Saying ‘I’m simply the executive assistant’ nicks away at your sense of self and minimizes your contribution in the eyes of one other particular person.”

4. Sufficient

Whereas there are occasions when sufficient is okay, we don’t want to accept sufficiency in 2021. We’d like experiences the place we’re busting out past sufficient. “‘Sufficient’ affords a way of mediocrity, assembly in the center,” says Quick. “It limits you, and 2021 can’t be about that. We would like greater than sufficient.”

5. Ought to or Have To

If you select words equivalent to “ought to,” you counsel an obligation or burden, says Quick. “We often say this to ourselves,” she says. “For instance, ‘I ought to do that.’ ‘Have to’ is comparable. As a substitute, use the phrase ‘I get to.’ It comes from a spot of gratitude for the trouble and strikes away from the burden.”

6. May

Individuals need readability and accountability, and including the phrase “would possibly” in your messaging doesn’t present both, says Quick. “It jogs my memory of Yoda saying, ‘Do or don’t. There isn’t any strive,’” she says. “‘May’ comes from a spot of apprehension. Take into account why that’s. In case your apprehension serves no goal, step right into a extra assertive phrase alternative, equivalent to ‘I’ll’ or “We are going to.’”


7. Fairly

“Fairly” is one other adverb that diminishes your message and is pointless. For instance, you would possibly say, “I’m fairly positive we’ll hit that objective.” “In 2021, we’d like to get past hedging,” says Quick. “In case you are uncertain, you might be higher off clarifying the diploma of uncertainty as a substitute. Say, ‘I’m 75% sure we’ll hit our objective.’”

8. However

The phrase “however” derails a message and severs no matter comes earlier than it. Substitute “however” with a greater joiner—”and.” “After I supply ‘and,’ I’m extending the dialog and transferring ahead collaboratively,” says Quick. “‘And’ means we’re transferring collectively in a optimistic route.”

9. There’s nothing I can do about it

If you use this phrase, you might be throwing up your fingers and selecting to be a sufferer. Resilience, alternatively, is discovering what you possibly can management and reframing a state of affairs. “In 2020, we realized we had been able to reframing absolutely anything, from how we work to the place we work,” says Quick. “If you say, ‘There’s nothing I can do about it,’ you insert an absence of management. As a substitute, deal with what you are able to do.”

10. You don’t perceive

If you inform somebody, “You don’t perceive,” you restrict entry and openness to one other perspective. “We’ve all had our personal distinctive previous experiences, or you might assume you realize higher,” says Quick. “This phrase serves no goal. As a substitute, transfer ahead and open up to the potential that exists in 2021. Invite one other particular person’s perspective. It’s our collective understanding and experiences that may propel us ahead.”

Eradicating the Words

Acknowledge your self in any of those words and phrases? Quick recommends selecting the highest two or three which can be a part of your lexicon and commit to leaving them behind.

“It might consequence in just a little stuttering and stopping your self as your speak,” she says. “Don’t be afraid to observe a pause. It slows you down. In 2021, we may all use just a little extra pausing. When you’re intentional together with your phrase decisions, you abandon the minimizing and limiting of your potential and symbolize your self as assured and sure. You may encourage others.”