Phrases That Make You Sound Insecure

The whole concept of "fake it till you make it" is a little bit grating if you're not the kind of person who likes to be, well ... fake. Are you really supposed to walk with a strut, smile when you're teeming with anxiety, or "dress for the job you want, not the job you have," even though, of course, in today's work-from-home culture, any job you could dream of probably involves wearing sweatpants? Nope, you do you. Except, if your language is conveying that you're insecure. That bit, you need to try to stop. "If people see you as insecure when they first meet you, you can lose important connections or opportunities," confidence consultant Nick Notas pointed out in his blog. This doesn't mean pretending to be someone you're not, but avoiding certain verbal cues that scream to the world, "I am not worthy!"

The first dead giveaway of insecurity you need to strike from your vocabulary is "sorry" — save that word for when you've truly done something terrible and an apology is appropriate, not in place of other, perfectly acceptable words that mean the same thing. Instead of telling your boss or a coworker, "I'm so sorry I don't have this to you yet," say, "Thank you for your patience as we navigate this project, you will have it by Friday of next week" (via Forbes). And definitely stop saying, "I'm so sorry to bother you." Ask whether now is a good time to talk.

Confident speakers omit these words when they speak

They might seem like short, innocuous words, but saying "maybe," "like," "just," "actually," "usually," and "hopefully" implies you're not sure about what you're saying (via Inc.) "Whether you 'just wanted' to say something or 'just wanted' to stop by someone's office, this phrase diminishes the force of your action by painting your request as an intrusion that you plan to justify later in your statement," noted the women's career blog Fairygodboss. Also, you don't need to preface every opinion you have with "it feels like," or "I think," the blog continued. If you have an opinion, share it with confidence! You're the one speaking, so there's no reason to explain that this idea is yours.

Most importantly, get better at accepting positive feedback. For some reason, whether we're being praised for our ideas at work or complimented on our cute shoes, we're tempted to wave off the kind words with an, "Oh, my idea wasn't that original," or "these shoes? I got them on sale!" But when you're self-deprecating, not only do you exhibit a lack of confidence, but you're actually questioning the credibility of the person who is praising you. So, just say, "Thank you," and if it's from your boss, you might add, "Thank you. I was hoping this was what you were looking for, and I really like it, too!" (via The Muse).