4 Self-Limiting Statements You Must Stop Saying Today

#1. Stop saying, “I didn’t have time.”

Everyone has enough time. Refusing to accept reality is belligerent insanity.

Two reasons you say, “I didn’t have enough time.”:

You over-estimate your talent and abilities. A dose of humility might help your tendency to over-commit.

People-pleasing drives you to say yes when you should say no.


Set appointments with tasks.

The next time you say yes to a task, open your calendar and schedule dates and times when you’ll work to complete that task. Treat a task-appointment like an appointment with a person.

#2. Stop saying “We,” when you mean, “You.”

“We” is inclusive and humble when it reflects sincere intention. But “How are WE going to get this done?” is manipulative when you don’t plan to help.

“What could WE do about that?” is evasive and weak when the accurate response is, “What could YOU do about that?”

Warning: “We” opens the door to reverse delegation.

#3. Stop saying, “What do you think?” when you aren’t seeking input.

“What do you think?” engages others when it’s sincere but creates disillusionment when you don’t listen.

Protect yourself from obligation by generating three options. Three options is a decision. One option is an obligation.

#4. Stop saying, “I’ll do it myself.”

Two-year olds say, “I’ll do it myself,” to affirm their identity, but’s it’s deadly for leaders.

The more you work alone, the less successful you are as a leader.

Learn to say, “Yes,” when people offer help. You tell people they don’t matter when you reject their help.

Do it yourself when:

You are the ONLY person with the authority to complete the task. If this happens regularly, it’s time to delegate authority.

The task rarely comes up, you know how to do it quickly, and it’s not worth training someone else to do it.

What might you add to the stop-saying list?

Which of the above statements seem most relevant to you?

Bonus material:

How Strong Leaders Ask For Help (Forbes)

11 Things Smart People Don’t Say (Entrepreneur)

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