Four Phrases You Should Avoid

There are a few words or phrases that seem to strike a nerve in everyday speech…c’mon we’ve all got them…

But there are a few in particular that have been standing out to me lately. I’ve heard them in my own speech, in my friend’s words or in conversations with my family members. I see them littering my Facebook page, haphazardly thrown in for a character on television or anyone else looking for a problem versus a solution.

As you read and think you need a review of the language you’re using in your own business, book one here! Enjoy the rest of the blog!

Words like self-love, self-hatred, vulnerability, shame and guilt immediately come to mind when I hear these phrases and it not only breaks my heart but also frustrates me. These phrases are something I have tried to pay attention to in my own thoughts and instill in those around me. I am sure someone famous has said something more eloquent but here’s a little Marin-ism:

What you hear, you repeat.

What you think, you say.

Imagine everything you are saying or hearing is being said to a child. Would you correct it?

If someone were talking to a younger version of YOU, would you want someone to step in?


If you heard a someone being bullied or a friend was feeling down, you would of course step in. So why are you so doubtful and hateful to yourself?

In an airplane you put on your oxygen mask before you help others.

If you’re a parent or spouse, you should be taking alone time to recharge so you don’t check out when your family/spouse needs you.

If you’re offering someone comfort but have none yourself, you’re hurting two people and helping none. You can’t pour from an empty cup.


I encourage you to change the way you’re communicating with others. People will love your honesty and transparency. They understand you are a human and by being shameless and owning your message, you are choosing who you become. You are choosing what type of person people say you are; what type of person they’re respecting.

Take a look at these phrases I’m eliminating from my speech as often as possible. Let me know if they sound familiar.


I can’t.

…be that fit…answer that….do that…because….

I can’t drives me nuts when people use it as an excuse to get out of something. You CAN do, be, say or choose anything; it’s just up to you.

You HAVE time for what you MAKE time for.

There are how many(?) obese people who turned their lives around because they stopped drinking and eating crap and they went to the gym. Instead of fit say healthy.

I can’t be healthy.    Bullsh**.

Your family needs you and there are plenty of people who WISH they had a capable body like you do. Use it. You are smarter than you think and more capable than you seem. If you must say ‘I Can’t’ then say ‘I Can’t Yet’.



I shouldn’t.

…leave early…say anything…go out…

To me, this is more internal. There are numerous times in your life when something happens and you SHOULD tell someone or say something but your mind thinks ‘I shouldn’t.’ In the U.S. this is a huge issue and can be seen as a clear difference between males and females. There are people with answers and secrets tucked away yet something inside of them is saying ‘I shouldn’t share this because…I will be called names/My friends will make fun of me/It will change how my family/friends/co-workers see me.’

How can we possibly share anything with an audience that is constantly shaming you for any decision you make? People will go after anything so do what you feel is right. If you have your work done and can go home, GO HOME. Who cares if you’re the last one in the office day-in, day-out? That’s exhausting, it’s not a badge of honor.

I shouldn’t say anything….Well are you telling or are you tattling? Are you telling a friend about some drama because you ‘need to tell someone’ or is it because you secretly thrive on bringing juicy tidbits to attention? Are you telling a friend the outfit is bad because it’s see-through or because it’s not what you would wear?

If you need to tell more than one person you’re not looking for help; You’re looking for attention.

I shouldn’t go out….if you have some change to spare, go out. Your homework can get done in the morning. Don’t make this a daily lifestyle where you choose alcohol (or insert whatever your vice is) over responsibilities but life is meant to be enjoyed and you deserve some fun.


I should.

…do that…make that…organize this room…clean it out…I should, but…

I used to do this all. the. time. Mostly as a formality or a polite way to move along a conversation. It’s just easier than telling someone you’re not interested or don’t agree. Maybe four out of five times though, I didn’t follow through. By giving people a type of false hope or opening of a possibility, it drags them on. I’ve started politely being open and bluntly honest to save us all time. For door knockers, for salesmen, for whoever that one person is that nags you about that one thing; just do it and do it politely.

Change out ‘should’ with ‘won’t’.

I should clean out this room this weekend but honestly, I won’t so please don’t change your schedule.

I should look into buying this car but honestly I won’t be making a decision. I’ll call you if I’m ever interested.

In some of those interactions there is someone’s payday on the line. PLEASE, for the love of all good things, DO NOT give false hope where there is none. It will make a better surprise in the future than it would a disappointment.

Being candid from the start is better than always backtracking, creating excuses and coming off as flaky down the road.


It is what it is.

An excuse I heard numerous times in the world of a 100% commission Insurance Sales Agent. Not only did this just leave me frustrated, confused and let down but I had no clue what to say back or where to improve.

Now this is just a funny nuisance to hear but when people use it as an excuse to avoid change or use it as an answer, I refuse to accept it. Instead ask “Well, what do you mean by that?” Do they really mean ‘No’ or do they mean that it’s confusing so they’d rather shut it down than get answers to their questions?

Throw in some empathy but offer encouragement. Just because things are a certain way right now does not mean that they will stay that way. (THANK GOODNESS THIS IS TRUE FOR PUBERTY,  RIIIGHHTT?! 😉 

  • Take a minute to be upset. Punch a pillow, bawl your eyes out or write down how much whatever happened sucks. Because super sucky things will happen. These feelings exist because they’re important. Acknowledge them.
  • Think about it. Is there anything that you can change? Is it something you WANT to change? Is it beneficial, harmful, healthy or positive? Great. Then look at how you are going to get there.
  • And Go. Choose the next best step, do the next best thing and just start. If you decide this actually isn’t going to benefit you or isn’t worth changing then find the power in ‘It is what it is’ and move on. Something even better is about to happen.



This makes me cringe when used constantly. I understand this is a simple way to convey empathy to someone for something you truly do feel sorry for, even if it’s not something that you inflicted upon them.

But when you use it consistently, it starts losing it’s meaning. You’re apologizing for your feelings when it’s something that’s accurate? You’re apologizing for your actions but you keep repeating them? You’re apologizing for not being good enough?

Find better speech. Find more accurate things to say and describe what you mean. It will make you feel more confident and it will better share what your intention is. Put the woe-is-me away and bring out the gratitude you want to actually express.

Something about starting off with an apology always puts you in the wrong in the two steps back position when you probably don’t mean to. I would much rather hear ‘Thank You’ than ‘I’m Sorry.’ It leaves all of us feeling better.

I love this image every time I come across it and what better message to leave you with:

replace I'm sorry with thank you


What phrases have you changed up lately? Please share them in the comments with us.




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