Ban These Words from Your Conversation Immediately

Pretty much.

Kind of.

Sort of,

Not really,


I think so.

What does all of that mean? Is it harmless talk? A conversation filler? A way to get out of making a commitment? A fear-based response?

They're not uncommon. We say things like that in everyday conversation without giving it much thought. But unfortunately, these phrases diminish your credibility and they stifle your growth. They mean you're unsure. They mean you're half-assing it. They mean you ain't got this. They're questionable, thoughtless, careless, scattered, and inconsistent. They mean you're sitting on the fence.

If you want your actions to get you where you aspire to be (where you're inspired to be), you need deliberate thoughts and words. The more deliberate your thoughts and words, the more deliberate and on point your actions.

99.9% of deliberateness isn’t good enough. Be 100% deliberate, 100% of the time.

How do you shift into actions that are deliberate, certain, and purposeful - like you got your shit together?

Start with a BIG, "Hell yes!" "No," "In my opinion," or "Let me find out."

Let's get you off the fence.

Not confident?

When you're not confident in yourself, you leave an opening for people to misunderstand you or make assumptions about what you are wanting. To live the kind of life you want to live, you have to be clear about what you want and don't want, how you want to be treated, and what you will or will not tolerate. You must be clear about your desires and deliberate with your words.

Here are some suggestions:

"Absolutely not. That's not what I want in my life."

"No, that doesn't fit into my bigger plan."

"That sounds/looks good, but it doesn't add value to my life."

"Yes, that's what I want."

"If what you're saying is ______, then yes, that's what I want."

"No thanks. I already have plans."

"I haven't given that much thought. Give me some time to consider it."

"No. That's not how I'm going to be treated."

"That sounds interesting, but I'm not ready to commit."

Lacking something (i.e. confidence/time/resources/interest)?

Any answer other than yes or no when it comes to questions about your wants, needs, and qualities reeks lack of confidence. Either you know something or you don't. Either you want it or not. Either you can do it or you can't. If you kind of want it, in my opinion, you don't want it. If you're going to kick ass in business and in life, you have to be bold and confident. Sure and certain. Unwavering.

Try these responses instead:

"Yes! I've been wanting to do that."

"No, that doesn't work for me at this time. I'll reconsider at a later date."

"Let me think about that and get back to you."

"I've learned the basics, but I'm not an expert. I'm open to learning."

"Yes, I can do that."

"No, that doesn't interest me, but I would consider ______."

"My plate is full at the moment."

Unsure or Uncertain?

It's OK to be uncertain. However, you should be open about your uncertainty. If you don't know the answer to something or you're ever unsure, you can still be helpful and build trust by simply offering to find out the answer.

Here are some suggestions:

"I'll find out and get back to you."

"Let me get that answer for you. Give me a moment."

"Good question! Let's figure that out."

"I don't have that information in front of me and I want to ensure you get what you need, so let me get back to you."

Don't have the facts?

There's nothing wrong with not knowing. It's best to be honest whether the conversation is a personal or professional one. One of the worse things you can say to someone when they are soliciting information from you is, "I think so." It helps no one and leaves you looking careless. If you don't have all the facts, you can still save face or maintain professionalism by rephrasing your answer.

Here are some suggestions:

"In my opinion, the best way to ______ is ______."

"It's best to check ______ to be certain."

"I've been wondering the same thing. Let me find out."

"I'm unsure about that. Here's where you can find out."

Being deliberate in conversation - and in life - is doing so consciously. Leaders understand how critical it is to be straight-forward, thoughtful, honest, and transparent. Be deliberate in aligning your thoughts, words and actions so that they're never questionable or assumption worthy.

Until next time,


Wanauma Graham is a creative and lifestyle entrepreneur, author of "Totally Unstoppable", and creator of She's dedicated to helping women work through fear and do something they’ve always wanted to do.