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9 self-confidence killers you should stop telling yourself

Most of us would never speak to another person with the same unkind language our inner voice uses to dole out the harshest of criticisms to ourselves.

So why do we save our roughest reviews for ourselves? If you’re looking to change the tone of the conversations you’ve been having with yourself, here are a few key things you need to stop saying immediately if not sooner.

1. “I’m not good enough”

We’ve all had these thoughts, and we all know that no good can come from them. These self-deprecating thoughts usually come from comparing ourselves to someone we think is good enough — and the key is to just stop doing that. We all have our own unique strengths and weaknesses. The next time you find yourself focusing on your weaker points, redirect those thoughts to your more awesome qualities instead.

More: Is talking to yourself a good thing?

2. “I hate my body”

Be grateful for the things your body is really good at, like dancing, creating life, walking along a beach or carrying your daughter and a bag of groceries at the same time. Your body is beautiful and strong and deserves your love and care. If you want to change the way you look, focus on positive, realistic ways to make small changes that honor your body; don’t just decide you’ll never measure up to some imaginary ideal.

More: Talking to kids about weight: 6 dos and don’ts for moms

3. “It’s too late”

It’s never too late to make your life better. As long as you’re still breathing, you have time to make changes that are important to you. If you haven’t told someone how you feel about them, pick up the phone. If you’re not happy with your life in general, set new goals, and start working on them. If you don’t like your job, consider a new career. Famous singer Susan Boyle had a passion for music her whole life but didn’t make it a career until the age of 48. Julia Child was 36 when she began her cooking career. The only thing it’s too late for is wasting time with excuses, so put an end to that immediately, and take action.

4. “I should have”

Have you ever heard the saying “The past can poison the present”? It basically means that dwelling on things that have already happened will ruin your chance to enjoy today, and it couldn’t be more true. Everyone has memories and regrets that sneak up on them every now and then, but the key is to let them go as quickly as they take hold. The past is in the past, and it can’t be changed, but dwelling on it for too long will keep you from enjoying today.

More: Feeling overwhelmed? 3 steps to take right now

5. “I can’t”

The next time you tell yourself “I can’t” do that, replace it with “I don’t.” It’s not that you can’t exercise more, budget better or anything else, it’s just that you don’t at the moment. Focus on why not, and set yourself free.

6. “I shouldn’t”

If this is your response when you think about trying something new, your next question should be, “Why not?” Stepping outside your comfort zone and trying new things is the only way to expand your horizons and discover parts of yourself you never knew existed. The worst that can happen is that you’ll realize you don’t like something, and that’s valuable information to have too. Then you just have to look for the next new thing to try.

7. “I want to be perfect”

Not possible. There also aren’t unicorns or mermaids. Deal with it.

8. “I don’t have time”

It’s true that we have only a limited number of hours in the day, but if there’s something you really want to do, you can make it happen. If you want to take up a hobby, start an exercise regime or spend more time with loved ones, you can. Take a look at your schedule, re-evaluate your priorities, and make it work.

9. “I give up”

This is one phrase that should absolutely be wiped from your vocabulary forever. If there’s something you want, you should never stop fighting for it. Try harder, try a different way, call in reinforcements. Take a break if you need it, and then come back swinging later. Sometimes the key to achieving your goals is believing you can, so it’s a great place to start.

This post was sponsored by Dove.

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