How to Use Confident Language to Guarantee Your Success

Filed in Living by on October 16, 2014 3 Comments

If you’ve read many of my posts then you know that I believe the words we choose when we talk to others, and ourselves (our so-called “inner dialogue”), are very powerful. Much of our attitude and behavior is shaped by how we talk and think. Choose the wrong words and you are likely to be depressed and unmotivated. Use more upbeat language, and you will generally be cheerful and filled with energy and enthusiasm.

In no situation is language more important than when setting and pursuing a new goal. If you use weak and waffling words to describe your upcoming effort, you have already doomed yourself to failure. I think this is unfortunate, so here are some ideas to make you more aware of how your words can undermine your otherwise well-intentioned efforts.


Here is the type of language that sabotages a new goal:

“I was thinking about going back to finish my degree.”

“I am going to try to lose a few pounds.”

“I’m hoping to get promoted at work.”

“I wish I had a girlfriend.”

What do all of these statements have in common? They are dreams, rather than specific goals, and, quite honestly, they reflect the language of losers.

So what is the language of winners? To reliably and consistently achieve your goals you must talk and think about them in a way that shows you completely believe in them and yourself. Anything less, and you are sowing the seeds of failure. It’s just human nature: if we give ourselves an “out,” then when the going gets a little tough most of us will bail. If failure is simply not an option, we are much more likely to see things through to success.

The following are examples of how winners describe their goals—the language of belief, confidence (actually, certainty), and action:

“I’m going to finish my degree. In fact, I registered for two classes yesterday.”

“I’ve decided to lose 10 lbs. I’m going to diet hard and get it done in the next 3 weeks. Once I’ve accomplished this, I will look and feel much better.”

“I’ve set as a goal to make manager at work within the next two years and I’ve already talked to my boss about what skills I need to develop to be promoted. I’m really psyched—this is going to happen.”

“I absolutely will find the girl of my dreams. I’m going to keep asking girls out and dating until I find ‘the one’.”

Whatever your goals and aspirations, adopt the language of winners when discussing them with others and in your internal self-talk. If you do, you will be rewarded with the life you before only dreamt about.

About the Author ()

TIM MCINTYRE retired in 2004 from his position as president of Applied Systems after facilitating a successful sale of the company. At only forty-six years old, he made the unusual decision to fully retire to pursue other interests and simply enjoy free time. As a hard-driving Type A personality, this turned out to be a significant challenge for the Notre Dame and University of Chicago-educated MBA, CPA, and Certified Cash Manager.

Comments (3)

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  1. Tim McIntyre says:

    That’s overconfident! 🙂

  2. Tina Thompson says:

    I am going to enjoy the hell out of my weekend by:
    – Drinking a fine bottle of red wine
    – Hugging my kids more than I yell at them
    – Eating chili while watching the Bears win
    – Drinking another fine bottle of wine.

    How is that? 🙂

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