Communication is everything. You communicate with people to hire you, give you admission to that school, follow the rules in the place you work, order your hamburger, give you money, take your money, save your money. The list goes on forever, but know that communication is, and always will be, a huge part of your life.
One of the most important things to remember is the way you communicate about yourself, your dreams, what you have to offer, and anything else about you. Communication tips and successful models are everywhere, but here are three words you need to stop saying immediately to get you started.
“Just”, defined as simply; only; no more than, gives whatever word it is followed by a lesser value and a negative connotation. On your path to accomplishing your dreams, you belong in the moment you are in. Too often we convince ourselves that we won’t be great or successful until we have graduated, or we get our first job, or whatever. We communicate this by using the word “just”. “I am just a student at ______ University.” Are you kidding me!? Do you know how many people applied to that school? Do you know how many people who would do anything to be at that school, with the leadership position you have, and where that degree and experience are going to take you? Completing your education is not a simple task, it takes countless hours studying, writing, reading, and more. With rising tuition costs you have most likely had to pick up a job or two to help pay for it all.
You are not “just” going to school. You are a student completing your degree at a University! You are not “just” an intern. You are an intern, and that means something! You are pursuing experience and knowledge in a company environment that will be a large foundation for your career. If you look at it as a simple experience, you will only gain simple lessons. View the moment you are in as valuable and you will learn even more valuable lessons! Don’t ever let anyone introduce you as “just” anything, and you better not do it yourself.
“Only”, defined as and no one or nothing more besides; solely or exclusively, is just as bad. Saying you are “only” communicates that whatever followed, is all you are. That is it. There is so much more to you than a title a job could give you, own that! You mean something and the word “only” takes away so much from you. Do not allow others to claim you are “only” one thing. The part you play on your team is important, your job with the company is important, and don’t let anyone take that away from you.
Maintain your perspective, there won’t always be someone there to help point out the long-term impacts that your role or actions have. Make connections from your now to your tomorrow, and you won’t be tempted to downplay your position or work ever again.
Hope is not a strategy. It does not set you up for success, give you tools to be great, or help you start. Hope is defined as want something to happen or be the case, and is one of the weakest verbs anyone can utter. Hope robs individuals of commitment to act, it gives the impression of waiting. I understand “hope” is similar to having a positive attitude, but if you are describing yourself as “I hope I get that A” or “I am hoping to get that promotion.” Then you are counting on the good graces of others to assume you are working your tail off for it, which more times than not they aren’t. Communicate the commitment you have, and be more active in the words you choose to describe your actions. “I am working hard at earning my degree” sounds so much better than “I hope I graduate!”.
Words are important, especially in the way that you describe yourself. Be mindful and intentional in how you communicate with others, because they cannot read your mind! Potential supervisors, clients, spouses, partners, and more. The world needs you to tell them it great you are, don’t settle for average language or that is all you will become.