Are You Ready to Simplify Your Life?

Are You Ready to Simplify Your Life?

On Monday, I decided to go and get most of my hair chopped off.

Okay, I may be exaggerating a bit—but that’s what it felt like. After over a decade of having long to super long hair, I was ready to quit dealing with it.

It takes for-freakin’-ever to wash long hair. To condition long hair. To wring out long hair. To dry long hair. To style it, no matter how you do it.

So I went in armed with pictures of gorgeous girls who had lob-style haircuts (that’s short for long bob, apparently) and got my own. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen it!

And I’m already way happier with this lower-maintenance look. Getting my hair cut in a way that’s easier (and faster) to deal with and manage is just one more step in my efforts to simplify.

How I’ve Moved Toward a More Simple Life

Maybe it just means I’ve officially realized I’m actually aging, but I recently decided that life is just too short to spend hours worrying about your hair as I was doing.

Life is also too short for me to choose to feel overburdened by material possessions, or to obsess over what other people have that I don’t.

Life is more fun and enjoyable when there is less to distract me from what’s important and what means the most to me: experiences I treasure and people I love to be around.

I’ve moved toward a more simple life by minimizing clutter, eliminating waste where I can, only buying what I need (when it comes to stuff), practicing gratitude, and appreciating something every day.

I don’t have any use or want for things that complicate life. The latest and greatest tech or gadgets? The few items I have are still working fine, thanks. Furniture I don’t use regularly? There’s nothing wrong with that room that no one goes into being empty. Single-purpose kitchen tools? The worst!

But what’s had a bigger impact on living simply, more than any action I could take (or not take), is my mindset.

That goes back to wanting not, wasting not, finding something to feel happy about every single day, and eliminating one point of stress every single day.

Here’s How You Can Simplify Your Life, Too

If you’re ready to eliminate the complication and find a more peaceful and simple state of being:

Ruthlessly eliminate the clutter in your home. Do what you can to embrace minimalism. If you need inspiration, head over to my friend Cait’s blog. Here are my suggestions for eliminating the clutter and enjoying a cleaner, less chaotic living space:

  • Go through your home one room at a time. Make a goal to sort through all the stuff in one room per week.
  • If you have anything valuable that you’re ready to part with, list it on Craigslist, eBay, or have a yard sale (if you have enough stuff when you’re done going through all your rooms).
  • If you don’t have anything to sell — or simply don’t want to sell your stuff — donate instead.
  • Once you go through all your rooms, give yourself a month or so. Then do it again. Seriously!
  • Consider new house rules to maintain your version of minimalism. Set up a system that prevents clutter from coming in the door at all.
  • Repeat this process at least once per year.

Develop some sort of routine. Being a “DINK” household with independent pets (read: cats), we get to do whatever we want every day. Cool! But having a total lack of a routine can lead to confusion and stress, so it’s important to develop even a bare bones routine to go through each day. Here’s mine:

  • Make up the bed when I get up
  • Work out
  • Have Greek yogurt or fruit smoothie for breakfast
  • Clean clutter and take care of a chore or two before starting my work day
  • Decompress by reading before bed

That’s really only a morning routine and something to relax at the end of the day, but that may be all you need. Just having some sort of system helps to keep things simple because you know what part of your day will entail.

Decline to participate in the consumer rat race. One of the best ways to simplify your life is to avoid getting it crazy and complicated and cluttered in the first place! Ignore what everyone else is doing and focus on you. Align your spending with your priorities, stay attuned to your values, and do things that make you happy.

For me, that means not spending hardly anything on material goods. Most of my expenditures for a month will revolve around:

  • Living expenses (mortgage, insurance, utilities, groceries, gas for the car, pet care)
  • Travel (our current goal is to take 1 big international trip per year and at least 2 smaller, domestic trips; this doesn’t include day trips!)
  • Events or experiences (this month, we bought concert tickets, tickets to a big food festival in Atlanta, and another fun experience I’ll share with you in a few weeks!)
  • Food (yes, we love to dine out, but that’s okay– we try to go to fun restaurants and avoid chains, and we do things like walk the mile to the local bar to grab a drink and watch the Monday Night Football games)

We rarely buy things. That means we have older cars or older laptops. We don’t have much furniture. We don’t have a closet exploding with clothes or shoes (and I only have two pieces of “real” jewelry: my wedding ring and a ring my mom gave me).

Some people find that strange and weird. But I’m happy knowing I’m not tied down by stuff that needs to be maintained, cared for, fixed, repaired, or replaced.

I don’t worry about things. I spend time feeling excited about life’s next adventure instead.

Cultivate the right mindset. Ultimately, simplifying your life comes down to choosing to think a little differently about things. It means not getting caught up in what someone else says is important, as stated above. It also means being able to do you, whatever that means.

For me, it’s being outside, it’s hanging out with the people I enjoy spending my time with, it’s traveling, it’s enjoying a good drink, it’s inhaling a delicious meal and looking for seconds before thinking about dessert.

That’s what enjoy in life, so it’s what I do and I don’t really care what someone else thinks about it.

And it’s appreciating the good stuff. Expressing gratitude for all of it. Choosing happiness every day.

What’s your version of a simple, uncomplicated life? How do you reach it for yourself?

This article was originally published on Common Sense Millennial.

Photo: Nigel Lo / Unsplash

6 Ways to Make Yourself Smarter

6 Ways to Make Yourself Smarter

Think it’s too late to become a brainiac? Think again. Medical science used to think that you were stuck with the smarts you had once you reached adulthood, but modern wisdom says that our brains continue to grow and adapt at any age. Nurture your gray matter and you can make yourself smarter, healthier, and happier—which translates into career success. Here’s how.

1. Protect the smarts you have.

Protect your brain from physical injury by wearing a helmet when you ride bikes, motorbikes, or go snowboarding, and avoid aggressive sports. “The brain is very soft,” says Dr. Daniel G. Amen, author of Making a Good Brain Great, “and the parts involved with memory, learning, and mood stability are especially vulnerable to trauma. Even a so-called ‘minor’ concussion can have long-term repercussions on your brain that may show themselves long after that impact occurred.”

2. Have lots of sex.

“Orgasm is very helpful for the brain because there’s a lot of activity that goes on and then it calms down. It’s like resetting the brain in many ways,” says Dr. Amen. Recent Australian research found that intercourse directly stimulates the production of new brain cells; however, to keep those cells you need to do something intellectually stimulating soon after, so reach for that Sudoku book once your lover starts snoring!

3. Stretch your brain.

Learning new things makes you smarter. The more you exercise your gray matter, the more connections your brain makes. Studying new languages or learning a musical instrument can be excellent activities, but trying anything new has the same effect if you work on it continuously. We’re not talking about watching multiple episodes of Gossip Girl, though: The boob tube is a brain-dead activity, so limit how much time you spend zoning out in front of the box.

4. Exercise your body. 

Increasing your blood flow through exercise will get plenty of oxygen to your brain cells, helping them function more efficiently. A study by the University of Illinois found that people who did 45 minutes of brisk walking a week improved their cognitive speed by 15%.

5. Get enough sleep.

When you’re catching z’s, your brain rejuvenates. Recent research suggests that our brains grow during the sixth and eighth hour of sleep, and that those who get eight or nine hours of sleep are more mentally alert.

6. Don’t cut too many carbs.

A balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables is key. “You may lose weight on low-carb diets, but you’re not going to have that mental edge because your active brain needs a steady stream of energy fueled preferably by complex carbohydrates,” says Dr. Alan Logan, author of The Brain Diet. Eating fruits with dark red and purple pigments such as cherries and blueberries gives long-term brain protection. So eat up and look forward to a long, mentally healthy life.

This article was originally published on Common Sense Millennial.

Photo: Thinkstock

How to Land Your First Client

How to Land Your First Client

Encouraging referrals is the best way to grow your business. However, as a new entrepreneur, to obtain referrals you have to have clients. Getting that first client can be one of the biggest challenges in getting your business off the ground. Fortunately, there are things you can do to entice new clients into hiring you.

1. Get hired by your former boss. 

While this doesn’t work in all cases, many small businesses get their start by turning their former employer into a client. The advantage for you is that your boss knows the quality of your work, and if it was good, he should be willing to hire you. The advantage to your former boss is that often, hiring a contractor is less expensive than hiring an employee.

2. Engage your network.

Tell everyone you know about your business. While your friends, family, and former colleagues may not need your service, they may know people who do and be willing to refer you.

3. Get involved in local and online business networks. 

When done right, with the attitude of helping others and delivering value, meeting people in your business community and through online networks, such as LinkedIn, you can get your business in front of people who will hire or refer you.

4. Collaborate with other businesses. 

If there’s another industry that can collaborate with yours, make connections for the purpose of mutually beneficial referrals. For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, connect with caterers and bands that also work weddings. If you’re a copywriter, connect with graphic, web designers, and printers.

5. Write for trade or association publications. 

Having your article appear where potential clients will read it increases your exposure and credibility. If you’re a virtual assistant for Realtors, write a piece for the local real estate association newsletter.

6. Speak or do trainings. 

Showing off what you know as an expert is a great way to build credibility and garner new clients. Find organizations that target your market and offer to do a training. For example, if you’re a copywriter, offer to do a program on writing great sales copy for your local Chamber of Commerce. Many who attend will decide they’d rather hire someone (you) than do it themselves. Plus, you can sometimes get paid for speaking, adding another revenue source.

This article was originally published on Personal Branding Blog.

Photo: Thinkstock

How to Decode Business Lingo

How to Decode Business Lingo

Have you ever heard a co-worker use terms that sound like code words out of a James Bond movie? Or maybe you tried—and failed—to decipher some of the jargon in a business plan? Well, WORKS put together a glossary of commonly used business terms so you can learn the lingo and move up the corporate ladder.

1. B2B: Business to business

Example: “The presentation outlined more ways that B2B companies can reach suppliers.”

2. B2C: Business to consumer

Example: “Jocelyn preferred working on B2C accounts, because she liked interacting with customers and figuring out how to meet their needs.”

3. C-level: Corporate level 

Example: “At 28, Katarina was the youngest employee promoted to the C-level, but her consistently high performance made her a natural for chief operating officer.”

4. COB: Close of business

Example: “Chloe scrambled to finish the new logo before COB on the East Coast.”

5. Deliverables: Tangible items produced as the result of completing a task

Example: “Once the research team completes their customer surveys, the graphic design department will get to work on the deliverables, including a new brochure.”

6. Deck: A PowerPoint slide presentation (not a deck of cards, as I thought the first time someone used this term) 

Example: “Lauren’s deck showed that sales had improved dramatically during the third quarter, resulting in a hefty bonus for the whole sales department.”

7. Elevator pitch: Quick overview of a project or proposal; short enough that if you and the CEO are riding the same elevator, you can finish your spiel before she leaves

Example: “Anna practiced her elevator pitch until it was just under 45 seconds.”

8. Hard stop: Definitive end to a meeting (usually announced in advance) 

Example: “The CFO announced a hard stop at 3 p.m. so he could make an evening flight to London.”

9. ROI: Return on investment 

Example: “The ROI on the new data management system wasn’t as high as expected, so it was rumored that the program would get dropped.”

10. VC: Venture capital, which is funding for new businesses provided by outside investors

Example: “The new start-up was aggressively seeking VC, so they kept the offices spotless in case potential investors visited.”

This article was originally published on WORKS.

Photo: Thinkstock

6 Not-So-Obvious Resume Mistake to Avoid

6 Not-So-Obvious Resume Mistakes to Avoid

Last week, I received a very interesting resume–and by interesting, I mean I did the whole “blink a few times,” and then reopened the resume to make sure that I was looking at a finished product (yes, it was pretty bad). Although it’s not too often that I come across resumes such as that one, it’s important to realize that whether a resume has the top right-hand corner bitten off, or has minor grammatical errors–both major and minor errors have the potential to hurt your chances of getting the job. I highly doubt that anyone would submit a partially “bit off” resume to an employer they’re serious about, but I decided to compile a list of not-so-obvious resume mistakes to stay away from:

1. Avoid abbreviations.

Unless you want to add “laziness” to your summary of skills, I advise that you avoid all forms of abbreviations.

“Etc., Asst., Assoc.” are just a few I’ve come across. The idea of using abbreviations for the sake of avoiding very long sentences or titles is understandable–however, you’re conveying laziness and a lack of professionalism through your writing. Save abbreviations for your own personal note-taking.

2. Avoid using generic resume lines with no purpose.

So, there are two common resume lines, which I’m sure many of you have seen or even used:

“Objective” and “References Provided Upon Request”

Now, although both seem like they’re necessary, they’re actually not. It’s one thing to include something in your resume with a very direct and meaningful purpose, and then it’s another to include something, because everyone else is doing it.

Objective

If you’re certain that you’d like to include an objective, make sure that the objective is related to what you’re applying for. Here’s an example of a good versus bad objective:

Objective: To continue to provide services to improve the under-served communities of New York City, specifically those living with and are affected by [X,Y & X]

Objective: To obtain an entry level position and use my skills to grow in a company. 

References Provided Upon Request

As fancy as this may sound, it’s just the equivalent of stating “Willing to interview upon request”–it’s pretty much just stating the obvious. Employers are not going to look at this statement and think “References?! We’ve got a winner here, folks!” In fact, reference checks will be conducted no matter what. However, your approach to providing references can be different. Rather than waiting for them to eventually ask, perhaps you can provide a separate page including your top professional references when called to come in for an interview.

3. Be consistent with everything…literally.

If you’re going to bold the names of all of your employers, make sure to bold all of them. If you’re going to italicize your position title, italicize all of them. If you’re going to align your dates of employment eight spaces after your employer name, then make sure to align all of your dates eight spaces after your employer name. You get my drift.

4. Avoid “too much” or “too little” information.

As I had previously stated in my post “Overcoming the Struggle of Interviewing,” make sure to tailor your resume to the position you’re applying for. If you’re submitting your resume to an Informatics Specialist position, including your previous experience as a Sales Associate won’t be very significant. You want to keep your resume very direct and straight to the point–you don’t want the person reviewing your resume to feel like they’re reading chapter one of your autobiography. But, don’t forget important information, either. If you have any volunteer or membership experience relevant to your position of interest, make sure not to forget it–regardless of how long your experience was. Still, make sure you keep your resume to one page. No acceptions.

5. Avoid using “periods” if you’re not using complete sentences.

Here is an example below:

  • Every quarter, I provide the Vice President of Human Resources an excel spreadsheet specifying the number of hires within each department. [period]
  • Provide quarterly recruitment reports to the Vice President of Human Resources [no period]

Notice the difference between the two lines? Remember, periods are meant to be used at the end of complete sentences.

6. Pay attention to your grammar tense.

I’ve come across many resumes where candidates forgot to use the correct tense in the descriptions of their previous positions. Remember, if you’re no longer working for the employer, use past tense.

Here’s an example below of a description for a current responsibility versus a past responsibility:

  • Current: Managing the dental office budget and approving supply requisitions
  • Past: Managed the dental office budget and approved supply requisitions

When in doubt, use past tense in all of your descriptions–as long as you make sure to remain consistent throughout your resume.

Don’t forget to have someone review your resume to something you may not have. It’s quite surprising how easy it is to forget even the simplest of things…

Photo: Ed Gregory / Stokpic

Your Ultimate Halloween Party Playlist

Your Ultimate Halloween Party Playlist

Maybe I’m just a fan of any occasion that gives you an excuse to dress up and eat candy, but in my mind, there’s no better holiday than Halloween. Flickering jack-o-lanterns, bowls of candy corn, elaborate costumes—there’s nothing quite like it. If you’ve gotten to the age where you can’t exactly go trick or treating without your neighbors giving you weird looks, consider throwing a Halloween bash this year. Have everyone come in costume, serve up some DIY caramel apples, and turn on Levo’s Ultimate Halloween Party Playlist.

Photo: Thinkstock

My Power Outfit: New York Assemblywoman

My Power Outfit: New York Assemblywoman

Name:

Nily Rozic

Job title/company:

Assemblywoman, New York (Nily calls herself the Leslie Knope of Queens)

Brief description of what you do in your role:

At 28, I am the youngest woman serving in the New York State Legislature. I sponsor and pass legislation to better the lives of my constituents. Locally, I work hard every day to make government more responsive and provide the highest quality of service and advocacy for my community. No issue is too small to solve!

What are you wearing?

I woke up like this. But really:
Blazer: LOFT
Dress: Banana Republic
Shoes: J.Crew
Hair: Stephanie at Creative Cuts
Bag: Madewell

My Power Outfit: New York Assemblywoman 

Why does it make you feel powerful?

It expresses who I am as a young woman but also feels professional and put together. It’s straightforward and comfortable enough that I can focus instead on what I do every day and the long list of issues to tackle, bills to pass, neighbors to meet, and events to attend.

Any advice for women dressing for a career in politics?
Always bring a blazer. Look professional, but approachable. I’m always on the go, so versatility, fit, and comfort are key both in and out of the office. Overall, appearance should reflect your work and career. If your job requires you to talk to the public on a regular basis, make an effort to look a bit like them. Use it to communicate your ideas and power.

Photos: Sam Teich / Levo League

What Does Diversification Actually Mean?

What Does Diversification Actually Mean?

When it comes to investing, you’re likely to run into a lot of jargon. If you’re at all like I was three years ago, you may find your eyes glaze over when you see terms like diversification and allocation. I certainly felt like it was a completely different language! However, after taking a little time to read around these terms, I was encouraged to find that investing concepts are not as complicated as they may seem at first.

To help you get more comfortable, I’m going to demystify some terms, starting with the word diversification. So, what does it mean to be diversified and why does it matter?

Spread the Love

At its simplest, diversification is about not putting all of your eggs in one basket. I came up with a silly example to show why this is so important. Let’s say you have all of your money invested in commercial airline stocks such as United Airlines (UAL) and American Airlines (AAL).

Now imagine that a totally new form of transportation is invented with the result being that no one uses commercial air to get from one place to another. If that were to happen, airline companies’ stock value would decrease dramatically and you would lose a lot of money because you had all your money invested in one industry that became obsolete.

It All Comes Down to Risk

Conversely, when your investments are diversified you’re less likely to lose all of your money. Diversification can mean investing in different industries, different countries, different currencies and different investment vehicles. If something happens in one industry or country, you won’t be as devastated because it’ll hopefully only affect a small percentage of the investments you own. Diversification can mitigate and remove a lot of unnecessary risk from your plate.

Don’t Forget Allocation

As above, a lower risk, more diversified portfolio can be achieved by investing in a range of different investment vehicles such as stocks, bonds, and cash. This is referred to as asset allocation.

Cash is the least risky of the three asset classes because it doesn’t really increase or decrease in value, other than as a result of inflation. However, it doesn’t attract high returns. Stocks are typically the most risky of the asset classes–it’s possible to generate both high returns, and big losses–and bonds fall somewhere in the middle. Generally, bonds and stocks move in opposite directions in the market. In other words, when stock prices go up bond prices typically fall and vice versa (however, they can also rise together). This is why your asset allocation is another important aspect of diversification. Your asset allocation allows you to determine a risk profile that you’re comfortable with in the context of your personal circumstances.

So, in summary, having a mix of stocks, bonds, and cash in addition to investing in different countries, markets and industries is a great way to mitigate risk and create a diversified portfolio. Most investors can’t afford to achieve diversification by buying up lots of individual stocks and bonds, so mutual funds present a cost-effective means to do so. You can read more about this in another of my articles, How I Fell in Love with Index Funds.

This article was originally published on gogirlfinance.com.

Photo: Thinkstock

The Brief: Your Thursday Boredom Buster

The Brief: Reese Witherspoon Is Going ‘Wild’

The Brave Ones

Last night Glamour Magazine recognized three amazing women at the International Women’s Media Foundation’s Courage in Journalism Awards: Arwa Damon, Solange Lusiku Nsimire, and Brankica Stankovic. These women have jobs in journalism that require them to live in places where their lives are threatened every day by bombs, shelling, and being kidnapped. For example, Nsimire works in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), perhaps one of the most volatile countries in Africa when it comes to human rights. But still, she persists. “I’m really happy and satisfied when I publish,” Lusiku Nsimire told the non-profit Frères des Hommes last fall. “I continue this commitment in the press — I am here to denounce [and] demand like a sentinel watches.”

Editor in Chief Cindi Leive commended them when she said, “As a magazine editor in the United States, I feel incredibly lucky to be able to live and work in a place where we have so many freedoms, and no matter the many emotions I might experience on a given day at Glamour, I’m never afraid to do my job. These women don’t have that luxury. I’m just awed by their courage, bravery, and optimism that if they continue to report the stories, the world will ultimately listen.” As are we.

Gimme a Break for Reals

You’ve had a really productive two hours. You were just busting through emails, writing that report, and analyzing that data. It’s like you’re running your own think tank over here! So now you deserve a short break. So you will online shop a little, oh and you wanted to text your friend about drinks tonight, oh and you need to read that article your dad sent you. In other words, you aren’t really taking a break and this could hurt your career. A new study out of the University of Texas shows taking a study break can actually help you retain new information. So take a clean, hard stop in between your work sessions. Go for a walk or get a coffee or just meditate for a couple minutes. The researchers think reflecting gave people a chance to make mental connections, better facilitating the absorption of new data. Here are six other tips to help you focus during the day. 

Going Against Type

Who here doesn’t love Reese Witherspoon? Her characters have been entertaining us for years. From the perky and hyper Tracey Flick in Election to the perky and sweet Elle Woods in Legally Blond (the first one; we’re still trying to forget the second one) to the perky, positive, and wise June Carter Cash in Walk the Line. Which is why her next film, Wild, may be a bit of a shock to audiences. She plays Cheryl Strayed (who wrote the book the film is based on), a woman who has found herself completely lost and depressed so she decides to do something about it: hike the 1,100 mile Pacific Crest Trail alone (totes logical). Bruiser Woods, we aren’t in Beverly Hills anymore.

Yes, this is a different type of role for Reese that critics are saying could earn her an Oscar nod and even be her own ‘McConnaisance’ (hopefully she won’t have to do those weird Lincoln commercials though). Reese is thrilled to be putting a dynamic, female character on the big screen, a rarity in Hollywood. “Other than one studio, literally one, nobody was developing anything with a female lead,” Witherspoon told The New York Times.  So in 2012 she started a production company, Pacific Standard, focused on fixing this issue. Their first project was a little film you may have heard of called Gone Girl and the second is Wild. You go, Reese.

Hillary Clinton is Vogue-ing again

It really is throwback Thursday. Rumor has it Hillary Clinton is doing another Vogue cover (here is the first one she did). Apparently Hillary and Anna Wintour were just hanging out at the Michael Kors studio looking at some clothes. Of course, Vogue says it was merely a social call and they’ve got “no plans for a cover,” but we aren’t buying it. Do you think Hillary should do another cover?

Happy National Candy Corn Day!

Now we at Levo have basically been acting like every day in October is National Candy Corn day, but this is the real deal. According to polls, people either really love candy corn with a passion or hate it with a vengeance. In interesting candy corn news, while almost half of candy corn consumers eat the whole piece at once, 43% start with the narrow white end, according to a survey by the National Confectioners Association. And 10%, those who really walk on the wild side, begin eating the wider yellow end first. Go eat some!

Levo Loves…Amy Poehler’s brand new book Yes Please. For a sneak peek at the book and some amazing (and ridiculously funny) insights check out our interview with the fab lady!

5 Language Hacks to Turbo Charge Career

5 Language Hacks to Turbo Charge Your Career

This article was written by Brittany Arthur.

My 80 year old German neighbor causally changed my life one winter afternoon over coffee and cake. He said, “Give great attention and action to the small things. People who can’t do that are foolish to think they will act when it’s their time for the big things.” Klaus was a physicist and committed his entire life to studying one–just one–particular atom structure.

This is more true for how we think about our careers. Your message and contribution in the world is too important to not take seriously. The new world of work needs you to be your most creative and fearless self. And it starts with the little things, your day to day language.

1. Unnecessary Apologies

“Sorry for bothering you…”
“Sorry for the silly question…”

“Sorry for cancelling the meeting last week” is a necessary apology. However, the two
examples above are not. Unnecessary apologies create an immediate power distance in the relationship. Your dialogue suggests that you SHOULD be sorry. Skip them completely. Start your sentence where the apology would end.

Here’s Better Option:
“I’d really appreciate your take on this situation. When is a good time to come back to you?”
“I’ve come up with 3 ways to approach this question and I’d love to know which one you’d go with.”

2. Words that Reduce You

“I’m just writing to….”
“I’m just thinking off the top of my head…”

Using words that discount your credibility position you as person who distances themselves from commitment and accountability. As you’re reading this, that’s obviously not you. If you can’t commit to a clear sentence, how can you commit to a new project or a promotion?

Here’s Better Option:
“I’m excited to let you know…”
“I think…”

3. Unnecessary Validation

“Do you know what I mean?”

Unnecessary validations confirm that you’re not being clear. They often stem from a lack of confidence either in yourself or in your message. That’s no way to position yourself for a promotion or to a new client. Instead, make clear statements.

Here’s Better Option:
“Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions”
“Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.”

4. Phrases that Play You Down

“I’m no expert but…”
“You probably know more about this than I do…”

Not only are you telling the world that you’re not enough, you’re telling yourself you’re not enough. You are enough. Owing your words is owning yourself.

Here’s a better option:
“I’m grateful I finally get to tap into your expertise. Do you have a minute?”
“I respect your opinion in this field. Can you share with me how you’d approach this
situation?”

5. Hiding behind broad opinion

“Does everyone think taking this direction is in our long term interest?”
“Perhaps some people may not support new campaign?”

Questions are powerful tools when used responsibly. You may think you’re sounding
diplomatic or non-confrontational, but you’re not. You’re being vague and missing out on a great opportunity to share your ideas.

Here’s a better option:
“I think this is a great way to achieve our long term goals.”
“I’m concerned that this campaign is too technical and our original message isn’t begin clearly conveyed.”

Language is the path to exploring a part of yourself you’ve never known. Don’t let it sit inside of you dormant. It’s a part of you. Connect with it. Use it. Share it. Create an incredible life in the process.

Now go and share your message from the tree tops.

This article was originally published on ChelseaKrost.com.

Photo: Thinkstock