Stop Undermining Your Ideas Before You Suggest Them

Stop Undermining Your Ideas Before You Suggest Them

This may be stupid, I don’t know, but tell me if you’ve ever started pitching an idea the way I started this sentence. If you’re in the habit of putting down your ideas before you even suggest them, try to cut that habit.

Photo by Andrés Nieto Porras.

As business blog Entrepreneur points out, when you begin your pitches by immediately undermining your own ideas, the only thing you’re accomplishing is displaying a lack of confidence. You’re pitching this idea for a reason. Own it. Let the idea be judged on its own merits, rather than sabotaging it with your presentation:

These overly passive phrases instantly erode your credibility. Even if you follow these phrases with a great idea, they suggest that you lack confidence, which makes the people you’re speaking to lose confidence in you.

Don’t be your own worst critic. If you’re not confident in what you’re saying, no one else will be either. And, if you really don’t know something, say, “I don’t have that information right now, but I’ll find out and get right back to you.”

If you absolutely have to preface your idea, try a positive spin. For example, “This may not be our usual style, but I think it could go really well!” Try to keep in mind the reasons that you’re suggesting an idea in the first place. If you have a reason to mention it, you have a reason to be confident in it.

11 Things Smart People Don’t Say [Entrepreneur]

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