12 Most Uplifting Words and Phrases to Keep Handy and Ready to Use

12 Most Uplifting Words and Phrases to Keep Handy and Ready to Use

This post follows the one I wrote about the 12 most self-defeating phrases to toss out for good. If you’re going to banish the put-downs that creep into your head, it helps to have handy some productive, encouraging thoughts to use instead — things to tell yourself that help you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep on going. I’m going to call these suggestions the Stalwart’s Self-talk Script.

1. “We’re all learning”

Give yourself a break when you make a mistake, especially when getting the hang of something. People who are plenty competent in one area often founder when trying to master something new.

2. “Get over it; move on”

My family has found a program that has given us incredible insight about, and support with, managing the ups and downs of raising a child with ADHD. That’s where I learned the acronym GOMO. Get over it. Move on. It doesn’t work for every situation. But it sure helps us keep some things in perspective.

3. “You’ve got this”

When you tell yourself this, it’s like being both the athlete and the sports fan. Without hesitating, you cheer for the folks on the field you’re pulling for. Cheer for yourself the next time you feel your game slipping away.

4. “I can”

Strong. Simple. Powerful.

5. “I’ll get there”

We live in a society that expects quick results. If you stay on the right path, you’ll get there. Remind yourself of that.

6. “Well done!”

You almost certainly accomplish many, many things on most days. Why is it that we humans seem to dwell on those efforts of ours that miss the mark? Next time you do a really good job on something, tell yourself it was well done!

7. “I’m making progress”

Celebrate mini-achievements when you feel overwhelmed about a looming deadline. Congratulate yourself on the progress you have made, rather than focusing on to-do items still on the list.

8. “Keep going”

Give yourself a booster shot of persistence. Sometimes, when we’re about to give up, a little encouragement can help. And it doesn’t have to come from someone else.

9. “One step at a time”

Especially when facing a huge challenge or overcoming a major set back, the way forward can be mighty hard to see, let alone to take. It’s okay. Just take the first step.

10. “I’m worthy”

Of course you are. Now, and always.

11. “I’m special”

Just as it’s important to remind those around you that they’re special, let that sentiment sink into your skin, too.

12. “I’m loved”

Whether you believe that this love is from God, from your partner or family, your special and close friends, your furry companions or from Mother Earth and the universe — or each one of those sources — you are definitely loved, in many, many ways.

Self-talk is mighty powerful. And because words we tell ourselves have such a strong impact and influence, we ought to keep them fueling all that is good inside each of us.

You might have other phrases that offer support when it’s needed most. I’d love to hear them.

Featured image courtesy of Thomas Hawk licensed via Creative Commons.

Becky Gaylord


Becky worked as a reporter for more than 15 years in Washington, D.C.; Sydney, Australia; and Cleveland, Ohio for major publications including the New York Times, Salon.com, Business Week, the Wall Street Journal, and was Associate Editor of the Plain Dealer's Editorial Page before she launched the consulting practice, Gaylord LLC. The company helps clients improve their external relations and communication and increase their influence and impact. Becky blogs about that (a few other things) at Framing What Works.

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As I sit here weeping the 12 words above have truly changed my life! I will from this moment on live my life each day starting the day saying these very words!


Good choices. I especially like nos. 1 and 7. I need to remind myself of these things when I get frustrated with a work commitment or something I'm learning--you can't expect it all to come at once. The journey to the finish--or the never-ending journey of constant improvement--is always important.


Hmm, I don't see my own personal motivators: "Pull your head out", and "don't be a freakin' twit".

Mind you, I've never used those with my kids, the kids I've coached, or my employees...or my wife. But I give myself permission to be vastly annoyed - with myself. I do not respond to pep talks as much as I do to a healthy dose of anger at whatever obstacle I have in front of me.

Texas high-school football mentality, you know...still works for me in my 40s.


Most of us are our own worst critics. We are so quick to beat ourselves down. Thank you Becky for such a beautiful reminder that one of the best gifts we can give to ourselves is encouragement.


Good list but I think #2 sounds a little harsh and insensitive.  I prefer to say, "Shake it off."