As a part of her motivational series “Finding Brave to Build Your Happiest Life and Career,” Kathy Caprino writes about to put an end to the negativity that we allow to pervade our everyday life. Here is her list of top things one should stop saying to themelselves for more success and happiness. 

I built an 18-year corporate marketing career that was very “successful” on the outside, but on the inside, it was not. Far from it. For much of the time that I worked in corporate America, I witnessed things that were truly damaging to my heart and soul. Now that I’m on the other side of that, running my own business on my own terms, I see more clearly how the things I told myself every day kept me locked in toxic environments and relationships. My self-talk constituted a daily diet of self-sabotage that undermined my self-esteem and sapped my internal power and authority to shape the direction of my life.

What are the things people say to themselves that keep them stuck in damaging environments and positions? Here are the top five:

1. “This is not so bad – I can tolerate it.”

So many people I’ve worked with seem to want to remain blind to how their daily work-lives are hurting them. Sadly, it never is. The say to themselves that it’s OK and right to remain in pain, not doing anything to rise up and stand up for their lives. The question is, “Why do you think ‘tolerating’ your career is what you should be going for? 

2. “I’m too old to change this.”

A key fear is that mid-life professionals are too old to create a happier career now, and that joyful, rewarding careers are somehow only possible if we start them in our 20s. That idea is categorically false. I’ve worked with so many people around the world who’ve mustered the courage to pivot, revise or discard what isn’t working and build entirely new professional identities. And most were well out of their 20s and 30s when doing it.

3. “I’m just not good enough. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been fired (or laid off).”

Thousands of people are being fired and laid off every year, and the majority are not “losers,” incompetents, or unable to do their work well. There are a myriad of reasons why people are let go, and a good number of them have much more to do with the culture and environment than with you. You can’t let what happens to you drown you in self-rejection. Sometimes it’s a situation where you are a wrong fit for this culture, and being let go is the best thing that could ever happen to you. 

4. “It’s just too hard to change.”

Fear of risk is an inherent part of the human experience. But what I see more of in my work with professionals is that so many simply won’t commit to doing the hard work of change. It requires digging very deep within yourself, with as much bravery as you can muster, to examine with open eyes who you are, how you became that way, what shaped you, and what is no longer working for you. Then and only then are you able to identify what no longer serves you at the highest level, and begin to release and modify it. 

5. “I’m an introvert and what’s required of me to be successful today is just not possible for me.”

For years, I’ve considered myself an extrovert, and recently my eyes have been opened to the challenges introverts face in today’s society and workplaces. Because of something truly disturbing that happened to my son who’s an introvert, I’ve grown more interested in understanding introverts and also advocating for work and educational cultures to embrace all forms of difference and diversity in their communities and work forces.

In the end, what we tell ourselves will indeed shape what happens to and around us, and how we interpret these events and experiences.