When I Can't Find the Words

When I can't find what I deem to be the right words, I default to prefacing my thoughts with statements like:

  • "I don't want this to come off the wrong way..."
  • "I'm not sure how to put this, but..."
  • "I hope you find this valuable..."

At its core, this is a defense mechanism.

The pro is that I'm not holding my thoughts captive; I'm sharing them. An idea can be world-changing, but it is worth nothing if no one hears it.

The con? I'm getting in my own way.

  • I'm inviting the listener to form a perception about my idea before I even share it.
  • I'm expressing doubt while trying to instill confidence.
  • I'm creating distractions while looking for engagement.

Looking back, I see that these statements add no value. While they may create relief for me temporarily, they serve no purpose in delivering my message. 

Looking ahead, I am making an effort to catch myself and pause. Those few seconds in silence, while brief, are powerful. It is just enough to take a breath, collect myself, and speak with poise and clarity.