7 Phrases That Rob You of Your Power and Make You Mentally Weak

By AAwosika07 | Tough love

Jun 03

Warning: this entire post will trigger you.

If you’re easily offended, you have two options here:

  • Be brave. Read through this post to build some mental resilience by stomaching some words that might be true, but will also sting
  • Stop reading now. Seriously, I’ll probably hurt your feelings

These rants don’t make me much money or help my brand, but I’m compelled to do them.

Not because I’m certain I’m right, but because I fear that we’re losing the ability to think and discuss the way the world works at a dramatic rate.

People’s brains are totally hijacked and they shut down almost instantly. The implications of this are far-reaching and terrifying.

It’s my duty to keep this conversation going and get people to think, no matter how much it pisses people off.

Here’s the next iteration.

Be careful with the things you say, because they shape your reality.

Here are some of the best (worst?) examples.

Life Got in the Way

No, it didn’t.

You simply chose to prioritize some tasks over others, which is fine.

But don’t lie.

The tasks that would make a real difference in your life always seem to fall by the wayside, don’t they? Life never seems to get in the way of Netflix, going out to eat, or having drinks with friends, does it?

Life always seems to get in the way of working out, building your side project, or doing any sort of task that requires delayed gratification.

Funny how that works.

Life is always going to have random elements and variables involved. You’re never going to stop being busy. There’s never going to be this state of bliss where you’re perfectly motivated and have zero problems.

You’re going to need to find balance in chaos. You know that, but you’re not doing anything about it because you’re afraid.

Frontload the process. Anticipate the fact that life will try to get in the way. Don’t let it.

Life Threw a Curveball At Me

Imagine this.

You’re a major league baseball player. You’ve been on a major hitting slump. Every single time you step up to the plate, you strike out.

Your coach asks you what’s going on.

You tell him that you’re struggling to hit because the pitchers started throwing curveballs.

When the ball comes straight down the middle in the perfect spot of your strike zone, you can hit it. But, if the pitcher tries to trick you in even the slightest way, you can’t hit the ball.

Catching the analogy?

You’re subconsciously telling yourself that you have zero ability to adapt. If you can’t hit curveballs in life, good luck trying to achieve anything of consequence.

Focus on becoming a better hitter. As a business owner, I know for a fact some bullshit is coming my way every single day. As the business grows, it just gets more challenging.

Instead of worrying about what life will throw my way, I put myself through mental batting practice by constantly reminding myself that it doesn’t matter what comes my way. I’ll be able to handle it.

I’m [Insert Anything After That]

I posted a Tweet that irritated a bunch of people the other day.

I said:

You’re not an introvert. Nobody is.

People came out of the woodwork to tell me how wrong I was:

People don’t fervently combat something totally false.

Telling people the sky is green doesn’t trigger them. Telling them the concept of their personality might not be real does.

Notice how they speak as if introversion is a scientific law like gravity although it’s not. 

Watch when I continue to challenge his thinking. He’s like, well you have a point, except when it comes to this exception that’s a central piece of my identity.

People love to wear badges, especially ones like ‘introvert.’ Challenge it and they attack.

People think they’re open-minded, but they’re only open-minded about things they don’t care about.

The words you place after ‘I am’ dictate your reality in a way that’s deeper than most understand. Instead of trying to change what goes after it, stop using it altogether.

These days, I simply focus on the outcomes I’m trying to achieve and exhibit the behaviors necessary to achieve the outcome.

Remember, your behavior, and nothing else, shows you who you are.

I Had To Do [X]

I called my brother out the other day. He’s been writing on Medium and he’s working on getting more consistent. He said he had to take a break from his writing because he went on a trip.

I corrected him:

“You didn’t have to take a break. You chose to take a break.”

He was slightly annoyed, but he knew I was right. There wasn’t anything wrong with his decision, I just corrected him on how he labeled it.

If decides to take a break, he should recognize it as a decision.

No one puts a gun to your head and tells you to do anything. No one forced you to take that job, do or avoid that task, say yes or no to that obligation, or any of the other decisions you’ve made in a lifetime.

Every day, you make choices, and those choices lead to outcomes. Life can force your hands to make certain decisions, of course, but you’re always making a choice.

The longer your time horizon grows, the more your decisions outweigh your circumstances. Maybe you had a tough upbringing, but if you’re still a failure at 55 years old, maybe it’s time to look in the mirror.

The Man Is Out to Get Me

This one isn’t so much a specific phrase, but a way people talk about how society is just trying to hold them down.

They blame all of their problems on:

  • Racism
  • Misogyny
  • The patriarchy
  • Billionaires
  • Homophobia/transphobia
  • The right
  • The left

Of course forces of oppression exist.

But what does the patriarchy or racism have to do with you skipping out on your side project to watch T.V.? Are billionaires keeping you from going to the gym or starting your business?

The excuses are becoming less and less relevant with the advent of the internet.

You can run an entirely faceless brand online without anyone ever knowing who you are or what you look like. There are anonymous writers who make six figures.

I was the top-earning writer on Medium for six-months straight. How could that be when racism is a death sentence to the futures of black people?

It’s fucking tiresome and, frankly, condescending.

Why is it that when I go onto Netflix and visit the section dedicated to people of color all of the movies and documentaries are about slavery and police brutality? Why not highlight some of the positive things we’ve done?

You know why.

How Can I Focus When…?

Piggybacking off this thought, there’s another set of phrases floating around and making it seem like you can’t get any work done because the world is a dangerous, scary, and chaotic place.

Spoiler alert: it always has been.

“How can companies ask us to work when you see what’s going on in Ukraine?”

Um, because, people in Ukraine have to go to work.

People went to work and raised families during the bubonic plague, the french revolution, the world wars, you name it. But you can’t go to your air-conditioned office because of a war that’s not even being fought on your turf?


When people share some salacious news on my timeline I just mute them. I understand that this ‘caring about the world’ ethos doesn’t come from a good place.

I’m reminded of this quote:

What do the protestors want?  Can they articulate it meaningfully, not in platitudes or “people over profits” or  “more fair income redistribution” soundbites?  They can’t tell you because they don’t know.  They can, however, yell at you what they don’t like, and the louder they yell it the more they hear it themselves. Nothing is expected to be accomplished, it is all for branding. – The Last Psychiatrist

There are a bunch of horrific things going on in the world you have no clue about because no one told you to care about them. Treat the ones the news spews at you the same way. Make them invisible.

Go to work.

I Just Can’t…

There’s a new set of phrases floating around that literally cause fatigue:

  • I’m drained
  • I am on the verge of a mental breakdown
  • I’m exhausted

Maybe you are. I don’t know you.

But I’m guessing your situation might not be as bad as you think it is.

Do you work in a coal mine?

Again, you’re drained from working in an air-conditioned office, or Caribou coffee, or hell even something like a factory?

I used to work at a factory. It was draining, but more so because it was just boring and monotonous instead of life or death.

What I’m about to say will likely get me canceled but here goes:

The over-emphasis on mental health has been the single biggest factor in the dramatic drop in the quality of our mental health.

Mental health is important. You should monitor it. But this constant, incessant, obsessive, compulsive, neurotic, monitoring of your mental and emotional state is fucking up your life.

There is a time and place for resting and re-charging. There’s also a time and place for purposefully putting yourself through stress, working when you’re tired, pushing yourself, and seeing what you’re made of.

Final Thoughts

“There’s no mass propaganda telling you to be strong.”

So many of you want out.

You want out of this strange and twisted world built by ‘the narrative.’

You want to be free and rely on yourself. Nobody wants to feel helpless. But it’s easy to slip into the hypnotic rhythm of self-pity and lack of responsibility.

These societal overlords of ours are cunning.

You have to fight the mental war on all fronts. You have the media, the government, and your peers, friends, and family even all spouting some iteration of this nonsense in your direction.

The solution?

Find like-minded people to help you wage this mental war. Consider me one of your people. Find others online. If you start to speak up, you’ll attract others to your cause.

Most people don’t want to be unplugged because it genuinely hurts. But once you get over the fact that you’ve been lied to your entire life and that no one is coming to save you, you realize you’re free to do anything you want.

Fight through the pain so you can access that freedom.


About the Author

Ayodeji is the Author of Real Help: An Honest Guide to Self-Improvement and two other Amazon best-selling titles. When he's not writing, he enjoys reading, exercising, eating chicken wings, and occasionally drinking old-fashioned's.