The two weakest words in the American lexicon:

“I think…”

Is it just me or does nearly every expert commentary on any serious life altering issue now start with the words “I think?” I’m sick of it! I don’t want to listen to anymore “I think,” tell me what you KNOW! You’re the expert!

I think we’ve reached a point where people are afraid to take a stand. What’ wrong with really knowing something? You’re a human being; you’re entitled to express yourself knowingly based on your knowledge, expertise and personal experience. When you’ve got a solution, a nugget of useful information or a genuine opinion, just tell me what you know!

“I think the economy is still heading for serious trouble over the next few months…” Who cares? Tell me what you know about it; specifically! I think that “I think” has become a fail-safe for people who either don’t really know what’s happening but are still paid to talk about it. Nowhere has this been more apparent and dangerous than in economics. A couple of years ago most of the experts were saying “I think the economy is fundamentally strong.” Now these same experts are saying they never saw this disaster coming and they don’t really know if things are turning for the better or the worse! Vice-President Joe Biden just said that “NOBODY” saw this coming; if you didn’t know which way the economy was going you should’ve kept your “I think” to yourself!

Honestly, I don’t think I have the solution to the economic crises. I KNOW I have a technique that will help you make your point clear, believable and sincere whenever you need to express your opinion or share your knowledge. This technique works in a one-on-one sales call; it’ll make your elevator speech more memorable; it’ll make your next keynote powerful and position you as an expert in your field. It may even help you meet your next romantic partner!

…And it’s simple!

When you’re making a statement of fact, simply state the fact.

“I think we’re heading for a new age of prosperity because I think the American Entrepreneur is the engineer of our future success!”


“We’re heading for a new age of prosperity! The American Entrepreneur is the engineer of our future success!”

Just read these two lines and see which one feels more powerful. Power is your ability or capacity to perform or act effectively. One of the most important aspects of Black Belt Mindset is Confidence. People respond to authentic confidence and power; they’re turned-off by weakness.

To really be effective, confidence has got to be authentic. Confidence has to be rooted in honesty and tempered by humility. Humility isn’t weakness, it’s simply acknowledging that no matter how confident you are, you’re willing to learn, grow and adapt as you develop new knowledge, insight and wisdom. Just blowing your horn isn’t an expression of confidence, that’s just cocky!

Save “I think” to punctuate a sincere expression of personal opinion that sometimes transcends facts and data. It’s OK to share a thought based more on feeling than pure rationale. It’s an expression of weakness to use “I think” as a prefix or filler when you’re not sincere or sure of your facts.

There’s still an out if you’re wrong! Believe or not from the dawn of humanity most people have been wrong once in a while. Being an expert doesn’t mean you’re right 100% of the time; it means you’re willing to stand behind your statements and judgment based on the knowledge and experience you have at the time. If your perspective changes, then change your message; and be damn sure of yourself when you do! You’re the expert!

I think this is enough ranting about “I think.” I hope my argument will help erase “I think” from American public speech. “I think” is the weakest form of expression; I know that without it you’ll express yourself with power and clarity.

Jim Bouchard

Author's Bio: 

Jim Bouchard teaches you how to Think Like a Black Belt for personal and professional excellence! Training in discipline, focus, self-motivation and life balance for you and your organization.

Jim is available for keynotes and VIP breakouts for your next meeting, conference, convention or other event.

Jim Bouchard is the author of Think Like a Black Belt and Dynamic Components of Personal POWER! Books, videos and coaching services available at