Excuses are not your friend. They aren’t there to help you succeed. They do everything to prevent you from doing so. They are in the gang with Limiting Beliefs and Self-Told-Lies, and they try to thwart your goals and dreams from becoming a reality. You are the only one who can stop them.
“Excuses will kill us if given the chance. They will climb aboard our backs and walk us into the grave, without us ever knowing what might have been.” –Jon Acuff
Here are 7 excuses that we repeatedly tell ourselves that hold us back from being successful and fulfilling our full potential.
- I don’t have time.
This is the most common excuse. When we use this excuse we are subconsciously saying two things to ourselves and others: 1) You don’t know how to manage your time. If this is the case, there are tools to help you. And 2) “This is not that important to me right now.” When something’s important to us we always can make time. It’s an amazing thing to see someone’s priorities change. Suddenly their time opens up and everything gets done. Think about how much time is wasted wandering around on the internet. By cutting down on that time, more time can be found for the things you need to do.
- I don’t know how.
It’s okay not knowing everything, because nobody does. The problem with this excuse is when you allow it to cripple you. When you don’t know something, look it up and just keep swimming. Don’t permit yourself to get stuck behind this excuse.
- It’s too hard.
Repeat after me: “I can do hard things.” Remember all the difficult experiences you have gotten through? Remember how even though it was painful and difficult, you did it? You can do it again. How much do you want it? If your will and desire are strong enough, anything is possible. “We must ask ourselves if the sacrifice of a little hard work is worth the reward of achieving our wildest dreams.”
- I can’t afford it. It’s not in the budget.
While this may be a reasonable excuse, especially when you literally have no money, it doesn’t make a good long-term solution. Have you noticed how speaking about being poor and money problems doesn’t increase wealth? We must change how we think to change our circumstances.
- It’s already been done.
It doesn’t matter what’s been done. You are a different person than who did it before. You do it differently. When trying to not copy competitors, strive to do it better than them to get better results. You can do it.
- We will do it later – next week/month/year.
Procrastination never is a good excuse. We should not let time determine everything we do. “Why push our goals further and further away when we can get to them now?” –Gaynette Edwards. Buy a calendar specifically for your marketing ventures. Write them down and make them happen.
- Other people will judge me. What if my friends think I’m stupid for doing this?
Most likely people will judge you and they will think you’re stupid. But why should you let other people stop you from chasing your dreams? J.K. Rowling started off penniless, recently divorced, a single mother, writing the first Harry Potter book on an old typewriter. Her book was rejected by twelve publishers. She didn’t stop when people rejected her. If she did, we wouldn’t have the beloved Harry Potter stories –which resulted in a $24 trillion franchise. It doesn’t matter what others think. You determine your success.
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
Our thoughts are powerful – both for the positive (affirmations) and negative (excuses). Athletes understand this. Before a game, many do visualization exercises to view their success. They find greatest success when they think of every little detail – walking into the locker room, changing into their uniforms, putting on their cleats, their conversations with their teammates, their moves in the games. The more vivid the better. They then walk out on the court with more confidence and an increased comfort level. Speakers do this before giving speeches.
Here are more examples of using visualization to achieve success.
- Boxing legend Muhammad Ali was always stressing the importance of seeing himself victorious long before the actual fight.
- As a struggling young actor, Jim Carrey used to picture himself being the greatest actor in the world.
- Michael Jordan always took the last shot in his mind before he ever took one in real life.
In business, as in life in general, you determine your success. You need to visualize it, think it, and as Gandhi stated, it will become a reality. Positive affirmations and visualizations are the cure to Excusitis.
“If you can’t picture yourself in your own mind being extremely successful, dominating your market, and running a phenomenal business, then chances are you never will.” – Matt Mayberry
The day might come when you run out of excuses. The kids have flown the nest. You retired (or were downsized) from your job, and you have more time. Of course you can always look for other excuses. But if you have any desire to actually do what you want to, deep down, let’s hope that your running out of excuses doesn’t happen after the majority of your life has passed you by. At some point, excuses just plain don’t work anymore. Don’t let them steal what “could have been.” Kill those excuses before they kill you. You are the only one who has the power to stop them.