Too often I read emails from people expressing how they would love to participate in a certain activity, profession, adventure, etc., but cannot because (insert list of excuses here). Sometimes things we want to do are unattainable. I understand that at this point in life I am probably not going to be an astronaut; and I am okay with that.
But I think we learn to make excuses too quickly and learn to accept the status quo way to easily. And then sometimes we simply learn to lie to ourselves. And the lying is tough to swallow. I have compiled my list of the 10 basic lies we tell ourselves that are keeping us from success (success defined as achieving any goal):
1. I am too old/it is too late. It is never too late to do the right thing and it is never too late to chase your dreams! The longer you procrastinate the older you will be when you begin…so begin now. Lots of people look back on life with regrets…don’t be one of those people.
2. I don’t have any money. I can say this is at the top of most people’s excuse/lie list. You can create “extra” money right now if you eliminate lots of unnecessary spending: Starbucks, cable tv, satellite radio, expensive or multiple car payments, etc. You don’t need more money, you need a better budget!
3. It’s safer to work for someone else. I guess that is one way to look at life. Here’s another: your future is never safe when someone else has the power to terminate you! “If you do not build your dream, then someone else will hire you to help build theirs!” – Dhirubhai Ambani. And just because something is safer, does not mean it is better!
4. It’s not the right time. Those that have kids know there is never a perfect time in life to have kids and so it is with dream chasing. If you wait on perfect timing, you will find yourself waiting your entire life. And then you realize time has passed you by!
5. I can’t afford to fail. Do yourself a favor and Google the top 10 wealthiest, self-made people. Their careers are littered with failed businesses and bankruptcies. Failing is the greatest teacher. And although failing might be part of the game, it is not the end of the game.
6. I’m not smart enough. If this lie is in your mind, then add an additional step to your plan: get more education. Enroll in a night class at your local community college. Or take advantage of free educational opportunities online!
7. It’s too much work. Nothing worth having comes easy and things that come easy usually don’t have high value. Sitting on your couch gaming, eating Cheetos, texting your friends and picking your nose hasn’t launched you into the stratosphere so let’s develop a work ethic.
8. I am not good enough. I was hired to run a golf course as the golf pro at age 27. I kind of knew what I was doing, but wasn’t 100% prepared. I learned how to do the job by doing the job. You will never have complete knowledge of any topic so stop believing this lie. You will never be fully prepared to do anything in life, but it should not keep you from moving forward. Ever heard the saying “fake it till you make it?”
9. Change is too scary. The only thing in life that is consistent is change. Friend circles change, jobs change, people change, cars, schools, policies, finances, etc. Everything changes and it can be scary sometimes, but everything will be fine. Change can be a good thing as it can serve as the catalyst for advancing yourself. Also, if your dreams don’t scare the crap out of you, then you aren’t dreaming big enough.
10. It’s just not realistic at this point in life. My least favorite word is “realistic.” To me when someone says be realistic, I hear them say just settle for the norm like the rest of the herd! Being realistic is a matter of perspective: let your imagination run crazy and refuse to be realistic!
I want you to stop and spend a few moments taking inventory of yourself: what lies have you allowed or are you allowing to rob you of advancing yourself or reaching a goal? Feel free to share with me in the comments!