There are a million reasons you can come up with as to why you cannot reach your goals, or why you won’t change. I want to break down some of these common excuses and call bullshit on every single one of them. Let’s see what’s really behind these excuses and how you can move past them and onto the real exciting chapters of your life: becoming the person you were meant to be.
“I don’t have time.”
Let’s be honest. What you’re really saying is, “I haven’t made this a priority.” Until your true goals are a priority, you will have time management problems and it will be easy to avoid working on your goals.
We find time for everything that’s important to us. Think about it; the vacation that you just didn’t think you could fit in because of all the work you have to do. Going to your girlfriend’s weekend getaway even though it meant moving four other events out of your schedule for that weekend. Staying up to watch Game of Thrones even through it means you wouldn’t get your seven hours of sleep that night. A manicure into your already packed day so you’ll feel and look more fabulous at dinner with your family that night. Whatever inconvenience or painful consequences that come from making these things happen were outweighed by your desire to do them.
The next time you find yourself saying, “I don’t have time,” instead try saying, “It’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. This is your goal and your life. Don’t kid yourself that you want to reach these goals when you aren’t willing to make it a top priority.
Remember that we talked about your WHY, and why it has to be big enough to outweigh any pain or inconvenience that comes from reaching your goals. Maybe your WHY is big enough, but you just aren’t spending your time in the right places.
I get that things can be hard. As humans we’ll do anything and everything to avoid the hard stuff. But here’s the thing: it’s the hard stuff that’s the most important.
Action: how to find time
Over the next week, make a list of all the things you spend time doing towards your goals and the actual times you spend doing them. You’ll be amazed where your time is going, and where it’s not going. Take a Sharpie to all the things that don’t fall in line with achieving your goals. You’ll make much more room to add in the hard stuff; dedicated time to actually make progress on these goals.
“This should be easier.”
Working towards goals (when we’re set up SMART goals) is simple, but it doesn’t always mean easy. Give me an example of someone who has achieved incredible success and called it easy. It just doesn’t happen. They work hard and they bust their ass day-in and day-out to make their goals come to life.
Why would you think that reaching goals are easy? Of course they aren’t, or else everyone would be satisfied and happy just as they are.
Action: work smarter
Stop bitching that it’s not easy and just work harder and smarter towards your goals. You need to be consistently working your butt off and then you’ll see success; this is a lifestyle change folks. It isn’t complicated.
“Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it away from you.”
- Mark Cuban
“I will mess up.”
Of course you will, but how else will you expect to learn? You WILL make mistakes and you WILL slip up. That isn’t actually bullshit, but the part that is BS is saying that you won’t mess up in this journey. We are humans and that’s what we are born to do. None of us are immune to failure (trust me, neither am I), but we cannot learn how to do anything really well without making mistakes. That’s how you grow in life.
Action: work with your slip-ups
Try this exercise that literally only takes a few minutes. When mistakes or slip-ups happen, think about what happened, why it happened, and what you can learn from it. Then let it go. Be kind to yourself. This exercise has proven invaluable to not only helping me to not make the same mistake again, but also to gain insights that help me be a better, happier and more fulfilled human.
“Nobody gets everything right every time, and is it how we learn from our mistakes that define us.”
- Sir Richard Branson
I don’t want you to believe in excuses. We have such a short time here. At the end of our days, do we want to look back and know we were brave and audacious, or do we want to have lived a life of excuses?
All the excuses and stories that you make up in your head are a complete waste of time and energy. They’re just excuses. When we make excuses like this, we’re really just scared we’re not good enough or worthy of great success. What are your limiting beliefs about yourself? Where do they come from? Past failures? What you were told growing up? What you were told yesterday by some stupid internet troll that actually knows not a damn thing about you?
The truth is, we each have everything within ourselves to succeed. But to really achieve those big, hairy, audacious goals that we create, we have to have a few other things that are really important too. Hunger. The willingness to be completely coachable and learn how to do this. Consistency. The willingness to be uncomfortable. And the resilience to keep going in the face of fluctuations, speed bumps and slight disappointments.
It’s so sad how many people fail before they’ve even really started, or blocked from being the huge success stories they can be, because of the excuses we tell ourselves. How many times have you told yourself you can’t do something that countless other people can and have? Every time you put out an excuse, you place another cement block in the walls you’re building around yourself. With each excuse, you’re trapping yourself in a prison of mediocrity of your own creation, condemning yourself to a life you really don’t want. Being in that box may feel safe, but over time what’s going to be in there with you is a whole lot of regret, what if’s, shame and loneliness.
What I’ve learned in working with so many clients, all with different backgrounds, skill sets and personalities is that we can conquer the negative voices and realize the BS for what it is: just a load of crap. We can pull the cement blocks down, let the light in and increase our possibilities. We can get out of our own way and get on the path of building our best future and stepping into our greatness.
You’re exceptional and bound for greatness. Don’t let excuses get in the way of that.