We all have a desire to do more with our lives. We have goals that we want to achieve and dreams that we want to pursue… but we’re often held back by our own excuses.
Excuses are the lies we tell ourselves to validate our inaction.
For every goal you set for yourself there are 20 reasons why you shouldn’t pursue them just waiting to take over your thoughts. Don’t worry. This is normal. We all doubt ourselves at one time or another. It’s when we start believing the lies – masked as excuses – we tell ourselves, that we lose our confidence and doubt creeps in.
What you believe about yourself has the ability to fuel you all the way to success or derail the journey right from the start. Think about it this way: How many times have you set a goal for yourself and the had a daily mental battle about your ability to see it through?
Being mentally prepared for success is the key to achieving it.
Let’s explore four lies that we tell ourselves that hold us back from being great!
1 – It’s not the right time
Perfection is a myth and it’s paralyzed you long enough.
Let’s be clear… there is never a perfect time to do anything. You will always have responsibilities, obligations, and people to care for. There’s no way around it. We make things happen when we’re passionate about them.
Example: Your boyfriend of 3 years asks you to marry him – something you’ve been hoping for, for quite some time. He tells you that he wants to have the ceremony in the next 12 months. Do you tell him sorry babe, but I have too much on my plate already? or do you figure it out?
If you’ve been putting something off because it’s not the right time, it’s time to examine the root of your avoidance. You need to get clear on what you want and start making moves to achieve it (no matter how small). Time waits for no-one. If there is something you want to see, do, or accomplish – make it happen!
Do this –
- Uncover the real reason you’ve been putting off getting started
- Change your self-talk to align with what you want and eliminate the excuses you’ve convinced yourself to believe
- Align your actions with your goals and start making moves
2 – I’m too young/old
Your age is numerical data that has no bearing on your potential to achieve your dreams.
Your life may not look how you pictured it would at this point in your life. Mine sure doesn’t. But that doesn’t mean that you get to abandon your dreams because you think that you’re too young or old to make it happen.
Forget that timeline that you mapped out for your life when you were 17 and had no clue what adulting was really about. It’s time to embrace where you are right now and give yourself permission to accept that age is not limiting you from achieving your goals – you’ve just convinced yourself of that lie.
Whether you’ve put off going back to school because you think you’re too old. Or you’ve decided that you’re too young to live abroad alone. Or you think that you missed out on being able to have kids because you’re no longer a spring chicken… no matter what it is – you’ve accepted the lies you’ve told yourself as your truth.
Do this –
- stop allowing the standards of others to dictate your goals
- don’t compare your life to anyone else’s – we all have our own unique life experience
- find examples of others that have broken the mold or beaten the odds that were against them – this is the best way to change your thinking and start believing in yourself
3 – It won’t work for me
To manifest the life of your dreams, you must first believe that you can!
Self-doubt and fear are like bullies. They overwhelm your thoughts until for you’re doing exactly what they say. Fear says it won’t work out – you don’t even try. Self-doubt says only the skinny girls get opportunities like that – and you conveniently forget to submit your information.
Every time you start to believe that something won’t work for you – before you’ve even given it a chance – you’re succumbing to negative thinking. Give your ideas a chance. Fear should not equal instant failure. Explore why you believe something won’t work for you. Get to the root of your concern. You may just need to make a few modifications to the concept or plan.
Do this –
- start adopting a can-do attitude – decide that you can do anything you set your mind to and believe it
- explore the root cause of your doubt or fear – what’s the real concern that keeping you from getting started?
- start anyway – use your fear as fuel… every time you feel doubt creeping in, stay focused and face it
4 – I’m not good enough
The moment you stop believing in your own ability, your mind believes it.
We are all overexposed to the daily life and accomplishments of our friends, colleagues, and those we admire. While being able to peep in on the day to day life of others seems like increased transparency, there are definite downsides; especially when it comes to making comparisons. It’s easy to see what others are doing and start to focus on what we could be doing more of, to live the type of life that they live. But it also can cause us to lose sight of our own goals and start to feel insignificant.
It’s a toxic cycle that can alter how you process your own accomplishments. Instead of feeling good about the progress that you’re making, you may feel more like you’re still not doing enough. But to what standard. You will exhaust yourself trying to create a life that mirrors what others deem as success and fulfillment.
Do this –
- take social media sabbaticals. If you use social media for work set time limits for when you’re active online (get on, post, reply, get off)
- only share your goals with others that truly support your vision. This way you eliminate others from infusing their doubt and fear into your idea
- connect with like-minded others that on a similar journey as you. When all you do is pay attention to those that have made it, you will always feel like you’re not enough. Surrounding yourself with a strong tribe will give you the support you need when doubt and fear show up