I know, I know…there is always an excuse for not doing something. In my life I have heard many excuses and erroneous beliefs by people who think that they are stuck, against the wall and that things just can’t possibly work for them. This infectious mindset is a dream and goal killer that will become a self fulfilling prophecy. Check out the top ten dream killing excuses I have encountered most. With each excuse I have written a rumination that I hope will push you past the wall that is created by that excuse. Life is too short to give up, throw in the towel, or choose to not even get to the starting line. I believe in you, so read on.
1. It’s Way Too Hard!
Well, it might be hard, but nothing of lasting value comes easy. File this excuse in the round-bin and determine to push through until you get a break through! As I consider the things that have given me the greatest amounts of joy and purpose, I quickly realize that “hard” was a part of the journey. Working through a hurt relationship…a mom in childbirth…launching a new endeavor…helping a team achieve their shared potential ..helping someone find God…helping someone find freedom from life’s hurts, hangups or habits. What are your greatest joys?
2. I Don’t Have Enough Education.
Well I have one easy word to say to this excuse…GOOGLE. Seriously, information is overabundantly available and easy to acquire. Another word is…YOUTUBE. You can watch and learn pretty much anything you might possibly need to know, along with a ton of stuff you don’t need to know with a click of the mouse. Read…learn…invest time in research. You might not have a degree, but all the information you need on any given subject is available if you look for it.
3. No One Will Buy It.
Well, they might not, BUT…just spend some time watching infomercials and that will change your mind. Just today I saw infomercials that are raking in millions on products like “Forever Lazy”, “Smokeless Cigarettes”, and “eco-friendly cooking pans!” Another great show to watch is “Shark Tank” where people are selling investors on some pretty crazy and unique items. You simply need to think through the”whys” of your idea and start thinking about how to communicate your idea to the world.
4. Better To Be Safe Than Sorry.
I have heard this voiced from the lips of risk managers for years! And every time this excuse is vocalized a dream dies somewhere. Play the movie forward…you are on your deathbed…your life is flashing before your eyes…all the dreams you had and the possibilities that found their genesis in your soul are playing… yet none of them finding fruition in your life because you played it safe. You struggled to make ends meet in life all-the-while making someone else, who took risks, wealthy . You gave your ideas away and other people not only did well with them, the idea made a major life changing impact. I think you’ll be sorry you always played it safe.
5. I Don’t Have Any Experience At This.
This might be true, but remember there was a time when:
- going to school was something you had never done.
- falling in love was a feeling you had never had.
- driving a car had never been attempted.
- playing a particular sport was completely unknown in your experience.
All of these are excuses based upon fear of the unknown. Your life has been built on many “firsts” so don’t let this one bench you!
6. I Don’t Have Enough Time.
This is by far the #1 excuse I hear. In my book Sacred Space I note that the average American will spend a total of 15 complete years in front of a TV or computer screen by the time they are 65 years old. That’s a whole lot of Pinterest, Facebook and Dancing With the Stars and it is amazingly sad to me. Everybody has the same number of seconds, minutes and hours in each day. The difference between those who accomplish much and those who accomplish little is in how they manage their time. Perhaps it’s time for you to master your schedule instead of things, events and other people mastering your time.
7. If I Succeed There Will Be Greater Expectations of Me.
This is a bit deeper, but is still rooted in fear. Many wonder, “What will people expect from me if I succeed at this?”, “Will I be able to meet their expectations?”, “If I can’t meet their expectations then I just can’t move forward.” My response to this is three words…”Not Your Monkey.” Sure, people will have elevated expectations of you, but guess what? They already do and you probably just don’t know it. At the end of the day you need to be able to stand clean before God, not your neighbor. What other people expect of you is their monkey not yours so let it go! It’s time to stop being controlled by the expectations of others by setting good boundaries based on grace and truth.
8. I Don’t Have People To Help Me.
Well, I have been there for sure. Sometimes I have felt very alone as I have moved forward, and other times I have had a great team around me. What I have learned is that when I commit and move forward with all of my heart, like minded people appear! If I had waited for people to come around and support me before any initiative, most of those ideas would still be on the launching pad. Instead, when I believe I have the right purpose, I start moving and visioning and the right people naturally connect with the vision. Had I not started though I would have never connected with those people. So decide, determine and detonate! Your team will appear.
9. It’s Been Done Before.
This is true, in fact King Solomon said it best in Ecclesiastes 1:9
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
Everything is a synthetic remix of something else. A good friend of mine, and record producer, once told me that there is nothing new in rock music that the group Boston hadn’t done in some fashion! Whatever it is that you are considering, just make it yours.
10. If I Fail I’ll Be Crushed.
I really get this. Fear of failure is what keeps a large number of people from pursuing their dreams. And the truth is…you might fail, more than once. I take solace in the truth that most success stories were birthed in some failures,for instance:
- Henry Ford went broke five times before he founded the successful Ford Motor Co.
- R.H. Macy had seven failed businesses before he hit it big with Macy’s in New York.
- Harland Sanders’ recipe for chicen was rejected 1009 times before a restaurant finally picked it up.
- Walt Disney was told “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
- Thomas Edison was told in his early years that he was “too stupid to learn anything.”
If you have found yourself uttering any of these excuses it is time to let them go, set your sails, and move forward.
I also came across the following info-graphic on Facebook today that I thought was worth ruminating over. ~Monty