Meet Tara, a thirty-something go-getter who is stuck in a lower role at her job. She yearns for more, but doesn’t really do anything differently than what she always has.
She considers herself a good employee, but inevitably, she continues to be overlooked.
Each time, she rationalizes her inability to move up by telling herself that she isn’t the reason she’s not being chosen; it’s the office politics and culture that’s the real problem. She didn’t get the job because she’s too busy to play that game. And after all, shouldn’t she have some kind of personal life off the job?
Tara’s reasons may be an accurate assessment, but how she uses that information and, ultimately, what she does in light of it determine if and how Tara will be able to accomplish what she wants.
Life is full of decisions; some big, some small. Like Tara, we all make daily decisions about how to use our time, where we should go, what we should pursue, and how confident we feel.
We also make a lot of excuses, which are one sure way to put limits around how we think, act, or feel. I, for sure, have made them and will sometimes catch myself in the middle of an excuse.
In order to avoid excuses and throw off the limitations they erect around our otherwise purposeful lives, be prepared. Check out these four excuses you need to stop making.
Related: 5 Ways to Play to Your Strengths
Stop Making These Excuses
The Excuse: “I don’t have enough time for this…”
The Excuse Buster: “What would I rather do instead?”
Time is one of our biggest excuses, but it doesn’t have to be. As someone who always has a lot of balls in the air, I’m continually making choices about how to spend the valuable hours of my day – or night. And like most people, the fact that I have more things on my “to do” list than there are hours in a day to accomplish them is frustrating.
Yes, sometimes it’s tempting to give in and just play the “time” excuse, but ask yourself: What is it costing you? Where are your priorities? Would you rather watch TV, play a game on your smart phone, or rearrange your sock drawer than answer this opportunity?
If that’s the case, the excuse isn’t just time; it’s something much bigger and deeper than that. Be honest, bold, and courageous enough to figure out what “it” really is.
The Excuse: “I’m just not qualified for that job.”
The Excuse Buster: “Someone’s going to get that job. Why not me?”
The difference between possibility and impossibility is often best represented by two words: can and can’t. If you believe you can’t do something, you can’t. If you believe you can, guess what? You can.
That being said, believing is the starting point, but may not be where you need to finish. For example, if you don’t have the qualification for the job, you’d start with “someone’s going to get the job; why not me?” Then, you’d follow with “how do I obtain the qualifications to make me an excellent candidate?”
Don’t let self-limiting excuses like “I’m not qualified or smart enough” for this or that stand in the way of the potential you know that lives inside of you.
The Excuse: “I could never do that.”
The Excuse Buster: “Yes, I could!”
“Never” is a dirty word, and I’m not talking about “dirty” in a might-be-fun, roleplaying kind of way. “Never” is an even dirtier excuse, because it’s also a lie. There have been many times when I’ve used it, but many more times when I’ve “busted” that lame excuse, overcome my fear or doubt, and succeeded in spite of it.
Related: 10 Steps to Succeed at Work
If you don’t believe me, think of how many times you uttered as a kid, “I could never tie my shoes,” or “I could never ride my bike,” or “I could never learn to parallel park,” and yet here you are, doing those things every day. (Okay, well… maybe not the parallel parking bit.)
The Excuse: “I don’t have enough money for that.”
The Excuse Buster: “What are you spending your money on instead?”
Money is like time: very valuable, but often subjective. We all have monetary “blind spots”: when it comes to our weaknesses, like shoes, purses, bottles of wine, or expensive dinners, we almost never make an excuse to deny ourselves.
But if it comes to something more important, like a business opportunity, night class to improve our skill set, or seminar where we might network with other folks in our industry, we suddenly squeeze our wallets shut and pull out the “not enough money” excuse instead.
Related: How Money Can Buy Happiness
Study your blind spots, examine why they exist, how they hurt and consider whether the lack of money is the actual issue or whether the ability to spend it on something that feels more “sexy” at the time is more of a priority to you.
While the act of moving past the excuses isn’t an easy one, there are easy steps you can take to make sure that excuses don’t stand in the way of living the life you want.
As you can see, excuses that may sound completely plausible at first can be easily overcome – IF you want to overcome them. Excuses are often our mind’s (unconscious) way of putting limitations on our lives.
You don’t have to listen to those excuses anymore. Bust them instead!
Eve Wright, Esq. is Vice President and Associate General Counsel for the Miami Heat and the American Airlines Arena. She has received several awards, including the coveted Sports Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 Award, and has been featured in a number of media outlets, including Fox Business News, BetterTV, The Golf Channel, Sport Business Journal, Black Enterprise, Success Magazine, and Legacy magazine. Eve is also author of Life at the Speed of Passion: Create a Life of Intention, Purpose, and Integrity.
Photo by FotoRita [Allstar maniac]