Our mind is designed to protect us. It is good at painting the picture it thinks we want to see, not knowing if that is helpful or harmful. While painting the picture, the mind comes up with all sorts of thoughts designed to give us an out.
It is up to you to decide how important something is and then question the excuses that are preventing it from happening. Chances are when you begin to question the excuse, you will realize there isn’t one that should stand in your way.
You can overcome your mind’s tendency to make excuses by recognizing the sabotaging thoughts your mind is trying to tell you. Here are some common ones.
10 Sabotaging Thoughts Your Mind is Trying to Tell You
1. It’s not possible.
It’s like you’ve given up before you started which is the mind’s way of trying to protect you from failure. Remember, failure is often a necessary step towards success. Tell yourself, “it is possible.” You might need to do some research and foster positive thoughts but “where there is a will, there’s a way.”
2. I’m not capable.
This excuse is fear talking. It is trying to help you save face.
Steven Pressfield said the following in his book The Art of Work:
“The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear, and then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there’s no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dreadfree artist.”
Don’t let fear win. Keep telling yourself you are capable, and you are able and do the work to make it so.
3. It’s easier for them because they have money and know the right people.
Everybody has to start somewhere, and it is often those that start something with very little resources that make the biggest differences. Why? Because when you have to figure things out, you think creatively. And creative thinking leads to innovation.
4. I don’t have the time or money.
This is just your way of trying to talk yourself out of doing it. Time and money are rarely the real reasons keeping you from doing what you want to do. There is usually some other underlying issue. Figure out what that issue is and you will have already won.
5. One day, when (insert negative thoughts).
One day when … the kids are grown, the house is paid off, or you get that promotion are common excuses preventing you from taking the next step.
You can “one day, when…” yourself right out of achieving your dreams. There is never a perfect time to take a chance, so you might as well take the first step today.
6. It’s just not working.
This is a way of giving up. Sure, there are times when closing a business or stopping work on an idea is appropriate but it is very rarely because it isn’t working.
It is time for a real assessment of the situation, remembering that success usually follows some dip in momentum. Find the real reasons for why it isn’t “working” and then evaluate your next steps.
7. It’s too late.
Too late for whom? It is NEVER too late.
According to the Kauffman Foundation’s annual Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, just over one quarter of all entrepreneurs in 2017 were between the ages of 55 and 64, and that number is on the rise.
So, if a 60 year old is willing to do all that is necessary to start a business, what is it that is too late for you to start?
8. I need a paycheck.
Don’t use your existing job as an excuse to stop doing the things that matter to you. Yes, it is important to put food on the table but if something resonates with you, you owe it yourself to find the time.
You can accept the status quo, or you can spend a little time every day doing something that feeds your soul. The choice is yours, make sure and choose wisely.
9. It will take too long.
What is too long, really? Sure everyone wants happiness, abundance and tranquility right now, but all good things are worth the effort and the process. Anything worth having is worth pursuing, regardless of when it will arrive.
“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there someday.” –A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
10. I won’t have any free time.
It’s time to figure out what you value most. Whenever you take on something new, it will infringe on your free time. If that something new is important enough though, you realize giving up your free time is only temporary. If the risk is worth the reward, then your free time is best spent on making something great happen.
It’s time to stand up to the “excuse making” machine called your mind. Challenge it and take back control. So, what excuses does your mind give you?