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9 Quotes From Taylor Swift That Will Motivate You to Work Harder

9 Quotes From Taylor Swift That Will Motivate You to Work Harder

Whether you go to her concert as a fanatic teenage fan or a “sacrificial” parent, one thing is for certain: Taylor swift inspires.

Honored as one of Time magazines “100 Most Influential People”, T-Swift has made her mark. Not only on the music industry, where she’s the recipient of seven Grammys along with a slew of other prestigious awards — but on all our hearts as well, recently becoming the most followed person on Instagram. Yes, she’s more followed than the President of the United States and the Kardashians. That’s saying something! Perhaps it’s her raw lyrics, her authenticity, and her passion to make the world a better place, but there’s no better role model out there for teenage girls.

At fourteen years old, Swift moved to Nashville, Tennesee to pursue a career in music. She became the youngest singer-songwriter ever hired by the Sony/ATV Music Publishing House, and has gone on to sell more than forty million albums.

Radiant in wisdom and poise, Swift instills fearlessness, a strong work ethic, and abundant heart into everything she says and does. Here are nine of her most influential quotes to inspire and motivate us to work harder.

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1. “Life is like walking — you take one step at a time.”

Most things in life don’t come easy. The sooner we understand this, the faster we’ll roll up our sleeves and get to work. Every single decision we make either propels us toward ours dreams or away from them. So the next time we find ourselves sitting around, waiting for a fairy godmother or a magical lamp — we should get up and do something productive for our dream. Taylor Swift wouldn’t be the success she is today if she never practiced on her guitar or sang in local restaurants and bars. Everyone has to start somewhere, and the first step is a willingness to put in the time and hard work. The rest — baby steps.

Put one foot in front of the other in pursuit of your dreams.

2. “Never believe anyone who says you don’t deserve what you want.”

In other T-Swift words, “Haters gonna hate.” We should expect some jealousy, some envy from others, then laugh it off. We DO deserve what we want — we deserve the best. People who say otherwise aren’t worthy of our time or energy.

So ignore them, push on, and surround yourself with people who believe in you, who inspire you, and who love you just as you are and are yet to be.

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3. “Lost your balance on a tightrope. It’s never too late to get it back.”

Following our dreams often feels like we’re walking on a frail, wobbly, rope. Sometimes all it takes is one bad step, one slip-up and we’re face-first on the ground listening to the hater’s boo. But what separates the dreamers from the bitters is they get back up and start again — and again — until they find their balance. Taylor Swift kept singing until a record label would give her a chance.

So, dust yourself off and get back on the rope. Maybe next time you’ll make it a little bit farther than you did before.

4. “So don’t you worry your pretty little mind. People throw rocks at things that shine.”

People are intimidated by success. Why? It’s human nature. We all have a desire to be known, to be recognized, to be seen. When we’re overshadowed by those around us, it’s easy to get resentful and be jealous, even when we care about the person (and especially when we don’t).

What we need to remember is that we’re all on this journey together. When someone else is in the spotlight, applaud. When we’re in the spotlight, enjoy it, then use our influence to help others shine. But we shouldn’t worry or let someone’s jealousy bring us down.

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5. “There are two ways you can get through pain. You can let it destroy you, or you can use it as fuel to drive you: to dream bigger, work harder.”

In interviews, Taylor often talks about her pain from being bullied and left out in high school. Yet, because she wasn’t invited to parties, she stayed home and played guitar until her ‘fingers bled’. I’m sure there was moping and lots of tears, but she harnessed her pain through music. This helped not only her to heal, but millions of others suffering.

So we shouldn’t let pain get the final say in our lives. Instead, we should use it to motivate us: Push harder, rise higher, and loosen pain’s deadly grip.

6. “Shake it off.”

Studies show that people who can “shake it off” are more likely to reach their goals than people who dwell on their problems. Which is why resiliency, the ability to bounce back, adjust, and cope with life’s disappointments is key to Swift’s success — to all our success.

So, the next time you feel like calling it quits: Blast the music, dance around the kitchen table, and shake the worries off. It will allow you to relieve some stress and be far more productive.

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7. “So this is me swallowing my pride. Standing in front of you saying, ‘I’m sorry.'”

Sometimes our best ideas come from others. Hard work often requires us to let go of our egos and listen to others’ advice — to be open and willing to new ideas and new ways of doing things. Believe it or not, we’re not always right. And when we make a mistake, it’s critical that we’re honest. Sometimes the biggest obstacle standing in the way of our dreams is ourselves.

So, swallow that pride and use the expertise of others to make your work the very best it can be.

8. “I’m intimidated by the fear of being average.”

Aspire for greatness, and don’t settle for less. I’m reminded of a quote by Les Brown that says, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

9. “FEARLESS is not the absence of fear. It’s not being completely unafraid. To me, FEARLESS is having fears. FEARLESS is having doubts. Lots of them. To me, FEARLESS is living in spite of those things that scare you to death.”

We should never let fear prevent us from reaching our goals. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to step toward our dreams. There will be haters and tightropes and a slew of other challenges in our way. But none of these things stopped Swift. Nor should they stop you.

Live life. Be fearless.

Featured photo credit: Taylor Swift-Shake it off/Boom Big via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you realize you aren’t really happy about this, wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, I finally got to this question: “What do I want?”

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

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Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. He said,

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

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How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest, using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

The 3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying ‘No’ Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

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Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say ‘No’

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

4. When the Request Comes In, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time, or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your ‘No’ with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

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6. Consider How to Use a Modified ‘No’

If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

Final Thoughts

Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

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Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

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