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20 Excuses Most People Make That Stop Them From Reaching Their Dreams

20 Excuses Most People Make That Stop Them From Reaching Their Dreams

Have you ever said or done something that stopped and discouraged you from taking action toward your goals?

Excuses and negative self talk are common problems and are what usually stops most of us from fulfilling our dreams. But they aren’t apparent until we become conscious of them. And it’s not until you become conscious of them that you can start to begin changing them to help you move forward.

Here are 20 of the most common excuses people use that stop them from reaching their dreams:

1. I’m too old to start.

As long as you’re still living and breathing, you still have all the resources to turn your life around. All it takes is will and desire.

2. I’m not talented enough.

Talent alone isn’t enough to be truly successful. It might help you progress faster, but ultimately, all it requires is hard work and dedication to improve.

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3. I wasn’t born in the right area.

Your environment may have influenced the way you’ve been fostered, but that doesn’t mean you can’t decide to change your attitude. You are in control of what you choose to think and feel about yourself.

4. I come from a poor background.

Some of the most successful people got there with little but a few dollars in their pocket. Money may help you reach your goals faster, but the real value is your inner resources and resourcefulness to get the job done.

5. I’m not smart enough.

Don’t despair if you feel you lack the knowledge to pursue your goals. There is a good reason why you lack the knowledge—you’re just starting! The key to learning is to start from somewhere and make progress.

6. I don’t have the support.

While having the support is beneficial, it will not be the reason for your success and is simply ideal for getting you through hard times. The biggest things that matter in your journey toward success and achievement is your drive and motivation.

7. I don’t have enough time to discover what I like.

If you sit down and make a list of all the things you do in a typical day, you’ll begin to realize that you actually have enough time. Figure out what is wasting your time, and replace it with the things that will get you to your goals.

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8. My family and friends don’t think I’m capable.

No one can tell you how capable you really are besides yourself. If your friends and family disappeared tomorrow, will any of it still affect you? You are the driving force between where you are and where you want to be.

9. I don’t know if I will succeed.

The greatest mystery about life is in not knowing what’s going to happen. Sometimes, your journey will take you on roads you never thought existed.

10. I’ve already dedicated myself to a different path.

It is never too late to change paths. Just because you’re on one road doesn’t mean you can’t take a different path and pursue a different journey.

11. I’m just not lucky enough.

All of us are lucky all of the time. The difference is, you just don’t see the opportunities presented to you due to lack of preparation. Focus on preparing yourself for them, so when an opportunity comes, you naturally will become luckier.

12. I didn’t have the right teachers.

There really aren’t many things in this world that you can’t teach yourself. There is free and useful information you have access to at your fingertips that will give you the instructions you need to get started.

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13. I’m not destined to succeed.

Everything that ultimately happens in your life is all due, in part, to the decisions you make. If that’s your current belief about yourself then, chances are, you’re right.

14. I’m not motivated enough.

If you lack the drive to do whatever it is you hope to do, there’s a chance you don’t want it badly enough or see it as something you really want.

15. I’m too easily distracted by other things.

There are always going to be things around us that are more fun and exciting to do. But the key thing is to be disciplined and to dedicate a certain period of your time to help move you forward toward your goals.

16. I’m not educated enough.

Education isn’t necessarily something you have to learn at school. You can never have enough education to get started. If you’re unsure, just take action anyway and learn along the way. Experience always will be the best educator.

17. I can’t handle failure.

If that’s your belief, then it’s a lie. We are rejected every day of our lives, but we fail to see the rejections because we don’t choose to acknowledge them. Learn to detach yourself from outcomes and to see the process as journey of self-discovery.

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18. I will start tomorrow.

There is no such as a future, only the present. If you genuinely have the time to do something now, then use the opportunity and go and do it. You will feel a lot more energized and motivated, knowing you’ve pushed yourself and made progress.

19. I’m not ready.

You can never be prepared to get started. If it means learning more will prevent you from failure, then you’re wrong. You will make mistakes and simply learning more will fool you into thinking you’re making progress, when in fact it’s simply a buffer from taking action.

20. I don’t believe I can do it.

As with point No. 14, your beliefs help steer and guide you toward your goals. If you honestly believe with full conviction that you can do it, you will start to see that everything around you becomes easier. The quality environment is dictated by the things inside you.

Now, stop making excuses that keep you from reaching your dreams. Go forth and prosper!

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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