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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, 2019

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Step right up, don’t be shy!

Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

Culturally Conditioned

We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

1. Broadens Your Network

After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

2. Improves Your Communication Skills

I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

3. Continually Learning

So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

4. Increases Self Confidence

Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

How to Talk to Strangers

Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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1. Say Hello

Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

2. Ask About Them

Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

3. Just Do It

One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

4. Don’t Take It Personal

One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

6. Detach

A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

7. Share Your Stories

Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

8. Give a Compliment

Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

9. Relax Your Body Language

If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

The Bottom Line

As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

More Resources About Strengthening Communication Skills

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

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