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These 10 Excuses You Make Are Really Fears In Disguise

These 10 Excuses You Make Are Really Fears In Disguise

When we’re scared to do something, we find ways to make sure we cannot do it. We beat around the bush, hide behind false sentiments and come up with reasons that it simply cannot be done.

In the real world, excuses only achieve one thing – nothing.

Your business wont grow, your relationships wont flourish and you’ll never get anything done. It’s time to face your excuses, confront the belief’s behind them – and take back your life.

Here’s 10 excuses and what to do about them:

1. “I don’t have time”

Making this excuse shows you’re scared to leave your comfort zone. It’s easy to hide behind the concept of time, because there is always something you can do with your time to look and feel busy.

The truth?

You do. You always have time. The time you spend watching TV, checking Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts could be spent doing something far more productive. My grandmother raised 6 children whilst working 4 jobs and never once missed making dinner – if she can do it, so can you.

The only way you’re ever going to achieve something is if you make time.

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2. “I’m not smart enough”

Making this excuse shows you’re scared you’re not good enough to do it. That, you’re going to fail. Or that you’ll get caught out because you don’t know enough.

Hiding behind your intelligence does more harm than good. It’s a sure-fire way to ruin your self confidence and self esteem.

In order to learn, you need to fail, make mistakes and screw it all up from time to time. It’s going to happen at some point, so you should embrace it as part of the process.

You’re good enough to do whatever you set your mind to.

3. “I’ll do it, but I really need to do this first”

If you’re making this excuse you’re scared to death of taking the first step. You’re aware it’s a priority but you don’t want to take the first plunge in to the unknown yet.

Inaction is the sure-fire way to mediocrity and unhappiness. You’ll never regret a first step you took, but you’ll always regret the ones you didn’t.

Don’t do this to yourself. Make a to-do list, put it at the top – and don’t give up until it’s done. Even if it means closing your eyes and taking a run at it.

4. “I’m just waiting for the right time”

Is your success so based in science, that it needs to be done at 11:22am on a Tuesday Morning in the middle of July? I doubt it.

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There is no such thing as a right time. It’s a myth, a legend and a bedtime story.

You were not born at the right time in your parents life, and your child will not be born at the most opportune moment in yours. But still, however many years later – you’re doing OK.

So, why should what you want be any different?

Don’t wait for the right time. The right time is now.

5. “There’s too much going on right now”

Has there ever been a time in your life where you haven’t had something going on? Where everything was chilled out, relaxed and you just coasted through the day? That hasn’t happened since you were in Elementary School.

This excuse shows you’re scared to prioritize your needs over the needs of others. That the expectations of others have become more important than your health, success and happiness.

You’ll find that in your day, there is a lot of time wasted on menial tasks and general busywork for other people, that could be spent doing what you need to do. Put yourself first for a moment, and take a hold of your life.

6.“But, I need to pay the bills”

You’re scared to be independent. To be in total control of your finances and completely self reliant.

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Your bills will still be paid if you take the plunge. When starting though, what may suffer, is the money you have to spend on luxuries and treating yourself. And for most people making this excuse that is what you don’t want to suffer.

The question you have to ask yourself is, “Do I wan’t to spend on myself, more than I want to be successful?”.

In the words of Nassim Taleb, “The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary”. Don’t get addicted.

7. “I would do it, but I don’t think my partner (or kids) will be okay with it”

This excuse is a clear fear of putting yourself first. That you’re compelled to put the needs of your family before your own, in case they look poorly upon your decisions.

Be aelfish. Your family are there to support you, as much as you are to support them. And if what you wan’t doesn’t come at a detriment to their well-being, be selfish and put yourself first. They’ll be more accepting of what you’re doing than you’d think.

8. “I haven’t had the right opportunity yet”

This excuse is akin to not having enough time. Opportunities are like buses – there’s one every twenty minutes.

If an opportunity comes your way, take it. It will never be perfect or come in a beacon of light, sealed by the gods. It’ll present itself in an awkward fashion and show up at the worst possible time.

And, when you can’t find any opportunities at all – make one. You can’t let your future lie purely on elements you have no control over.

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9. “I don’t know the right people.”

When people say, ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ – they’re usually scared of their abilities to get things done. Your network is a valuable resource that takes you to places far beyond your reach. But don’t use it as an excuse to not do anything.

Take the initiative to find the right people, and get to knew them. There are no shortage of networking books out there (Personal Recommendation: Never Eat Alone, Keith Ferazzi’) – so go out and find the right people.

Forge a network that will benefit you. Go out and talk to them, because they won’t come looking for you.

10. “I’m not ready yet”

You will never be ready. All the preparation and planning in the world goes out the window as soon as you put everything in motion.

Not being ready is an excuse shrouded in the fear of taking action.

The best way to defeat your fears? Take action.

Stop trying to be ready to do things, and start doing them anyway.

Featured photo credit: William Marlow 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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