What’s holding you back?
You make excuses.
- You’re too busy and don’t have time.
- You’re tired.
- You have to put the kids first.
- My partner’s job is too demanding.
- You’re afraid.
- You don’t feel like it.
- You’re comfortable.
- You’re waiting for the right time.
- You can’t do it.
- You’re not smart enough.
- You’re not pretty enough. (Lady Gaga used to say that.)
- You’re not ready yet.
- Life is too hard.
You don’t change anything.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Albert Einstein
You refuse to learn so you’re closed-minded.
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” Alvin Toffler
Since the dawn of the internet, we have unlimited, free resources at our fingertips and yet people do not read anymore.
In her book Thrive, Arianna Huffington diferentiates wisdom versus knowledge. Wisdom being our inherent, age-old inner voice and knowledge pertaining to information.
“Intuition, not intellect, is the “open sesame” of yourself.” Albert Einstein
People and religions from all corners of earth have tuned in to inner wisdom for thousands of years. You may recognize the title for wisdom guised as: intuition, instinct, gut-feeling, the voice of God, enlightenment, mindfulness, Nirvana, heightened awareness, open-mindedness, deeper-understanding, tuning in, receiving a sign and more.
Inner Wisdom is real.
“We are drowning in information while starving for wisdom. The world will henceforth be run by synthesizers, people able to put together information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely.” E. O. Wilson
The lack of “wisdom” despite the plethora of “information” is why society seems aimless. We have all of this information and no way of using wisely to impact positive change in our lives.
This article on the 5-Hour Rule is a great read.
If you are unwilling to learn and tap into your inner wellspring of wisdom, you are assigning yourself a desolate fate. I believe this firmly.
You don’t take any risks.
Let’s talk about money. For analogy’s sake, I will use the example of gambling because gambling makes it easy to envision risk. I do not actually want you to go to a casino and gamble.
Pretend you have a $100 bill, put it in a machine and see what the machine spits out. You could lose money, but there is a chance that you will get lucky. Either way, if you never put the $100 bill into the machine, you will only have a $100 bill.
Now think of your salary. You make $55,000 per year so envision it as a $55,000 bill. You walk into a casino and have some risk assessment to do… you can play it safe, turn around and walk out of the casino and you’d still have a $55,000 bill.
Another choice is to play on the Ask your Boss for a Raise machine. The odds are 49/49/2. A 49% chance for “yes” a 45% chance for “no” and a 2% chance for “you’re fired.” You put the bill in the machine and it says “Congratulations, you’ve received a $10,000 annual raise” and the machine returns a $65,000 bill… Not a bad return for the risk. (Let me clarify once again that I do not encourage gambling at a casino.)
Asking for a raise or switching jobs to obtain a higher salary comes with inherent risk. Your boss could say no, or even worse, there is a small chance that they could fire you. If you leave for a new job, you may not like your new coworkers or the job, that is a risk.
Asking for a date is a risk.
Having a baby is a risk.
Driving a car is a risk.
Taking a shower is a risk. (You could get burned!)
Everything in life has risk.
It is natural to have fear or trepidation when it comes to taking risks, yes you could get rejected. Yes, you will be disappointed sometimes with the results… but playing it safe is not what people do to attain greatness. They go all in, they believe in what they are doing, their purpose, their mission and use that as motivation to overcome their fears and failures.
You don’t have time.
Huffington refers to this perceived phenomenon of always being in a rush and never having enough time as “Hurry Sickness and Time Famine.” She also calls us to believe in the Third Metric for measuring success— well being. She says that the metrics are:
Sure, society is busy— but “busy” is not synonymous with success. In fact, it’s counterintuitive when striving for success.
Huffington calls us to believe in the Third Metric for measuring success— well being. Well-Being is easier if we do not over commit ourselves to unnecessary engagements and make time to practice self-care.
You blame other people.
Blaming other people or circumstances makes it sting less when we fail. Let me tell you, there is no white knight in shining armor who is going to come rescue you. You’ve gotta do it yourself.
If you want to be happy, successful, rich, you name the goal…. YOU have to do it!!! Take extreme ownership of your life, circumstances and success. You cannot expect anyone to swoop in and save the day, or swoop in with a suitcase full of cash. Ain’t gonna happen.
(Read Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink)
You’re waiting for the right time.
You have to create the right time. The hardest part is often getting started.
If it’s opening a business, going back to school, marrying your partner, having children, you name it… there is no right time. You are going to make mistakes. It’s going to be ugly sometimes. You can get through it, but it will never happen if you don’t start.
You think you’re right all the time.
Arrogance is blinding. Be humble and willing to learn. You can learn from children if you are willing.
You don’t live in the present.
Mindfulness is a hot topic on social media and there is a good reason. We live in a world that easily distracts and overwhelms us, there is so much noise. It is tough to cut through all of the noise and see what’s right in front of you.
Practice mindfulness. Forget about the phone in your hand, the television, your laptop. Unplug and spend time in relationship with the people right in front of you. I am very biased on this subject, but strongly believe that people who stand out most make you feel special. They really listen— they are present.
You don’t have a purpose.
You act without intention, as a result you are on a desultory path. Your purpose gives you resilience. It is easy to be overcome by failure and rejection without a sense of purpose.
You’re okay with being average.
If you do your absolute best work and are ‘average’ according to the societal standard— that’s fantastic. If you only do average work and end up being ‘average’ because you lacked effort and wherewithal— that’s lazy.
“Our life is what our thoughts make it.” Marcus Aurelius
Your thoughts become your life. Garbage in garbage out.
Something is holding you back.
If you are unsatisfied with an area of your life you need to examine why. Accomplishing your goals and dreams is impossible when you stand in your own way. We all experience roadblocks from time to time, it’s normal. Don’t let a roadblock hold you back.
Our lives are too short to make excuses. Do a deep dive. Write it down. Figure out what is causing you to stand still when you should be moving forward.
Only you can figure out what’s holding you back.