There’s a maxim – “Difficulties are stepping stones to success.”
Attaining any worthy goal in life will inevitably be difficult. That’s just the way it is… and most of us know it.
Getting six pack abs is difficult. This explains why only 2% of the world’s population has a washboard stomach – and it’s one of the most coveted goals in the world.
On the other hand, having a big beer belly is easy… but no one really wants one.
The worth of a goal is measured by how difficult it is to attain it. It could be a muscular body or millions of dollars in your bank account… or even dating a supermodel.
Difficult. Difficult. Difficult.
Because of the amount of effort and sweat equity required to achieve these laudable goals, most people are afraid of them on a subconscious level.
We wish to have these goals… but we’re wary and hesitant to take the plunge and go through the hard yards. So we conjure up lies in our minds to make us feel better about not pursuing our goals.
Below are 7 common lies (excuses) that we tell ourselves… and they’re holding us back from reaching our full potential in life.
I’m too old
You’re never too old to start. While you may not achieve a gold at the Olympics for the 100-meter dash if you’re 65 years old, there are many other goals that you can embark on.
There are many stories of seniors becoming strong and muscular after hitting the gym for a year. Just search for ‘bodybuilding seniors’ on YouTube and you’ll see many videos of elderly people in better shape than people half their age.
Many of them started training after retirement and now they’re fit. It’s never too old to start.
It’ll take too long
It might… but it might not.
One thing is for certain – the time is going to pass anyway.
So you might as well work towards your goals. At least after a while, you’ll have something to show for it.
What if I fail?
You might… you might not. You won’t know until you try.
What’s the worst that could happen if you fail?
Nothing really. Just make sure you don’t take on too much risk.
Never let the fear of failure prevent you from starting. Failure is a part of success and not the opposite of it.
By not trying, you’d have failed by default.
I did my best
Did you? Really?
Maybe you did… maybe you didn’t.
If you did your best, why did you stop?
Keep going until you succeed. Perseverance is the key to success.
I just need my ducks lined up in a row
Waiting for the stars to align before you can take action is a surefire way to never get started. There is no right time… only right now.
Start today and work towards your dreams. Fortune favors the bold, and you don’t need to see the whole staircase before taking the first step.
I don’t have the resources
This may be true… but resourcefulness is more important than resources. These days, you can always network and find someone willing to assist you or support you in achieving your goals.
The internet is a goldmine of knowledge. You don’t need formal education to be well-informed. Social media is an excellent way to do joint ventures.
There’s no easier time to be successful than now.
*Insert any other excuse here*
There’s a saying by Jim Rohn, “If you really want to do something you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”
If you have a goal/dream that you’ve always wanted to go after but never had the courage to, now is as good a time as any to get started.
Any excuse you tell yourself is a lie. The truth is that very often we’re the only ones holding ourselves back.
Once you drop the lies and get started, you’ll discover that opportunities start coming your way. It’s almost as if the universe is working in your favor because you’ve taken the first step.
That’s all you need to do. Take the first step… and the next… and the next.
Before you know it, what you want will be yours.
“I lie to myself all the time. But I never believe me.” – S.E. Hinton
Are You Waiting for the Right Time? – It’s NOT Coming!
Have you ever met people who say that they’ll start on a new goal at on a Monday because it’s the beginning of the week?
Or they need to wait for the 1st of the month… Or like millions of people who prefer to wait for the start of the year (New Year’s Day) before they can embark on their goals.
Human nature is interesting. People want a fresh and clean start. They’re motivated when it’s a new beginning – because they expect the journey to be smooth, clean and straightforward.
Reality, however, is quite the opposite. Chaos is the natural order of this planet.
Why it’s so difficult to find the right time
All change is met with resistance. For you to achieve any goal in life, you’re going to have to change. The ‘old you’ has gotten you your current results.
If you want better results, you’re going to have to become a ‘new’ and better you.
There’s a major problem here – your spirit may be willing, but the flesh is weak. Rest assured that you’re not unique. We’re ALL like that.
People love the path of least resistance. But to achieve challenging and formidable goals, you’re going to have to step outside your comfort zone and work assiduously, even if you don’t feel like it.
So even if the time is right, you’ll face resistance from yourself. Your old habits are crying out to you… desperate to hold you back and keep you down.
You’ll need to fight yourself at every turn until you become the version of yourself that you’ll need to be in order to achieve what you want.
Waiting for the right time is just procrastination. It’ll take you time to change your habits and actions. You’re better off starting immediately instead of waiting for some ‘imaginary’ time that just sounds better.
The universe will test you
As strange as this sounds, most people will find that this phenomenon happens to them when they’re trying to level up. Just when you’re about to start going to the gym, you may come down with the flu.
Or maybe you’ve decided to spend less and save more – and suddenly you’re hit with a new, unexpected bill.
These things just seem to occur out of nowhere and it almost feels like the universe is testing you. Tripping you up and blocking your way to see if you’re worthy.
Will you let these transient setbacks make you quit… and wait for the next New Year’s day before you begin again?
Or will you be flexible and do what you can to overcome these obstacles as you forge ahead towards your goals?
Of course, you’ll keep going. That’s the only way to make progress.
Which leads us to the next point…
There is NO right time!
The conditions will never be perfect. Your life with all its commitments and responsibilities will NEVER be in alignment for you to achieve your goals smoothly.
The journey will always become messy sooner or later. You may take three steps forward only to slip up and go two steps back.
It may seem like progress is difficult, slow, and tiresome – and that’s exactly how it is. If it was easy, everyone will do it.
Since obstacles, setbacks, delays and unforeseen predicaments are a given, why wait for the right time?
Start right now and work towards your goals. It could be 4.30pm on a Thursday, 12th of February. Nothing significant about the date (unless it’s your birthday), but even on this day, you can start making progress.
There’s no need to wait for a Monday… or the 1st of March… or any other date that just feels like a new beginning. The beginning doesn’t matter – only the ending does.
How ‘cleanly’ you start will never be as significant as how well you finish.
If you’re eager to transform your life for the better, the right time is right now. Go for it. The clock is ticking!
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Why Do So Many People Quit on Their Goals?
Think of a goal… any goal. It has to be worthy and of value.
Now ask yourself how many people have achieved this goal. The undeniable fact is that only a minority of people would have attained this goal.
It doesn’t matter if the goal is to have a long-lasting marriage or millions in the bank or a set of six pack abs. There will always only be a small percentage of people on the planet who has achieved this goal.
Why is this so?
What do they have that the rest didn’t?
The answer in most cases is that they lasted the distance. They finished what they started. Most people never achieve their goals because they quit too soon.
How soon is too soon?
Too soon is any time before you’ve achieved your goal. Now let’s look at why millions throw in the towel instead of staying the course.
They forget why they started
It’s always fun to embark on a goal in the beginning when the promise is clear. You can almost taste success even if you’ve not done anything yet. The goal seems within reach and you can already feel how attaining it will change your life.
This is how most people feel… and that’s awesome because it spurs them to get started.
However, as with most challenging goals, the journey will take time. It’ll require effort and many times you’ll fail along the way. This journey weakens the resolve of most people… and after a while, they forget why they started.
They no longer feel the burst of motivation they felt at the beginning. All they see are the hard yards ahead of them. They tire of the persistent effort required – and they quit.
What they fail to realize is that every goal/dream has an invisible price tag attached to it. That price must be paid with your time, effort, sweat, pain and sacrifices.
If you’ve not attained the goal, you’ve not paid your installments in full. Keep paying the price UNTIL you achieve your goal.
It’s easy to see someone else’s achievements and believe that you deserve the same as them. Often, we only watch the show on stage without seeing the work that went behind the show.
The hard work and discipline are not shown to the public because it’s dull. We only see the Olympic gold winning performances without seeing the thousands of hours of training involved.
We only hear the beautiful piano music at the concert without seeing the years of practice involved to play at such a level.
It’s always the end-product that is shown. Never the process.
Because we only see the result, we don’t have a clear idea of the amount of pain required to achieve it. Very often, we severely underestimate the time and effort necessary to achieve these goals.
So when people embark on a goal, they expect fast results. They’ve set themselves up for failure from the get-go by underestimating the demand of goal.
When the going gets long and gets harder by the day, the grind becomes unbearable to bear. They feel like it’s taking too long. They must be doing something wrong… or maybe it’s just not in their ‘destiny’ to achieve the goal.
In reality, the goal just needs more time and work.
Trying to do too much too soon
The surest way to fail is to take on more than you can chew. We’ve all heard of people who hit the gym for 2 hours a day… every day… at the start of the year. They’re full of ‘New Year’ energy.
Very often, these same people never used to exercise much before that.
With each day, their muscles become sorer and the workouts more draining. They start dreading the gym and it’s just a matter of time before they start skipping workouts.
One skipped workout becomes two… and next thing you know, even the shadow of the gym hasn’t touched them for 6 months.
They’d have been better off going to the gym for 45 minutes 3-4 times a week. It may not seem like much, but the effort compounded will yield massive results over time.
It’s better to take the slow and steady approach. You can bet your last dollar that you’re in for the long haul. So there’s no point in wearing yourself out right at the start.
The 3 reasons mentioned above are the most common reasons why people quit. Of course, there are other reasons such as fear of failure, lack of self-discipline, a lack of clarity and so on.
But if you just focus on the top 3 reasons mentioned here and avoided making these errors in judgment, most of the other reasons for failure can also be avoided.
Remember why you started on a goal, give yourself time to achieve the goal and avoid trying to do too much too soon just to get faster results. That’s the best way to go about it.
“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out.” – Robert Collier