When it comes to succeeding in business, you need to have a positive mind-set. Every top producer has different routines and strategies, but the one thing they all have in common is that they refuse to be held back by excuses.
Whatever field you’re in, the sooner you understand the danger of a defeatist mind-set, the better off you’ll be. Here are a few common excuses people make for failure, and how you can rise above them.
“I don’t have the resources to make this happen.”
This is one of the biggest, most damaging excuses out there. We have a tendency to overcomplicate things, so that we can have a built-in excuse when we fail.
It goes something like this:
- “I can’t start a business without a contract.”
- “I can’t write a contract, because I didn’t go to law school.”
- “I must not be able to start a business.”
In reality, we’re making these situations more complicated than they actually are, and using that to justifying our inaction.
No, you might not be a lawyer, but you can find and hire one. Can’t afford a lawyer? See if you can find someone who will let you pay in installments, or ask around to see if anyone has a connection who will work pro bono.
Ultimately, claiming that you don’t have the resources is an excuse to not be resourceful. Learn to do more with less, and you’ll be greatly rewarded.
“I’m not talented enough.”
The secret to success isn’t talent—it’s perseverance. While some people are naturally gifted, I’ve found that the tortoise always beats the hare.
Success comes from your willingness to keep going, as well as your ability to overcome obstacles. So many people will justify not trying by simply saying, “I’m not good enough.”
I don’t believe this. I believe human beings are capable of doing so much more than we think we can.
You’ve probably heard the myth that we use only 10% of our brains. I personally believe that most people function at 10% of their capacity. You’d be amazed by the things you’re capable of doing if only you’d apply yourself.
Start by pushing yourself to get better at something you struggle with, even if it’s something small. When you do this, you’ll feel more confident, and better suited to face bigger obstacles, when they inevitably pop up.
If you just seek to improve by 1% every day, in 100 days you have improved 100% from where you were.
If you’re reading this and are still doubtful, take a look at the picture below, from Molly Fletcher.
“It’s someone else’s fault.”
This excuse comes in many forms.
- I didn’t get the promotion, because that person doesn’t like me.
- I didn’t go to the right school, so I don’t have connections.
- I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth.
While some people have a harder road than others, it’s important to remember that some of the greatest, most successful people of all time have come from the worst conditions. That doesn’t mean their path was easy or fair—only that they didn’t let obstacles stand in their way.
So many people seem to find their meaning in life from being the victim, rather than being the victor. Even if your life hasn’t been fair, it does you no good to complain about it, because you’ll still be in the same place you were. Instead, use that energy to move yourself forward.
At the end of the day, it’s not how hard you can hit, but how hard you can take a hit. Speaking of which…
“It won’t work.”
Here’s a hard truth that countless successful people already know:
You can’t succeed unless you’re willing to fail.
Sure, you might be right that you won’t succeed. But what will you gain by not trying?
Heading into Super Bowl LIII, the Los Angeles Rams had every reason to believe they’d lose. The New England Patriots are a dynasty. Going into the game, Tom Brady had won five Super Bowls out of eight appearances. Bill Belichick had the benefit of nearly 30 years of experience as a head coach, compared to the Rams’ Sean McVay, who’d only led a team for two seasons.
In short, everything seemed to be working against the Rams. They could’ve just accepted defeat. But, of course, they didn’t. And even though they didn’t actually win, they put on a strong showing—holding the Patriots to only 3 points until the 4thquarter.
You might be convinced you won’t reach your goals. But why would you be satisfied with being right? Don’t be content in your misery. Instead, find ways to learn from your failures and mistakes. Plan ahead, so that you’ll do better next time.
Remember: the tortoise beats the hare. Rather than becoming your own biggest obstacle, make the choice to live your life free of excuses. When you eventually do succeed, you’ll be glad you didn’t stand in your own way.