We all make excuses, excuses that keep us from doing those things we want to do, perhaps even those things we <i>need</i> to do.
Reaching for our dreams is risky because, to achieve them, we would have to make ourselves vulnerable.
Each of us has a special fear, but a big one for writers is rejection, having agents and editors -- and, ultimately the reading public -- tell us our writing is dreadful and our ideas unworthy of the hard drive space they're stored in.
Let's identify the excuses we use and ditch them.
(The following list was made by Tommy Walker, see below.)
1. You can’t afford to take a risk right now.This list of 10 was taken from Tommy Walker's article, 106 Excuses That Prevent You From Ever Becoming Great.
If not now, then when?
This excuse is fear of the unknown.
The reality is, you can’t afford <i>not</i> to take a risk right now.
If an idea really benefits people, pulling on the reigns doesn’t just inhibit your progress…it prevents people from improving their lives.
2. Someone else is already doing it.
Which came first, Copyblogger or Problogger? Dyson or Hoover? Groupon or LivingSocial?
Does it matter?
3. You don’t know where to begin.
The human brain isn’t designed to process information in a linear fashion.
This is why when you dream, it doesn’t start “at the beginning” and you only remember how the dream ended, but never how it began.
If you’re looking to pick up a new skill, usually “the beginning” will make itself apparent, regardless of where you start.
Even better, because the way you process information is unique to you, your “starting point” could help you form a very unique perspective that people love.
Also consider the other people who “don’t know where to begin.”
By simply picking a place and chronicling your journey, you can inspire others to learn with you.
4. You’re afraid of what your colleagues will say.
Peer validation is rarely the deciding factor in any entrepreneurial story worth hearing.
If you’re concerned with what your industry peers will think, don’t worry about it.
Sometimes disruption is exactly what your peers need.
5. Nobody will buy.
If people will buy the “Pet Rock” people will buy what you’re selling.
You just have to figure out how to position yourself, and why they need you.
6. You haven’t done it before.
This is my favorite excuse, because it’s such a cop out.
Let’s look at some of the common milestones in your life that you got through just fine
- You went to school (hadn’t done that before)
- Had your first kiss (hadn’t done that before)
- Learned to drive a car
- Took up a new hobby
- Learned to read
Or really anything beyond lying on your back and flailing your limbs uncontrollably.
You hadn’t done anything before you did it. It’s simple, but it’s true.
This excuse is rooted in fear of the unknown.
Now it’s perfectly fine to be afraid, but “inexperience” is by far one of the worst excuses.
Life is built on a series of “firsts” and making the choice to limit your experiences only leads to dissatisfaction.
7. You’ll get to it later.
No you won’t. You never do.
Get to it now, or at least schedule it to get done.
Then do it.
You’ll be a lot more satisfied when you’re finished.
8. You don’t want to be boring.
What’s boring to some is addictive to others.
People process information differently. If you skew towards boring it’s entirely possible to still find the right audience.
However if you skew towards boring, and you don’t want to, find <a href="http://www.copyblogger.com/how-to-be-interesting/">ways to become more interesting</a>.
Take an improv class, do some live Q&A’s, go bungee jumping… spice it up.
9. If you can’t get it right the first time, why bother trying?
Perfection is a myth.
Nobody actually “does it right”. That’s why there are so many grocery stores, soda brands, religions, and blogs.
It’s not about “doing it right” so much as it is doing it to the best of your ability.
Giving it everything you’ve got, regardless of the outcome, that’s the only way to do it right.
10. Failure would destroy you.
Anyone who’s ever “made it” will tell you they’ve failed more times than they’ve succeeded.
Being destroyed by failure is a choice; the choice is to quit.
If you fail, fail.
Give it everything you’ve got, and let it become a disaster.
Watch it burn.Let it destroy you.
Then recoup, learn from your mistakes, and rise from the ashes.
Failure never completely destroys you, only the parts that weren’t doing you any good.
With every catastrophic failure, hindsight allows you to see where you went wrong.
When you rebuild, you’re that much closer to perfecting the system.
Excuse number 7 is one I use all the time. Today I'm not going to procrastinate, I'm doing it now. (I don't quite know what I'm doing, but whatever it is, I'm doing it now! ;)
Do you have a 'favorite' excuse, one that keeps you from achieving the things you dream about?