Making excuses have literally become the bane of my existence. It’s stifled me, caused to become stagnant in my growth as a business owner and entrepreneur, and plain out given me the easy way out for far too long when it comes to being productive and getting things done. I’ve only recently realized this more than ever before, and although it’s a cruel reality to accept, it’s a necessary one.
What I thought about life not throwing me a bone, was really just me giving up on myself when it came to achieving my goals. Every time I turned around it seemed like something was there to stop me in my productivity tracks. Lack of time, lack of resources, lack of money, so on and so forth. Really, though it was a lack of effort. It was the excuses giving me permission to not try, not push past, and remain stuck.
Life Happens…it’s okay
Life happens and you’re not always going to be able to get everything you want done, when you want, but you can do something, even if it’s a little something. Don’t ever just not do anything! That’s what I did, and I got nothing done, became stagnant, regressed, and dare I say it, lost a little bit of passion for accomplishing my goals. I began to think they were impossible and not attainable. This was not true! It was, as I said, the lack of effort that was the enemy, myself, not everything else around me.
[Tweet “All things are possible, however, lack of effort is the enemy.”]
Same thing with putting myself out there and hating social media, especially IG. I kept having that nagging thought that I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t have what it took, especially matched up against the competition, and already big players in my niche. It shouldn’t have mattered, though because I am good enough, I do have what it takes, just like you do!
Being Scared & Holding Back
Sometimes we tell ourselves these things because we’re scared. We’re scared of rejection, criticism, and in general what people will think of us. Getting over this hurdle can be hard, but at some point, you have to tell yourself, “whatever, who cares…I’m going for it”. I’ve finally gotten to this place, and it’s been across the board, from my blog to my email list, to my social media. It’s because I know I have something valuable to offer, yet if I never put myself out there, no one will ever know. You see where I’m going here?
If no one ever knows what you have to offer, how can they benefit from it, spread the word about it, or support you? Easy answer: They can’t.
If you’ve been holding back, not putting yourself out there or promoting how you can best serve others, because of these “excuses”, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice. Even if it’s something like being afraid to post on IG (like I was for a long), because you feel you can’t take a pretty of pictures as the next guy or gal. It doesn’t matter, do it anyway, try your best. If only one person appreciates it, that means there are at least two people that do. Plus, you can only get better at something if you do it; practice makes perfect. I had to do this very thing with my IG recently, as I’d left it dormant for months. I didn’t put any effort into because I just knew I wouldn’t be able to take and post attractive enough pictures, that would both resonate with my audience and followers, and represent my aesthetic. So it didn’t do anything, didn’t even try. Funny thing is, when I did try, I saw results.
[Tweet “If no one ever knows what you have to offer, how can they benefit from it?”]
Read: Why I Hold Back As a Business Owner
I didn’t only see results in “likes” or comments, but in my ability to be creative and share with my audience in a way I didn’t think I’d b good at.
I didn’t think I’d be good, because I didn’t have the perfect and beautiful all white office, with a gallery wall, and an iMac sitting on my glass top desk. What I had was the island in the kitchen or the table (or the sofa) to work from and my son’s bedroom to take photos in. And, oh yeah, an iPhone to snap those pictures with, because I have still yet to learn how to use my DSLR (yep, and I had an excuse for that!).
Try and try, and try again…without excuses
We can wallow in our shortcomings or unideal situations, thinking about how we don’t have everything we think we need to make things happen. I’m going to tell you a secret, though: where there is a will, there is a way. I’m in the mindset where I have no choice, I will make a way. I have my faith, my unrelenting belief in Him and I know I’m equipped. When he sees you do the work and make the effort, He will bless you and if it’s in His will, you will accomplish your goals and all that your heart desires. But first, you have to try, you have to make that effort, and that’s where I first went wrong.
My biggest mistake was focusing on what I couldn’t do today, which set me up for failure tomorrow.
When you’re in this kind of mindset, you will never get anything done, because you’ve already told yourself that you can’t. Even if you can work on what you want to work on, you can work on something else.
[Tweet “Don’t wallow in your shortcomings or unideal situations; where there is a will, there is a way.”]
Here’s a scenario for you:
Only have an hour when you put the kids down for naptime? That may not be enough time to write, edit, and create an image for a blog post. However, that doesn’t mean that you should try to get started on the post, or rather outlining it, so that it’s easier when you actually sit down to write. Additionally, by outlining the post, you ensure that you don’t miss any of the main points you wanted to touch on by the time you sit down and write the entire post.
Kids up, husband home, and time for dinner? Get dinner squared away, spend time with your husband, and let him hang out with the kiddos before bedtime. You can take that time to write your post, or at least get started on it, create your post image and upload it to a draft. Now, kids in bed and husband getting settled in? You have two choices, stay up and finish writing your post or head to bed with your husband, and wake early to finish and publish it.
See, where there’s a will, there’s a way. May not be ideal, but you’re making the effort, being productive, and getting work done.
[Tweet “Make the effort, be productive, and get the work done.”]
It took me way too long to realize this, because I kept waiting on that perfect moment, living in my excuses and frustration. The more time you spend focusing on the fact that things are the way you want them, the longer you will be stuck in it. It’s just the nature of the beast. I don’t know why I didn’t remember that from when I was younger because it’s been something I’ve always known. I guess when life has you in a whirlwind, it’s hard to remember those simple things, that can help you get out of being stuck in a rut. Yet, another reason not to busy our minds with negative thoughts and feelings.
Read: Getting Out of Being Stuck In A Rut & Focusing On Positivity
Being stuck on yesterday isn’t going to help you be successful tomorrow. Excuses don’t cut it anymore, they just don’t! No one ever accomplished anything by sitting around and being frustrated, but being more frustrated. I found myself in this place, discouraged, burnt out, and not wanting to do the very thing I was passionate about and that I knew would help so many others.
In this same place? Get going on something, even if it’s something small. It will do wonders for your psyche, trust me! As soon as I started back doing the work, my entire mindset changed for the better and motivation was instantly back.
[Tweet “Being stuck on yesterday isn’t going to help you be successful tomorrow.”]
Not sure where to start with your blog or business, because you don’t have the time or don’t feel like doing certain things? I have a little something that may help you, and it’s free! Grab my free 20 Things You Could Be Doing for Your Blog When You Don’t Feel Like Blogging Sheet. I created to help you work through overwhelm, feeling burnt out, and even having writer’s block. There are always other things you can be doing to remain productive even when you don’t have time to do the bigger things. Every step is one step closer to progress and success.
Now for me, it doesn’t matter that I have limited time and even more limited resources (i.e. a team, consistent childcare, discretionary income). All that matters is doing the work! I’m back to creating content, being productive, and ready to serve my audience in the best way I can. And I’ll tell you, it feels good!
[Tweet “All that matters is that you do the work! Start somewhere and be productive.”]
I just wrote a blog post about how to ride the wave of productivity where I explained how I was using excuses to not do my best work. I really enjoyed your article, it was something I needed to read. I too make excuses for why I can’t do something instead of finding reasons why I CAN do it so thanks for the inspiration.
Thanks so much, Eliana! I’m so glad you enjoyed my post. Yes, I know exactly how you feel. Sometimes it’s so much easier to come up with reasons to not do something, rather than reasons to do them. I really appreciate you stopping by! Thanks again!