stop making excuses

3 Growth-Crushing Lies You Probably Told Yourself Today

What if the only thing between you and everything you ever wanted… was you?

As a coach helping people climb out of the ruts they’ve put themselves in, and take action to create lives they absolutely love, I see it unfold time and time again:

We set big goals for ourselves, and have huge ideas about the way we want to be living, working, and playing. But somehow… it never comes to fruition.

Why? Because we trick ourselves (and sometimes the people around us) into thinking we can’t cross the finish line. Sometimes, we don’t even start the race.

This is self-sabotage at its finest. But the good news is, there’s a way around it.

Think you’re not making statements that are blocking your potential, and holding you back from kicking butt all over the place? You might want to think again.

Over the years, I’ve pinned down the three BIGGEST white lies people tell themselves all too often that hold them back from their greatness.

Here’s the list, along with a few ways to flip these fickle phrases, and make them work in your favor.

The top 3 white lies that hold you back from kicking butt

#1 “I’m too busy.”

While we’re being honest here, I’ll cut to the chase: “I’m busy” is bullshit.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m sure you have a full schedule. Most of us do. But the reason I’m picking on the term “I’m busy” is because it’s become a cop out catch phrase for so many.

Sure, it’s not an outright lie. But it is an excuse not to be straight with ourselves, or the people who may be asking for our time, about the reasons why we won’t do something.

Everyone’s busy. Can we all just take a second and get over that, please?

I’ll wait.

There we go. Now, let’s get to the bottom of this.

“Busy” isn’t really about your timetable. It’s about your priorities.

Using busy-ness as an excuse is a way of circumventing the fact that you could do whatever this task you’re putting off is. But you’re choosing not to.

What’s a big audacious goal you have but tell yourself you can’t take action on because you’re too busy? Is that really true?

Or are you watching TV for hours and choosing to sleep in… instead of making progress? Think about it.

Here’s how to flip it: Take a look at your calendar, with a pen in your hand.

What is it you want to get done? Write a book? Train for that 5k? Paint the house?

Pick out a few days on your calendar to dedicate to the big task you’ve been too busy to complete. It’ll serve as a reminder of what you need to do and nudge you to get to work on those big goals.

#2:  “I’ll do it later.”

It’s a throwaway statement we’re all guilty of using. What makes it so wildly popular? It frees us from accountability, because it shakes off any vested interested we had in getting that task done.

Ask yourself: what exactly does “later” mean for you when you say it? Does it mean “put it off until I feel like doing it”, or “maybe glance at it after a good half hour of Facebooking”?  What are you waiting for that means a particular task can’t be done now?

Here’s the biggest problem with telling ourselves we’ll “get to it”: usually, it never gets done. We’re human. We forget.

Procrastination also just doesn’t save time in the long run. When you’re wasting more minutes dabbling in other things instead just crossing an item off your list, something that should take 5 minutes of focus ends up taking much longer.

Unless you’re telling yourself or the person you’re working with exactly when you’re getting something done, it’s a cop out to cover up a lack of focus.

How to flip it: Immediately write down, or open up your notepad on your computer and write down a date for this project you have yet to complete. When are you going to start?

For example, if you’ really want to write a book, pick three mornings a week where you can spend 30 minutes writing. The same goes with training for a sporting event. Break it down into small chunks and do it!

#3 They’re just lucky!

This is a phrase we tend to toss around when we see someone more successful than ourselves.  We assume they had more connections than we did, or got a break we were never offered, or had more cash to throw at their efforts.

However, when we do this, we’re not just short-changing the efforts of the person we’re envious of. We’re doing ourselves a disservice, because we’re mentally removing ourselves from a position of responsibility when it comes to getting results.

Don’t take the easy way out.

How to flip it: Put yourself in their shoes. What do you think this person really had to do to achieve this goal?

If you’ve got a friend who graduated top of their class from law school – instead of writing them off as a “lucky overachiever”, remember: you didn’t see all the hours they spent at the library. If you’re watching an international speaker rock the stage, don’t forget the way they move the crowd might be the result of long-term training with a speaking coach.

While these little lies are all natural – but they’re not useful. Start taking action to rise above them.

Now, I’m wondering: are any of these phrases finding their way into your life more often than you’d like? Do you know a big white lie you don’t see listed here?

So… what’s next for you?

It’s time to catch yourself every time you say “someday”, “I’ll do it later”, or “I’m too busy”

Next time that phrase comes out of your mouth: stop. Think. And get out a pen. It’s time to slip that dream goal into your calendar.

Even if it’s one small step – reaching out to a colleague, beginning your research – write it down, schedule it in, and make it happen. Do this with the next steps in your journey. Before you know it, you’ll turn “don’t have time” into “done”!

Make the call. Take the step. Watch what happens.

Liz Brazier is an internationally based accountability coach, productivity strategist, writer and host of the Live Your Life Now™ podcast. She’s dedicated her work and show to helping entrepreneurs find more freedom, flexibility, fun, and control in their busy lives. How? By giving them the inspiration and tools to Focus and Take action NOW – instead of waiting for ‘someday’.

Liz’s passion is helping entrepreneurs get more ‘stuff’ done so they can create the amazing business and lifestyles they deserve. You can find her following the sun by flying between her two homes in New Zealand and New Jersey, and blogging on her website.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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