Do you always find reasons not to invest in yourself or your career? Are you an excuse maker? It's easy to talk yourself out of taking the time, investing money or finding the courage to do the things you need to do. What would happen if you ran out of excuses?
Excuse number 1 – I don’t have enough time!
This is a familiar tune. “There aren’t enough hours in the day.” “I don’t know where I could find the time.” However, there are 24 hours in a day! This doesn’t change, no matter who you are, what you do or where you are in your career. Isn't this just an excuse for poor time management, procrastination or confused priorities?
Finding the time to do something is always a matter of how badly you want to do it. You must place the same level of importance on your career and personal goals as you do on other things in your life. Do this and you will find the time in your schedule. Prioritise and make the time to invest in your career, your education or yourself… There are always things you can happily let go of to make the time.
Excuse number 2 – I can’t afford it!
“I can’t afford to study." “I can’t afford to work on my personal brand.” “I can’t afford to go to that seminar.” “I can’t afford to get coaching.” Recognise these excuses? Most people believe a lack of money is the number one reason they haven’t achieved their goals. They believe that if they had more money than they would be successful. But it’s rarely a money problem.
You can't always control what you get paid, but you can control what you choose to do with your money. Making small sacrifices can lead to savings that you can invest in your career and personal development. This investment can than lead to promotions, pay rises and the like. What are you willing to sacrifice? Give up buying those coffees on the way to work. Eat at home more than you eat out. Take your lunch to work rather than buying it. Don’t buy that pair of boots. If you want something badly enough you will find a way. You need to make it a priority. Successful people don’t let the lack of any resource stop them. Spending money to improve yourself is not an expense, it is an investment and it will deliver a return.
Excuse number 3 – My family needs me!
51% of working women find it hard to advance in their career because of their family commitments. Similarly, both men and women, feel that success in your professional life, will result in your personal life suffering. You must have one or the other, you can’t have both. Is this true?
Families demand a lot of time and energy. Being a great partner, parent or provider doesn't mean you must give up your own ambitions and a fulfilling career. Juggling a successful career and a family can seem like an impossible combination, but with the right support, planning and strategies it can be accomplished. You can have balance and success in all areas of your life. Are you using your family as an excuse to not push yourself out your comfort zone? If so, is this fair on your family? Surely, they don’t want to be the reason why you aren’t happy at work or you don’t have a fulfilling career.
Excuse number 4 – I don’t have the motivation!
What does this mean? Aren't you really saying, “I’m too lazy!” Committing effort and money towards study, coaching, personal branding, or career development requires motivation. The easier option is to sit back and continue along the same path. Laziness is the worst excuse for not investing in yourself. Getting up and doing, takes motivation, ambition and determination, but it takes work to invest in not only your career but also your future.
The easiest thing is to stay where you are. As humans, we are wired to avoid change. But to build the life you want you need to ask yourself, “Where do I want to be in five years?” This can be an overwhelming question. Breaking down the process and starting with baby steps will make it seem that much more achievable. If you struggle to find the motivation start by writing a list to set yourself a few small - medium sized tasks to complete over the next X number of months. Get started by contacting people in your network for advice and help. Make a list of things you would like to change and then rate them as easy, medium or hard. If you can’t get clarity then perhaps you may need a professional to help you.
Of course, these are only a few of the excuses. We have a great knack for coming up with new and inventive reasons to procrastinate. There are some that we don’t like to admit to ourselves, such as - "I’m afraid" or "I’m not good enough." These too are just stories we tell ourselves to avoid truly striving towards our goals and reaching our potential.
Now imagine, what could your career – and life – really look like if you stopped making excuses? Isn’t it time to invest in you?
Don’t know where to start? Talk with us about taking the first step.