I’d Do It, But…
“I’d do it, but….”
How many times have you said these four words before? I personally say them all the time – way more often than I should. When we say things like this, we’re setting up psychological barriers. We want to accomplish or change something in our lives, but are having trouble putting in the effort. So instead, we come up with excuses on why we can’t achieve our goal.
“I’d ask her out, but I don’t think she’ll say yes”
I’ve personally said this all too many times, and I’ve always regretted it later. You never know until you try. Sure, I’ve been shot down a lot, but putting my heart on the line also helped me get into a truly rewarding relationship. The times that I regret most are the times that I never even tried.
“I want to learn about personal finance, but I’m afraid to ask my friends because they’ll think I’m stupid.”
Never feel afraid to learn. It is impossible to know everything, and most people will be impressed that you are making an effort. And if they don’t, who cares what they think? Seriously – your personal education and ability to make good decisions are far more important than how other people view you.
“I’d go exercise, but I really need a new pair of gym shoes.”
Don’t go out and buy the shoes right away. If you go for this kind of instant gratification, you’ll just end up coming up with some other excuse. The shoes will sit in your closet unused and you’ll have wasted a bunch of money on nothing. Instead, use the shoes as a reward for achieving a goal. For example, if you run five times a week for a month, you’ll buy the shoes for yourself. This will motivate you to start exercising right away.
And of course…
“I’d like to earn more money, but I don’t know how…”
For starters, keep reading this blog =)
But seriously, if you want to earn more money, you shouldn’t stop constraints like time or lack of capital get in the way. There is always a solution, it’s just up to you to find it. Here are a few ideas to help you start taking action:
1. Take responsibility:
The word “but” is an excuse, a way to avoid owning up to something. Instead, take responsibility for your goals and come up with a solution. Otherwise you’ll just end up procrastinating all of your tough choices.
2. See the end goal:
Understanding the end result allows us to focus on the positives. When we make excuses, we’re usually focusing on the negative aspects of anything. So take a moment to understand the reason you are working so hard. If you really want it, you’ll feel a strong boost in your motivation.
There’s a chance you’ll realize that you don’t really care that much about the end goal. This can be a scary realization but it’s actually a good thing. You shouldn’t be putting a ton of effort into something that doesn’t matter to you; that’s a surefire recipe for getting sucked into a black hole. Instead, cut your losses and focus your energies on something more worthwhile.
3. Make yourself accountable:
Find other people who can “spot” you when you start making excuses. It’s one thing to let yourself down, but it’s a lot harder to rationalize when you feel you are letting down others. I used this trick when I was trying to get in shape. Instead of just working out by myself, I’d set a schedule with friends. This way, if I didn’t go, they’d know that I wasn’t following up on my commitment.
A final thought: This is an excerpt from a poem by Shel Silverstein. It definitely got me over my "buts" and I hope it does the same for you!
"All the Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
Layin' in the sun,
Talkin' bout the things
They woulda-coulda-shoulda done…
But those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
…All ran away and hid
From one little did."
What are some of the tricks that you use to overcome excuses? Please share in the comments section